Category Archives: News

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 →

Texas kissing bug population spike could increase risk of Chagas disease in dogs, humans

Texas A&M AgriLife experts tell how to report sightings, contact by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologists have seen an increase in kissing bugs collected in multiple regions of the state this year. The insects carry a parasite that can cause potentially fatal Chagas disease in humans and animals. “We have already collected over 300 adult kissing bug specimens in a location where we only collected six individuals in 2019,” said Gabriel Hamer, Ph.D., AgriLife Research entomologist, College Station. He is… Read More →

It’s big, but it’s not a ‘murder hornet’

Texas A&M AgriLife experts say Texans mistakenly identifying cicada killer wasps as Asian giant hornets by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications Since the release of information about Asian giant hornets, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are being inundated with cicada killers and other lookalike insects submitted for identification as a possible “murder hornet,” which thus far has only been found in Washington state in the U.S. While the agency wants to continue to encourage Texans to be vigilant in watching for the Asian giant hornet, they… Read More →

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 →