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 →

New research helps hay producers manage Bermuda grass stem maggot

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications OVERTON – A relatively new pest – the Bermuda grass stem maggot – is plaguing Texas hay producers this season, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. However, new research from Texas A&M AgriLife is helping growers better manage this pest. “Previously, there was no information on how damaging this insect was to hay production and thus no guidelines on when an insecticide was needed to protect yields,” said Dr. Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas. “Our field research documented… Read More →

Holly Davis Named Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Weslaco

Holly Davis

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 →

Bynum leaves agriculture pest management behind; retires after more than 40 years

Dr. Ed Bynum, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist, speaks at a forage sorghum field day. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications AMARILLO — With more than 40 years of service to Texas A&M AgriLife under his hat, Dr. Edsel “Ed” Bynum Jr. will no longer be traipsing out to fields across the High Plains and South Plains looking for the latest insects pestering agricultural crops. Bynum, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology specialist in Amarillo, is retiring June 30. A retirement party will be hosted from 5-7 p.m. on June 20 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo… Read More →

Former Student Selected as ANRP Intern in Washington DC

Portrait of Bailee Higgins. Photo by TAMU ANRP Program.

Congratulations to former student Bailee Higgins as she was selected to work as an intern in Washington, DC for the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program this summer. Higgins is currently interning in Congressman John Carter’s office. Carter represents District 31 in Texas, which includes Williamson and Bell Counties. A native of Austin, Higgins graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology in May 2019. Her career goals are to receive a master’s degree in vector biology from Cornell University and work for the Centers for… Read More →

AgriLife Research looks at gene expressions in sugarcane aphid-resistant sorghum

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications AMARILLO – Gene expression in sugarcane aphid-resistant sorghum varieties at times when they are most prevalent in the Texas Panhandle were the focus of a recent Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. Sugarcane aphids remain the most significant threat to sorghum production, and their outbreaks can arise quickly and unexpectedly, especially in the Southern High Plains where infestations commonly coincide with sorghum bloom, said Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, AgriLife Research entomologist in Amarillo. Sugarcane aphid outbreaks in sorghum were first reported in 2013…. Read More →

Jocelyn Holt Receives 2019 Comstock Award

Jocelyn Holt in front of the Biocontrol Building

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Jocelyn R. Holt as she was named the Southwestern Branch recipient of the John Henry Comstock Award during the 2019 Branch meeting in April. Advised by Dr. Raul F. Medina, Holt is examining the interplay between population genetics and insect mutualisms in invasive species. In her research, she is also assessing the role that insect microbiota plays in mediating mutualisms among insects. Holt’s research has revealed microbial differences between sugarcane aphids (SCAs) that seem to correspond to genetic differences between sorghum and sugarcane SCA… Read More →

Ann Pool Receives President’s Award for Academic Advising

Ann Pool, right, with Bonnie Bustos-Rios. Photo by Ann Pool.

Congratulations to Senior Academic Advisor Ann Pool as she received the President’s Award for Academic Advising during the University Advisors and Counselors awards breakfast meeting on May 2 at the MSC. The award is given to the advisor that goes above and beyond their usual duties to help with the mission of academic advising at the university. Since joining the Department in 2013, Pool has been advising undergrads in the Entomology and Forensic and Investigative Sciences programs and those pursuing double majors and minors in the Department. Pool… Read More →