Author Archives: Rob Williams

Texas A&M entomology student chosen as fellow for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program

COLLEGE STATION — Tyler Pohlenz, a Texas A&M University doctoral student, has been selected as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Scientist Training Program, or APHIS-NSTP, starting the 2019 fall semester. Pohlenz’s doctorate concentrates on arboviruses, such as Zika, and other important pathogens. “With the move of the USDA’s Animal Disease Center from Plum Island, New York, to Kansas, USDA needs to staff the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, NBAF,” said Kevin Myles, Ph.D.,… Read More →

Texas A&M Entomology Faculty Visit with South Korean Officials on Future Fire Ant Control

Two faculty members from the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M recently traveled to South Korea to help South Korean officials with a recent invasion of fire ants. The group consisted of Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio, Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fellow, and Dr. Ed Vargo, Professor and Endowed Chair in Urban and Structural Entomology, who met with officials from South Korea. The follow-up meeting this year stemmed from a request made in 2018 when researchers from the Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) requested help in… Read More →

Dr. Frank Gilstrap Named Honorary Member of Entomological Society of America

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Gilstrap upon being named a 2019 Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). Dr. Gilstrap is recognized for extraordinary contributions to the ESA through his career while he was with the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M AgriLife Research. His research included biological control of insects and mites damaging small grains, field crops, and fruit.  Dr. Gilstrap earned the B.A. Degree (1968) in biology from Fresno State College and the Master of Science Degree  and Doctor of Philosophy Degree  in Entomology… Read More →

West Nile case numbers lowest since 2012

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications DALLAS COUNTY – Cases of West Nile virus in Texas have been the lowest in years, and researchers may know why, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.  Dr. Mike Merchant,  AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas, said a publication by health officials in Dallas County may shed light on factors that contribute to outbreaks and help forecast outbreaks in the future. There has been one case of West Nile in humans this year in Fort Worth, but Merchant said vector indexes… Read More →

Ree Set to Retire After 30 Years with Extension

The Department of Entomology recently celebrated Extension specialist Bill Ree as he announced his retirement on August 31 with a special reception on August 13. Ree began his career in Extension in 1988 as an Extension Agent-IPM with a specialization in pecans. As an Extension Agent-IPM, Ree worked with pecan growers on protecting pecans from pests such as the pecan weevil.  In 2007, he was promoted to Extension Specialist III – IPM where he was also responsible for working with pecan growers on pest issues. Ree has been… Read More →

Grad Student Receives MUVE Travel Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Caixing Xiong as she was named the newest recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s MUVE (Medical, Urban, Veterinary Entomology) Travel Award. The award allows Xiong to attend the ESA Annual Meeting that will be held in St. Louis, Mo. from November 17-20. Xiong is mentored by Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio and will be presenting in the President’s Prize graduate student 10-minute paper competition in the MUVE category. Xiong’s research interests include validating arthropod-specific G protein coupled receptors, or GPCRs, as targets, and discovering of… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at Graduate Student Forum

Congratulations to three of our graduate students as they received awards during the 22nd annual Graduate Student Forum that was held on August 22 in Room 103. Ph.D. candidate Zanthé Kotzé received first place for her presentation titled “Mechanisms regulating behavior of arthropods that consume vertebrate carrion: Deciphering succession as related to forensic entomology.” Ph.D. student Pierre Lau received second place for his talk “Understanding honey bee foraging preferences and nutrient regulation to improve beekeeping pollen substitutes” while Ph.D. student Xiaotian Tang received third place for his presentation… Read More →

Symposium Showcases Top Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics Research in SE Texas Area

Scientists from across the Southeastern Texas area gathered inside the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building for the fourth meeting of the Southeast Texas Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics Symposium on July 18. The day-long symposium featured various presentations by researchers from the Southeastern Texas area, including Texas A&M, Texas A&M Galveston, the University of Houston, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The event was hosted by the Department of Entomology and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program faculty. The purpose of… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at National Conference

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate grad students Zanthé Kotzé and Lauren Beebe on receiving top marks for their presentations at the North American Forensic Entomology Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on August 5- 7. Kotzé is a Ph.D. candidate mentored by Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin. She received the first place platform presentation award in the Ph.D. category for her presentation titled “Mechanisms regulating behavior of invertebrate decomposers: Deciphering arthropod succession as related to forensic entomology.” “I am humbled and honored to have been awarded the PhD… Read More →

Coates appointed associate dean for inclusive excellence

Congratulations to Dr. Craig Coates as he was selected to be the new associate dean for inclusive excellence starting September 1. Coates, an instructional associate professor in the Department of Entomology, will equally apportion his time in this new role with his duties as associate department head for academic programs. Coates will provide strategic leadership for efforts to diversify the college’s student and faculty populations. His responsibilities will include developing programming that encourages outstanding candidates from underrepresented groups to enroll in undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral programs in the… Read More →