Category Archives: News

Longtime Texas A&M leader, nationally recognized entomologist passes

From professor to chancellor, Perry Adkisson advanced agriculture, Texas A&M by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Perry Adkisson, Ph.D., former Texas A&M University System leader and internationally known agricultural scientist in the area of entomology, has died. Adkisson became a professor of entomology at Texas A&M in 1958, and went on to serve as the chancellor of the Texas A&M University System from 1986 until 1990, before retiring in 1994 as a distinguished professor. During his long career at Texas A&M, he also served as… Read More →

African horse sickness on Texas A&M, industry radar

Potential insect vectors in Texas by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications African horse sickness is not in the U.S., and it is important it stays that way. Texas A&M AgriLife faculty, various state and federal agencies and the U.S. horse industry are already monitoring the situation, ensuring surveillance and determining practices to prevent the deadly horse disease from crossing our borders. African horse sickness comes out of Africa and is common from Morocco down to the middle of the continent. But it has escaped the… Read More →

Citizen Scientist Project needs input from Texas residents

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service scientists hope you will join the ranks of Texas residents participating in a multi-state project to identify pollinator-friendly plants and ultimately help pollinator populations. The Pollinator Citizen Science Project has been accepting new recruits for its second year as a volunteer-based information-gathering program. The purpose of this project is to utilize volunteer “citizen-scientists” to determine the attractiveness of different commercially available annual and perennial ornamental plants to various pollinator groups in Texas and Oklahoma…. Read More →

Get to know the Asian giant hornet, or ‘murder hornet’

Video by Texas A&M Marketing and Communication by Olga Kuchment, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications You’ve probably heard of the “murder hornet,” or Asian giant hornet, by now. It’s the world’s largest hornet. Native to Asia, it was sighted for the first time in Washington state and Canada in late 2019. Keeping these insects out of Texas is important because they are formidable predators of honey bees, which are crucial for crop pollination. The main problem caused by this hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is that it uses honey… Read More →

Texas A&M AgriLife mobilizes task force to head off possible emergence of “murder hornet” in Texas

by Olga Kuchment, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications How the pests ended up in North America is not yet clear. Washington state investigations are focusing on the possibility that container ship or airplane transport may have inadvertently transported a fertilized female hornet. “Part of our response is preparing our state entry points for cargo transportation,” said Greg Pompelli, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense. “We are developing training for Customs and Border Protection staff to be able to detect the Asian giant… Read More →

Aggie professor helps law enforcement find answers in the soil

This story by Beth Luedeker first appeared in the March 2020 Aggie Agenda. We have seen them on TV, the crime scene investigators who sift through the minutiae such as soil to help law enforcement personnel determine what took place. Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson, Ph.D., fills this role for those in Texas law enforcement looking for soil-borne answers. Peterson is an associate professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Texas A&M AgriLife Research urban nutrient and water management scientist. She is also working with… Read More →

Hapes Elected to NACADA Board of Directors

Congratulations to Senior Academic Advisor IV Rebecca Hapes as she was elected as one of NACADA The Global Community for Academic Advising’s Board of Directors. Hapes is the first academic advisor from Texas A&M University to be elected to the Board and will start her three-year term in October 2020. She has been a member of NACADA for 14 years and currently serves as the appointed representative for the organization’s Advising Communities Division on the Council. Hapes is involved in the associations’ Emerging Leaders Program, serving as a… Read More →

Faculty Members Hold Webinars to Help Faculty and Students Learn via Distance Delivery

With more and more schools and universities closing due to the Coronavirus pandemic striking the world, the demand for online learning and distance education is rising. Drs. Adrienne Brundage and Craig Coates recently led two webinars for the Entomological Society of America for both students and teachers to help them adjust to the online distance learning format that is in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coates said the ESA was looking for instructors willing to help hold a webinar to teach faculty and students about how to… Read More →

Can ticks and mosquitoes transmit the coronavirus?

No, but use good judgment in avoiding bites from mosquitoes and ticks by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications At this time, there is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks, explained Texas A&M AgriLife experts. “Ticks, like mosquitoes, are blood-feeding external parasites,” said Pete Teel, Ph.D., Texas A&M University interim head for the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  “The viruses they are known to transmit to humans must survive and grow, or replicate, inside the tick as… Read More →

Kaufman named head of Department of Entomology, effective July 1

Phillip Kaufman, Ph.D., will begin his appointment as head of the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, starting July 1. Kaufman joins Texas A&M from the University of Florida where he served as a professor in the Entomology and Nematology Department in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. During his 15 years at the university, he helped develop and implement research programs to support Florida livestock producers, taught courses on medical and veterinary entomology and forensic entomology, as well as provided support to Florida Extension faculty… Read More →