Category Archives: News

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 →

Urban Pest Management Conference Featured Talks on Termites, Pests, Business Safety

Four hundred pest management professionals convened at the Brazos Center on January 8-10 to learn something new during the 74th annual Urban Pest Management Conference and Workshop at the Brazos Center. The three-day-long conference featured various speakers on topics on insect and other pest management, the latest entomological research, and updates in techniques for business owners and pest managers. Professor and Endowed Chair of the Urban and Structural Entomology Program Dr. Ed Vargo updated the group on the latest research activities members of the Urban and Structural Entomology… Read More →

Rangel Receives COALS Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Diversity

Congratulations to Dr. Juliana Rangel as she received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Diversity on Friday, January 10. The award was given at a special awards breakfast before the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ session at the AgriLife Conference held at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center. Rangel is an assistant professor in the Department where she conducts honey bee biology research. Since joining the department in 2013, she has mentored a total of 19 undergraduate students in which… Read More →

Wharton Receives Lifetime Achievement Recognition

Congratulations to professor emeritus Dr. Bob Wharton as he received the Department of Entomology’s Lifetime Achievement Recognition. Since joining the Department in the early 1980s, Wharton was well-liked for his teaching and mentoring of graduate students and his success in teaching has resulted in a number of superbly-trained, equally passionate, and independent-thinking graduate students graduating from the Department. He has served on 4 thesis and dissertation committees for 8 consecutive years and created an atmosphere of candid discussion and self-discovery for students and promoted inquiry-driven and hypothesis- based… Read More →

4Ry, USDA, Texas A&M AgriLife to develop innovative spraying technology for cattle fever ticks

by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications 4Ry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have signed a collaborative research agreement to develop a means to more efficiently and effectively spray cattle and kill cattle fever ticks, according to a 4Ry Inc. announcement. Cattle fever ticks are vectors of pathogens causing bovine babesiosis, also known as cattle tick fever, and are the focus of the U.S. Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program. Pete Teel, Ph.D., AgriLife Research entomologist, regents professor and interim department… Read More →

Congratulations Fall 2019 Graduates!

The Department of Entomology experienced two milestones this fall as a Ph.D. student was a speaker at the Ph.D. graduation ceremony and our students joined a record number of students that are expected to graduate at Reed Arena on Friday afternoon. Recent Ph.D. graduate Zanthé Kotzé got the chance to speak at the inaugural doctoral hooding and commencement ceremony held at Rudder Theater on December 7. Kotzé was selected from thousands of applicants and wanted a way to help give back to her university. “I am honored that… Read More →

Millions of monarch butterflies killed on Texas highways

Texas A&M works to protect monarchs on Texas roads, and they need your help by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Monarch butterflies are moving south through Texas on their annual autumn migration to overwintering sites in Central Mexico, but millions die in collisions with vehicles while flying low across Texas highways. Monarch numbers have declined about 82% over the last 23 years, and road mortality can significantly contribute to their dwindling numbers. The monarch butterfly, Texas’ state insect, was petitioned for protection under the federal Endangered Species… Read More →

What is Forensic Entomology? Professor shares insight on how insects assist in legal investigations

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Insects can help fight crime by providing important scientific insights that can be applied to legal investigations – plus provide interested individuals with a truly unique profession in forensic entomology. While most may view forensic entomology as the “creepy-crawly” part of CSI-type television shows, that perspective only scratches the surface of this field. Forensic entomology is the understanding of how the biology of insects and arthropods that inhabit decomposing remains can be used for the purpose of assisting in a variety… Read More →

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 →