Category Archives: 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 →

Grad Student Wins Graduate and Professional Student Government Fall Travel Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Phillip Shults on receiving the Graduate and Professional Student Government’s Fall Travel Award. The award will allow Shults to travel to Puerto Rico to attend the Society for Vector Ecology’s annual meeting. Shults will be giving a presentation titled “Taxonomic uncertainty in the C. variipennis complex part II: population genomic structure of C. sonorensis throughout North America” during the meeting. Shults will also be coordinating a symposium titled Unveiling the Ecology of North American Culicoides Vectors where he will have experts speaking on different… 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 →

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 →

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 →

Holly Davis Named Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Weslaco

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service want to welcome Holly Davis as the new Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for the Weslaco area. Davis will begin her position in Weslaco on September 1. Before being hired by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Davis was a Research/Extension Associate at Kansas State University from 2015 to 2019. At Manhattan, she worked closely with Extension agents and specialists on providing viable recommendations to growers on pest control measures to lessen the impact of pests. Davis also was co-owner… Read More →