Category Archives: News

A family legacy of sustainability, education

Source: A family legacy of sustainability, education | AgriLife Today Frisbie family gifts will support agriculture, ecosystems, education, more Texas A&M University often shapes the interests and passions of not just the individual, but entire families. In the case of the Ray Frisbie family, with the university’s help, they are creating a legacy as diverse as the passions they share. Each in their own way, Frisbie, his wife, Renée, and their daughter, Katelan ’09, grew to love the university. In appreciation, the Frisbies have committed a legacy gift… Read More →

Texas honey production tops 7.4 million pounds

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Texas remained sixth in the nation for honey production in 2019, and is home to thousands of overwintering hives that contribute to the nation’s agricultural economy each growing season, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Bexar County, said Texas beekeeping falls into three categories – hobbyists, sideliners and commercial. Hobbyists are backyard beekeepers who keep bees, typically less than 10 hives, to meet Texas’ agriculture exemption for… Read More →

Grunseich Receives ESA Master’s Student Achievement Award

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University congratulates Master’s student John Grunseich as he was awarded with the Entomological Society of America’s Plant-Insect Ecosystems Master’s Student Achievement in Entomology Award. The award is given to master’s students who have demonstrated creativity and significant achievements through research, teaching and/or outreach in entomology. Grunseich joined Dr. Anjel Helms’ lab in 2019 where he is studying the chemical ecology of below ground multitrophic interactions among plants, root-feeding herbivores, and natural enemies. Grunseich is investigating the role of chemical compounds in… Read More →

Research shows insects evolved pathways for acoustic communication

Sound-making, hearing mechanisms in crickets date back 300 million years by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Songs produced by crickets, katydids, grasshoppers and other orthopteran insects are hundreds of millions of years in the making, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist’s research published in Nature Communications. Hojun Song, Ph.D., AgriLife Research entomologist and associate professor in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, Bryan-College Station, said there have been many changes to the way insects within the Orthoptera order hear and create… Read More →

New institute to study behavioral plasticity in locusts

Multi-university collaboration funded by a 5-year, $12.5 million grant by Olga Kuchment, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Locusts have a reputation of biblical proportions. Certain species of grasshoppers that are typically solitary and harmless can suddenly swarm and consume entire crops, including plants that support livestock. Large swarms can destroy livelihoods for farmers and entire communities’ food supply. That is why researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife, Baylor College of Medicine, Arizona State University, Washington University in St. Louis and University of California, Davis, have created the Behavioral… Read More →

Former Ph.D. Student Named Comstock Award Winner

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate former Ph.D. student Dr. Xiaotian Tang as he was named the John Comstock Award winner for the Southwestern Branch. Tang received his Ph.D. in entomology recently in May under the direction of Dr. Cecilia Tamborindeguy. His research focused on the vector biology and vector-pathogen interactions between the bacterial pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso), and its vector, the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). Tang’s main research areas are to identify key genes involved in the interactions between the vector and the pathogen… Read More →

Congratulations Summer 2020 Graduates!!

A total of seven students in the Department of Entomology celebrated their graduations this summer virtually during August graduation on Friday, August 7. The students included 1 Entomology major, 1 Forensic and Investigative Sciences major and 5 Ph.D. candidates. Congratulations to the following students that are expected to graduate and good luck on your future endeavors!! Undergraduate Students Andrew Brock Chapman Bachelor of Science – Forensic and Investigative Sciences – Science Emphasis Stephen Colton Matcha Bachelor of Science – Entomology Graduate Students – Ph.D. Carlos Aguero Ph.D. –… Read More →

Texas A&M research project identifies COVID-19 positive pets in Brazos County

Sampling dogs, cats whose owners tested positive to understand how pets may be impacted by SARS-CoV-2 The transmission of COVID-19 to pets has been the source of much discussion within the scientific community. Reports have confirmed a small, but growing, list of positive cases among companion animals and exotic cats in the U.S. Now, new efforts within The Texas A&M University System are beginning to shed additional light on the topic. A team led by Sarah Hamer, Ph.D., DVM, associate professor of epidemiology at the Texas A&M College… Read More →

Researchers find gene to convert female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to non-biting males with implications for mosquito control

A collaboration between Virginia Tech and Texas A&M recently confirmed that a single gene can take the bite out of the prime carrier of viruses that cause dengue fever and Zika in humans. Researchers from Dr. Zach Adelman’s and Dr. Zhijian Tu’s labs have found that a male-determining gene, called Nix, when inserted into a chromosomal region inherited by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can convert them into non-biting males. The findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the paper, the… Read More →

Kaufman takes lead of Texas A&M entomology department

Moving forward with classes, research by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing & Communication Taking over as head of the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology is a pretty daunting task in normal times, but during COVID-19, Phillip Kaufman, Ph.D., is finding challenges and opportunities. Kaufman, head of the Texas A&M Department of Entomology, said determining how to best serve students in-house and online amid the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as staying on top of important research issues such as tick surveillance, mosquitoes and murder… Read More →