Author Archives: Rob Williams

Students swarm to Insect Expo at McKenna Children’s Museum

Video by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Story by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications NEW BRAUNFELS — Nearly 1,000 fourth-grade students from New Braunfels and Comal independent school districts recently attended the second annual two-day Insect Expo at the McKenna Children’s Museum in New Braunfels. “This event was presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in collaboration with these school districts and volunteer organizations,” said Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Travis County. “We had more than 20 stations with fun and educational activities for the kids to… Read More →

New research gives insight into warding off insect pests by way of nematode odors

by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION — A recent study revealed insect-killing nematodes also produce distinctive chemical cues that enhance plant defenses and deter Colorado potato beetles. Entomologists from Texas A&M University, including Dr. Anjel Helms, who led the study, and Penn State University took a look at whether Colorado potato beetles and potato plants responded to the presence of entomopathogenic nematodes, EPNs, or insect-killing nematodes. The study, “Chemical cues linked to risk: cues from below-ground natural enemies enhance plant defenses and influence herbivore behavior… Read More →

Liz Walsh Receives Outstanding Grad Student Award

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate Ph.D. candidate Liz Walsh as she received the 2019 Outstanding Grad Student Award in the Ph.D. category. The award was given during a special presentation during the pre-seminar social held in the Heep Center fourth floor atrium on Thursday, February 14. Walsh is no stranger to the Department, as she joined Dr. Juliana Rangel’s laboratory in June 2013 as a student in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduate – EXCITE program. Walsh graduated from her undergraduate institution, Ripon… Read More →

Frank Gilstrap Honored with Lifetime Achievement Recognition

Congratulations to Dr. Frank Gilstrap as he received recognition for his oustanding work during his career with the Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension during a special departmental seminar on Thursday, February 14. Gilstrap joined the Department in 1974 as a teaching and biological control research faculty member. From 1996 until 2003, he worked as the director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and then served as the director of the Urban Solutions Center in Dallas from 2005-2011. As a faculty member, Gilstrap provided leadership to the… Read More →

Brundage Receives Honoring Excellence Award

Dr. Adrienne Brundage’s engaging teaching style and her caring for students has yet garnered another award as she was recognized by Residence Life on Friday, February 1 at the Memorial Student Center. Brundage was recognized with the organization’s Honoring Excellence Award during its ceremony in the Gates Ballroom. The awards are given annually to eight outstanding and faculty staff who go above and beyond inside and outside of their daily jobs to impact student learning and academic success. As an Associate Instructional Professor, Brundage teaches the Veterinary Entomology… Read More →

Grad Student Receives Top Award at American Bee Research Conference

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Alex Payne for receiving the Student Paper Award for her presentation at the 2019 American Bee Research Conference in Tempe, Arizona. Payne received the award  presentation titled “Spillover in eusocial insects: Detection of honey bee (Apis meliifera) associated viruses in ants.” The award was given by the American Association of Professional Apiculturists to the best student papers at the conference at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Paper and presentation topics must include the genus Apis and are judged on the quality of the… Read More →

Conference Offers Training Opportunities for Pest Management Professionals

Hundreds of pest control professionals convened at the Brazos Center to learn the latest in pest control and pest management strategies during the 73rd meeting of the Texas A&M Pest Management Conference and Workshop on Wednesday, January 16-Friday, January 18. The 73rd annual workshop allows pest management professionals and to learn the latest innovations and rule changes affecting their businesses. The workshop featured experts in controlling pests in urban and other settings. The conference opened on Wednesday with a welcome by Dr. Ed Vargo and keynote speaker Dr…. Read More →

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Team, Charles Allen Win Superior Service Awards

Members of the Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Team and Dr. Charles Allen started the New Year off on a good note as they both received Superior Service Awards from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service during the AgriLife Conference on January 8. The Crap Myrtle Bark Scale Team consists of Dr. Mengmeng Gu (Horticulture Sciences), Dr. Mike Merchant (Entomology), Erfan Vafaie (Entomology), Laura Miller (County Extension Agent- Commercial Horticulture), Janet Laminack (County Extension Agent-Horticulture), and Dr. Yu Zhang (Ag Economics). The team was established in 2013 to help educate… Read More →

Allen to Retire After 38 Years with AgriLife Extension Entomology

The Department of Entomology will be saying goodbye to a longtime leader in boll weevil eradication as Dr. Charles Allen will retire on January 31 after 38 years with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Allen’s career started with working in 1981 as an Area Extension Specialist in Weslaco for two years. He then moved to Fort Stockton in 1983 where he worked as an Extension Specialist for 13 years. In 1996, he was an Extension Entomologist at the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Monticello, Ark. Allen then… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Honors at Texas Plant Protection Association Conference

Four grad students received awards for their outstanding research at the 30th annual Texas Plant Protection Conference on December 4-5 during a special luncheon at the Brazos Center on December 5. Ph.D. student Luke Pruter was presented the 2018 Ph.D. Student Award in Excellence in recognition of his research and outreach efforts with his dissertation on the best use of advanced pest management technologies (Bt-hybrid corn and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus) for reducing corn yield and quality losses associated with insect ear-feeders (corn earworm and fall armyworm)… Read More →