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

edes mosquitoes, a known vector of West Nile virus, and other diseases, are small dark mosquitoes with distinct white bands on the legs. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo). Click to read more about this story.

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 →

Ree Set to Retire After 30 Years with Extension

The Department of Entomology recently celebrated Extension specialist Bill Ree as he announced his retirement on August 31 with a special reception on August 13. Ree began his career in Extension in 1988 as an Extension Agent-IPM with a specialization in pecans. As an Extension Agent-IPM, Ree worked with pecan growers on protecting pecans from pests such as the pecan weevil.  In 2007, he was promoted to Extension Specialist III – IPM where he was also responsible for working with pecan growers on pest issues. Ree has been… Read More →

Grad Student Receives MUVE Travel Award

Caixing Xiong. Photo by Rob Williams.

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Caixing Xiong as she was named the newest recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s MUVE (Medical, Urban, Veterinary Entomology) Travel Award. The award allows Xiong to attend the ESA Annual Meeting that will be held in St. Louis, Mo. from November 17-20. Xiong is mentored by Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio and will be presenting in the President’s Prize graduate student 10-minute paper competition in the MUVE category. Xiong’s research interests include validating arthropod-specific G protein coupled receptors, or GPCRs, as targets, and discovering of… Read More →

Grad Students Receive Top Awards at Graduate Student Forum

Winners of the Graduate Student Forum for 2019

Congratulations to three of our graduate students as they received awards during the 22nd annual Graduate Student Forum that was held on August 22 in Room 103. Ph.D. candidate Zanthé Kotzé received first place for her presentation titled “Mechanisms regulating behavior of arthropods that consume vertebrate carrion: Deciphering succession as related to forensic entomology.” Ph.D. student Pierre Lau received second place for his talk “Understanding honey bee foraging preferences and nutrient regulation to improve beekeeping pollen substitutes” while Ph.D. student Xiaotian Tang received third place for his presentation… Read More →

Symposium Showcases Top Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics Research in SE Texas Area

Dr. Aaron Tarone opening the symposium. Photo by Rob Williams

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

Zanthe Kotze, left, with Lauren Beebe, right, standing with their certificates. Photo by

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 →

Zero waste: Maggots as recyclers and protein sources

Adult black soldier flies look similar to wasps, but without the stinger. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Jeff Tomberlin.)

Texas A&M professor invents technology to harness black soldier flies for waste removal, protein for animals by Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION — Black soldier fly maggots provide a zero waste option for organic recycling, according to Jeff Tomberlin, Ph.D., professor in the department of entomology at Texas A&M University and director of EVO Conversion Systems, LLC. Despite the “ick-factor,” maggots can be helpful for the environment by reducing waste and serving as an animal feed source, he said. The larval form of the black… Read More →

Department Celebrates August Graduation

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate the students that are expected to graduate during summer commencement at Reed Arena The 10 students included 2 Entomology majors, 2 double majors, and 3 Ph.D. candidates. Three students also received their certificates in Public Health Entomology. Congratulations to all that are expected to graduate this summer and good luck with your futures! Undergraduates Lauren Bersano Bachelor of Science – Biomedical Sciences and Entomology Stephanie Rodriguez Bachelor of Science – Entomology Kejaun Jalil Tate Bachelor of Science – Forensic and… Read More →