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          Spring 2018 Newsletter 
We are very pleased to announce that two new Assistant Professors will be joining the Department of Entomology this fall! 
Dr. Karin Burghardt joins us from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Her work focuses on human-mediated impacts on insect herbivore communities and populations. She combines observational and experimental data to understand the intimate relationship between insect herbivores and their host plants and the subsequent ramifications of this relationship for other trophic levels and ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. She examines these questions within human-dominated landscapes (suburban yards, old fields, and agro/urban forest) with a focus on how global change factors (nitrogen deposition, non-native species introductions, agriculture) may shift the fundamental nature of these relationships. Read more about Dr. Burghardt>>
Dr. Anahí Espíndola joins us from the University of Idaho. Her research focuses on the role that abiotic and biotic interactions play in driving the complexity of natural communities and ecosystems. Why and how species interact, and the mechanisms determining if species establish, evolve, persist, or go extinct are the fundamental questions addressed by her research.  Dr.Espíndola earned her Ph.D. from the E-vol Laboratory, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Read more about Dr. Espindola>>
Dr. Shrewsbury Nominated for Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension by ESA Eastern Branch!

The Entomological Society of America Eastern Branch has awarded Dr. Paula Shrewsbury the top nomination for the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension for outstanding contributions in the areas of entomology teaching and extension. This nomination was recognized at the Eastern Branch Meeting. Nominees are considered for the Society–level awards given at the Entomological Society of America’s Annual Meeting.  Congratulations to Dr. Paula Shrewsbury for being nominated! Read more>>
Dr. Shapiro Named TLTC Elevate Fellow!

Congratulations to Dr. Leo Shapiro, who joined the UMD Teaching & Learning Transformation Center's 2018 Elevate Fellows cohort! Over the next year, Dr. Shapiro will work to implement innovative, research-based, student-centered teaching and learning strategies in Principles of Ecology & Evolution, a high-enrollment undergraduate course in the introductory biology series. The Fellowship includes $8,000 in funding and the opportunity to work with TLTC to re-imagine and re-design content delivery and test the effectiveness of the new approach. Learn more about TLTC's Elevate Fellows Program
Dr. Palmer Receives Ruth Patrick Award from ASLO!

The Ruth Patrick Award is given to scientists who have made outstanding contributions towards solving environmental problems. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography (ASLO) has awarded Dr. Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland, College Park this distinguished honor in recognition for being a champion of solution-driven science for the protection of freshwaters. The award will be presented at the ASLO Summer Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia in June 2018.

Congratulations Dr. Palmer! Read the full press release here.
Dr. vanEngelsdorp Named Highly Cited Researcher for Second Year in a Row!
Congratulations to Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp for making the Clarivate Analytics’ 2017 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science. Dr. vanEngelsdorp's research focuses on using an epidemiological approach to assess honey bee health. Read more>>
MacCracken Receives Big Ten Academic Alliance Smithsonian Fellowship!

Entomology Ph.D. candidate Gussie MacCracken receives Big Ten Academic Alliance Smithsonian Fellowship. During her fellowship year, Gussie will be researching insect herbivory on fossil leaves from the Late Cretaceous (~75 million years ago) in North America. She will be using a paleobotanical collection from New Mexico to study the diversity and intensity of insect herbivory at the National Museum of Natural History. Gussie will also conduct fieldwork in Coahuila, Mexico to collect a new fossil flora and study its insect damage. These two projects will tie into her overall dissertation on the biogeography of plant-insect associations during the Late Cretaceous of western North America. 
Congratulations to the recipients of the Spring 2018 Ernest N. Cory Undergraduate Scholarship!

This scholarship provides up to $1,000 for undergraduate students each semester who have creatively contributed to Entomology Department research and/or extension efforts. Recipients include:
​Lyra Morina (Fritz Lab)
Lily Durkee (Gruner Lab)
Chloe Garfinkel​ (Lamp Lab)
Bijal Kikani (Pick Lab)
Ebony Argaez (Pick Lab)
A belated welcome to the new grad students joining us this spring!

Left to Right: Darsy Smith, PhD student, Hooks Lab; Lindsay Barranco, MS student, vanEngelsdorp Lab; Zachary Lamas, PhD student, vanEngelsdorp Lab.
Photo Caption: UMD’s victorious Linnaean Games team and their coaches Rebeccah Waterworth and Kelly Hamby.

UMD Linnaean Team Headed to National Competition in Vancouver!
UMD’s team placed second in the Linnaean Games competition hosted by the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America in Annapolis, Maryland, earning a spot to compete at the national meeting this November in Vancouver, Canada. Competitors buzz-in to demonstrate their knowledge of entomological facts and trivia in 4-person teams. This year’s bracket included teams from Virginia Tech, Penn State, and University of Delaware. After a solid victory over Penn State in the first round, UMD was narrowly defeated, scoring 90 points to Delaware’s 100.

Nicely done Brock Couch, Addie Dubey, Morgan Thompson, and Becca Wilson-Ounekeo!
Samuel  Ramsey, Ph.D. student in the vanEngelsdorp Lab, is one of many researchers helping beekeepers improve pollinator health. Nevada station, KOLO, reminds audiences that beekeepers are not facing challenges alone. Samuel's research was mentioned in KOLO's news broadcast titled, "MADE IN NEVADA: Hall's Honey." 
Samuel Ramsey of the vanEngelsdorp Lab successfully defended in Ph.D. dissertation in April: 

"Elucidation of novel nutritional, developmental, and behavioral adaptations for host exploitation in the mesostigmatid honey bee parasite varroa destructor."
Crystal Cooke of the Mitter Lab successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in December 2017 and will be graduating this Spring: 

"Forest micro-hymenoptera, including those attacking trees (cynipidae oak gall wasps) and those potentially defending them (parasitic pteromalidae)."
Mengyao Chen of the Pick Lab successfully defended her M.S. thesis in March:
"Hemipteran insects as models for understanding segmentation."
Image by Patrick Semansky / AP

Entomology Alum, Dr. Christopher Swan (Ph.D., 2003, Palmer Lab) comments in The Atlantic on using vacant lots to investigate urban ecosystems. Read more >>
Jackie Hoban (M.S., 2017, Shrewsbury Lab) was interviewed and cited in Science News this past December. The article is about the emerald ash borer. 

Quote: "It’s “a major, major pest,” says entomologist Jackie Hoban of the University of Maryland in College Park. “It’s so sad — you see entire patches of trees just dead.”

Read more>>
Image by Espeland et al. in Current Biology

Butterflies play an important part in our understanding of evolution and community ecology. However, we have yet to have a comprehensive map of how butterflies are related to each other --until now. Dr. Akito Kawahara (Ph.D., 2010, Mitter Lab) and Marianne Espeland led a team effort to produce a bigger, better butterfly evolutionary tree. Read more>>
Dively G, ^Venugopal PD, Bean D, Whalen J, Holmstrom K, Kuhar T, Doughty H, *Patton T, Cissel W, Hutchison W. 2018. Regional pest suppression associated with widespread Bt maize adoption benefits vegetable growers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:

Lloyd M, Tumas H, Neel M. 2018. Limited pollen dispersal, small genetic neighborhoods, and biparental inbreeding in Vallisneria americana. American Journal of Botany. doi:

Izzo V, Chen Y, Schoville S, Wang  C, Hawthorne D. 2018. Origin of Pest Lineages of the Colorado Potato Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).  Journal of Economic Entomology.  DOI:

Daffern N, Chen Z, Zhang Y, Pick L, Radhakrishnan I. 2018. Solution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of the Ligand-Binding Domain of an Orphan Nuclear Receptor Reveal a Dynamic Helix in the Ligand-Binding Pocket.  Biochemistry. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00069

Shultz J. 2018. A Guide to the Identification of the Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) of Maryland. Northeastern Naturalist. DOI:

Shultz J. 2018. A new species of Leiobunum from Arizona, U. S. A. highlights the limits of typological classification in harvestmen (Opiliones: Sclerosomatidae: Leiobuninae). Zootaxa. DOI:
^Steinhauer N, ^Kulhanek K, Antúnez K, Human H, Chantawannakul P, Chauzat MP, vanEngelsdorp D. 2018. Drivers of colony losses. Current Opinion in Insect Science. DOI:

Zhang X, St. Leger RJ, Fang W. 2018. Stress‐induced pyruvate accumulation contributes to cross protection in a fungus.  Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.14058

^Buchanan A, Hooks CRR. 2018. Influence of Winter Cover Crop Mulch on Arthropods in a Reduced Tillage Cucurbit System. Environmental Entomology. DOI:
Wallace CM, Daughtrey ML, Rane K, Salazar CS, Crouch JA. 2018. First report of Peronospora sp. causing downy mildew disease on Geum sp. in Maryland and New York. Plant Disease. DOI:
^Epting SM, ^Hosen JD, ^Alexander LC, Lang MW, ^Armstrong AW, Palmer MA. 2018. Landscape metrics as predictors of hydrologic connectivity between Coastal Plain forested wetlands and streams. Hydrological Processes. DOI:

Lafferty K,  McLaughlin J, Gruner D, Bogar T, Bui A,  Childress J, Espinoza M, Forbes E, ^Johnston C,  Klope M,  Miller-ter Kuile A,  Lee M, Plummer K, Weber D, Young R, Young S. 2018. Local extinction of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) following rat eradication on Palmyra Atoll. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0743
Scott M, Gould F, Lorenzen M, Grubbs N, Edwards O, O’Brochta D. 2017. Agricultural production: assessment of the potential use of Cas9-mediated gene drive systems for agricultural pest control. Journal of Responsible Innovation. DOI:

Shofner M, Marbach G. 2017. Group Activity to Enhance Student Collaboration, Graph Interpretation, and Peer Evaluation of Ecological Concepts in a Large-Enrollment Class. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. DOI: 10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1387
Bold ENTM Faculty; ^ENTM current/former graduate student or post-doc; *ENTM research staff
Image by Kevin Lafferty 
Dr. Fritz Quoted in The Scientist!
Dr. Megan Fritz quoted in The Scientist commenting on Dr. Daniel Gruner's research publication titled, "Local extinction of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) following rat eradication on Palmyra Atoll."

Quote: “This is an interesting paper that opens up the fascinating possibility that eradicating one human-introduced pest, which would be the rats, could lead to the secondary elimination of another human-introduced pest, A. albopictus,” says entomologist Megan Fritz of the University of Maryland who was not involved with the study. “The findings have implications for conservation biology and habitat restoration and possibly even human health in sparsely populated tropical island communities.” Read more>>
Image by Michael Raupp
Dr. Michael Raupp on Invasive Insects!

Spring has arrived and so have the insects, including invasive. This has many people asking what the invasion will mean for their communities and what they can do to fight the spread. To get answers, journalist turn to the bug guy, Dr. Raupp. 

The Spotted Lanternfly invaded Pennsylvania, Deleware and now Virginia. WTOP asks Dr. Raupp what this invasion means for the State of Virginia and what can be done. Read more>>

Dr. Raupp tells Kojo Nnamdi Show listeners what they need to know about invasive species. Listen>>

Dr. Raupp comments in The New Yorker on whether we'll ever be able to get rid of the brown marmorated stink bug. Read more »
Image by Edwin Remsberg/Remsberg Inc

Entomologists help Abkhazia understand the biology, threats, and management of brown marmorated stink bug
The United States is not the only country recently invaded by the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). In addition to several other countries in Europe and Asia, the Republic of Abkhazia, part of the former Soviet Union, recently received this unwanted visitor. BMSB has become a major pest on important crops including hazelnuts, grapes, and other fruits and is invading homes by the thousands. The United States Department of State and World Learning Incorporated contacted the Department of Entomology to arrange a visit with our leaders and scientists to learn about the brown marmorated stink bug. Read more>>

Dr. Raupp Weighs in on Bedbug Infestations in Local Cities!

In January, Atlanta-based pest control company Orkin released its "Top 50 Bed Bugs Cities" report, listing Baltimore and Washington as leading cities in bedbug infestations. In response, Direct Connection on Maryland Public Television aired expert advice from Dr. Michael Raupp on protecting your home from bedbugs. 
Image by Edwin Remsberg/Remsberg Inc
Dr. Via on Planting Climate-Smart Gardens!
The effects of climate change is already causing changes in temperatures and precipitation, impacting many aspects of our lives, including gardening. Dr. Via tells us there are many ways that gardeners can respond to climate change. Learn what steps you can take by listening to Yale Climate Connections latest episode, "How to plant a climate-smart garden ". Listen>>
written by Andrew Gravito, Apiary Manager  

This year the vanEngelsdorp Bee Lab started selling our honey for the first time! The Lab maintains between 100 and 200 colonies year-round for various research experiments conducted by undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Honey is a byproduct of maintaining these research colonies. Honey bees collect nectar from flowers and process it into honey by removing the excess moisture. Bees have been bred to produce a surplus of honey, so invariably a beekeeper ends up with honey every year. The extra honey is harvested from the honeycomb and the empty combs are returned to the bees. Honey Extraction day is always a party, this year we had almost 20 people from the lab come help! In previous years we were only able to harvest enough honey to use as gifts. This year we harvested about 1,400 pounds, which was too much to give away! You can find us in front of the Stamp Student Union throughout the semester selling honey: 6 oz jars for $7.00 and 1 lb jars for $15.00. All the proceeds from the sale of honey directly support ongoing research. 
Check Out UMD Entomology's Insect Zoo and Discover the Swamp exhibits at Maryland Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018!
Discover a Swamp – Room 1162, all day
Capture and observe the small aquatic creatures that are common in nearby wetlands. Learn about their behavior as they swim through water and climb on plants

Insect Petting Zoo – Room 1161, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Imagine tarantulas, exotic insects, scorpions, bees and millipedes longer than your hand for you to look at and touch—if you dare.

Images below by Edwin Remsberg/Remsberg Inc
Save the Date: Science on Tap with Samuel Ramsey April 25th
Mark your calendars for Samuel Ramsey's lecture, "What's Eating the Bees?" taking place April 25th at the MilkBoy ArtHouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. Ramsey's talk is part of the new CMNS lecture series, Science on Tap. RSVP at Space is limited. 

Research, teaching, and extension have been the backbone of the Department of Entomology for more than 100 years. Our faculty, students and post-doctoral fellows remain committed to these three areas, in addition to outreach and public service. We maintain our historical focus on insects and their relatives, but the Department's interests also span a diversity of subdisciplines, including ecology, aquatic biology, molecular and developmental biology, genetics, biological control of insects and weeds, systematics, evolutionary biology, integrated pest management, toxicology, and insect pathology.

Like what we do and interested in supporting Entomology Grads? Give to the Allen Steinhauer Fund Scholarship. This fund provides scholarships for graduate students who are advised by faculty members in the Department of Entomology.
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University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA / Phone 301.405.1000

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