Category Archives: Current Student News

Study abroad trip to Costa Rica leads to new king cricket species discovery

A group of four Texas A&M Department of Entomology undergraduate students took their knowledge from the classroom and put it to use in discovering a new species of king cricket during a recent study abroad trip to Costa Rica. Under the guidance of Hojun Song, Ph.D., associate professor for entomology, students Steven Richardson, Travis Trimm, Randell Paredes and Jonathan Koehl described a new species of king cricket, Glaphyrosoma stephanosoltis, (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae), from the tropical rainforests near the Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro. A new… Read More →

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 →

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 →

TAMU Entomology Wins Several Awards at Southwestern Branch Meeting

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M had a good year at this year’s Southwestern Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Tulsa as several students and faculty members received awards during its annual meeting in late April. Ph.D. student Jocelyn Holt received the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award. Holt’s research is looking into increasing our understanding of the interplay between genetics and insect mutualisms in invasive species. Holt is looking at the role insect microbiomes play in mediating mutualisms among insects. Her research has… Read More →

Undergraduate Students Recognized at 23rd Annual Banquet

Congratulations to everyone that was recognized during the 23rd Annual Undergraduate Recognition Banquet that was held at the 7F Lodge on April 11. The evening started with Fatimah Bouderdaben and Katie Rowe introducing everyone and recognizing special guests and banquet organizers. Bouderdaben and Rowe gave accounts of the activities the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Undergraduate Entomology Student organizations have done throughout the year. Former Forensics student Michelle Jonika and current Ph.D. student Joanie King served as the keynote speakers. Jonika and King spoke about their experiences… Read More →

Conner Receives Buck Weirus Spirit and Phi Kappa Phi Gathright Outstanding Junior Award

Congratulations to junor Entomology major Marina Conner as she received the Association of Former Students’ Buck Weirus Spirit Award and the Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior Award. A native of Rowlett, Texas, Conner has been an active member of the COALS Council, where she served as the Entomological Department representative and is member of the Service Committee. She also plays mellophone for the Fighting Texas Aggie Band where she has participated in the Christmas Band at Holiday on the Quad and at a Salvation Army event, as… Read More →

Students Receive COALS Senior Merit Awards

Congratulations to seniors Kylee Morrison and Nicholas Richter as they received Senior Merit Awards during the College’s annual Spring Convocation at the Hildebrand Equine Complex on Saturday, April 11. Morrison, a Forensic and Investigative Sciences major and Chemistry minor, is a member of the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences Organization, where she has been a member of the Banquet Planning Committee, a mentor to underclassmen forensics majors and volunteered at the Chemistry Open House. She also has been involved in other organizations, such as the ARTISTS Organization, and… Read More →

Students Receive Certification during Vector Biology Workshop

Congratulations to six students in the Department of Entomology as they completed the Master of Vector-Borne Disease Management Certification course in Houston. Graduate students Samantha Hays, Casey Flint, Jennie Rhinesmith-Carranza, Dongmin Kim, and Brittny Jones, and undergraduate student Cierra Briggs, a researcher for Dr. Gabe Hamer Lab, were the recipients of the certification course during the three-day-long course was held in Houston in December of 2018. The course’s focus was to help educate people on what vector-borne diseases are and how to control the insects that carry them…. Read More →

Study Abroad Trips to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica Bring Valuable Field Research Experience to Students

Several students from the Department of Entomology and other departments around the university spent the summer researching in a different location as they ventured to Trinidad and Tobago and at the Soltis Research Center in Costa Rica this summer for research during two study abroad programs. The two groups developed and carried out research projects in the field and learned about the local cultures in both Trinidad and Tobago, and in Costa Rica. At the end of the program, the students turn their research into a paper that… Read More →