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             Fall 2018 Newsletter 
Paula Shrewsbury Receives Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension
Paula Shrewsbury, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension during the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). This award recognizes outstanding contributions to extension entomology.
Read full announcement here>> 
Morgan Thompson Wins 10-Minute Paper Competition 

Morgan Thompson (ENTM MS student, Lamp Lab) was awarded first place in the Student 10-minute Paper Competition at the ESA Meeting. Morgan’s award-winning talk: "Can aboveground potato leafhopper (Empoascafabae) feeding disrupt belowground nitrogen fixation in alfalfa?"

Enjoy an abstract of the paper here>>
ENTM Alum Named ESA Fellow

Congratulations to Maria Alma Solis (Ph.D. '89, UMD Entomology), who was named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America at the 2018 ESA meeting. 

Read full announcement here>>
New Report Says UMD Entomology  Researchers Among Most Highly Cited

Congratulations to Associate Professors Dennis vanEngelsdorp & Daniel Gruner for making the Clarivate Analytics’ 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.

VanEngelsdorp’s research focuses on using an epidemiological approach to assess honey bee health. 

Gruner studies insects and plants to explore the dynamic interplay of biodiversity, food web interactions and ecosystem function in rapidly changing environments. 

Read full announcement here>>
Image Credit:  United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Galen Dively Shares Recommendations for Fall Armyworm Management With UNs' Food and Agriculture Organization

Fall Armyworms are spreading fast across Africa, devastating crops. The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies for Food & Agriculture is looking for ways to help control the pest. This Sept, they invited Dr. Galen Dively to share his expertise in pest management. 

Read the full USUN news release here>> 
Pick Lab Published in the New England Journal of Medicine
The Pick Lab contributed to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine from the Undiagnosed Disease Network (link below). Pick lab members used Drosophila as a model system to assess the molecular underpinnings of a mutation in human patients that results in differences in sexual development.  Contributing authors from Pick Lab: Leslie Pick (Professor & Chair), Alys Jarvela (Postdoc) & Bijal Kikani (Undergraduate Biological Sciences Major).

Since the paper's release it has been covered by multiple media outlets:
Image credit: Anahi Espindola & Tara Pelletier

Anahí Espíndola Published in PNACS

Congratulations to Entomology's Anahí Espíndola, co-author of a new research paper, “Predicting plant conservation priorities on a global scale,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Anahi co-developed a machine learning algorithm that predicts which plant species may be eligible for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers hope this algorithm will help prioritize conservation efforts. 

Read the CMNS press release here>>

Other notable media mentions include WIRED Smithsonian.
David Hawthorne Published In Nature Sustainability
Professor David Hawthorne has a paper out in Nature Sustainability titled, “Antibiotic and pesticide susceptibility and the Anthropocene operating space.”

​This first assessment of planetary boundaries for antibiotic and pesticide resistance shows several boundaries have already been crossed. “Based on current trends in antibiotic, insecticide and herbicide resistance, we conclude that the states of all six assessed variables are beyond safe zones, with three variables surpassed regionally or globally.”

Find full press release on SESYNC’s news page. 
Rebecca Wilson-Ounekeo Successfully Defends Thesis

Congratulations Dr. Rebecca Wilson-Ounekeo (Lamp Lab), UMD ENTM Grad Program's newest Ph.D. graduate, for successfully defending her doctoral dissertation: "Spatial Distribution, Habitat Preference, and Societal Impact of the Nuisance Black Fly, Simulium jenningsi"
Congratulations again & best of luck in all your future endeavors, wherever these may take you!
Peter Coffey Successfully Defends Thesis

Peter Coffey, UMD Extension's Small Farm and Alternative Agriculture Educator in Carroll County, is UMD ENTM Grad Program's newest MS graduate. Congratulations Peter Coffey (Hooks Lab) for successfully defending your thesis, "Can cover crop residues suppress pests and improve yield in eggplant?" 

Best of luck to Peter Coffey as he continues his career! 
Gussie MacCracken Receives Smithsonian Scholarly Award

Gussie MacCracken (Ph.D. Student Shultz Lab) and her Smithsonian-based co-advisor, Conrad Labandeira, received a highly competitive Smithsonian Scholarly Award of $39,000 to fund their project " Plant-insect associations and paleoecology of the Cerro del Pueblo Formation (Late Cretaceous, 72.5 Ma) of Mexico"
Lyra Morina Winner of Bioscience Day Poster Competition

Lyra Morina, CBMG
undergrad & researcher in Fritz Lab, is among the winners of the Bioscience Day Poster Competition. Her winning poster, “Characterizing Cytoplasmic Incompatibility induced by Wolbachia Prophage Insertions in Culex pipiens Complex Mosquitoes” was presented in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology category. Congratulations Lyra!
Julianna Greenberg Wins MD Water Monitoring Council’s Student Poster Competition 
Congratulations, Julianna Greenberg (Biological Sciences Undergrad, Palmer Lab) for winning first place in the Student Poster Competition at the Maryland Water Monitoring Council’s Annual Meeting. Julianna’s winning poster, " Evaluating the effects of system maturation on pollutant loads from stream-wetland complexes”, is on display in the hallway outside of room 4129. 
Ernst Cory Undergraduate Student Fellowship
The Cory Fellowship is awarded for career accomplishments within the Department of Entomology. Recipients creatively contribute to department research and extension. Recipients for Spring 2019 include:

Justin Lee (Shultz Lab) 
Maddie Potter (Shrewsbury Lab) 
Catherine Trelstad (Pick Lab) 
Betsy Wang (Gruner Lab) 
Espíndola A & Pliscoff P. 2018. The Relationship Between Pollinator Visits and Climatic Suitabilities in Specialized Pollination Interactions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Pelletier TA, Carstens BC, Tank D, Sullivan J & Espíndola A. 2018. Predicting plant conservation priorities on a global scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Gornish E, ^Coffey P, Tiles K & Roche LM. 2018. Careers in Cooperative Extension. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
^Avanesyan, A. 2018. Should I Eat or Should I Go? Acridid Grasshoppers and Their Novel Host Plants: Potential for Biotic Resistance. Plants. DOI:
^Rosario-Lebron A, ^Leslie A, Yurchak V, Chen G & Hooks CRR. 2018. Can winter cover crop termination practices impact weed suppression, soil moisture, and yield in no-till soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]?.Crop Protection.

^Kahl HM, ^Leslie A & Hooks CRR. 2018. Effects of Red Clover Living Mulch on Arthropod Herbivores and Natural Enemies, and Cucumber Yield. Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Jennings DE,  Duan JJ & Shrewsbury PM.2018.Comparing Methods for Monitoring Establishment of the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis, Coleoptera: Buprestidae) Egg Parasitoid Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in Maryland, USA. Forests.

Vaudo A.D., Fritz ML &  López-Uribe MM. 2018. Opening the Door to the Past: Accessing Phylogenetic, Pathogen, and Population Data From Museum Curated Bees. Insect Systematics and Diversity.

Splinter K, ... [& 33 others including ^Jarvela A, Kikani B & Pick L] for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network. 2018. Effect of Genetic Diagnosis on Patients with Previously Undiagnosed Disease. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI:

^Johnston CA, Rankin EEW ,Gruner DS. 2018. Foraging connections: patterns of prey use linked to invasive predator diel movement. PLoS ONE.

Rankin EEW, Knowlton JL, Gruner DS... [and 6 others].2018.Vertical foraging shifts in Hawaiian forest birds in response to invasive rat removal. PLos ONE.

^Johnston CA & Gruner DS. 2018. Marine fauna sort at fine resolution in an ecotone of shifting wetland foundation species.Ecological Society of America.

Disque HH, Hamby KA, ^Dubey A, ^Taylor C &  Dively GP. 2018. Effects of clothianidin‐treated seed on the arthropod community in a mid‐Atlantic no‐till corn agroecosystem. Pest Management Science.

Opoku J, Kleczewski NM, Hamby KA, Herbert DA, Malone S and Mehl HL. 2018. Relationship between invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and fumonisin contamination of field corn in the mid-Atlantic U.S.The American Phytopathological Society.

Thomas CA, Nelson KC, Kubas A, ^Steinhauer N, Wilson, E and vanEngelsdorp D. 2018. Beekeeper stewardship, colony loss, and Varroa destructor management. Ambio. DOI:

Bold ENTM Faculty; ^ENTM current/former graduate student or post-doc; *ENTM research staff
Image Credit: Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware

Karin Burghardt Quoted In Popular Science

UMD Assistant Professor, Karin Burghardt comments on a new study out from the University of Delaware, co-authored by  Douglas W. Tallamy (Ph.D. 80', UMD Entomology), that researched the effects of native plant species on a specific species of bird.

“We think about birds [in human landscapes] as mostly needing birdseed,” Burghardt says. But work over the past decade paints a different picture, one that points to the importance of insects for many. However, the vast majority of plant-eating insects are evolved to only eat a small number of native plants, which means that in gardens without the foliage of choice, they’re not around.
For human gardeners, as well, introducing native plants and seeing the wildlife—from caterpillars and other insects to birds—they attract can be “a pretty rewarding process,” Burghardt says.

Read the full article here>>
Image Credit: M.J. Raupp
Spotted Lanternfly Spotted in MD!

Confirmation of the spotted lanternfly in MD has Farms asking what this means for MD crops. For answers, they turn to, UMD Assistant Professor, Kelly Hamby. 

“This insect seems to cluster in big groups,” Hamby told “They pierce the plant tissue and sucks out the juices of the plant and filters the good stuff for themselves. While that’s going on, the insects also getting rid of the juices they don’t want.

“The excreted substance is called honeydew, and that can cause a lot of secondary problems because it can promote mold growth.”

Read the full article here>>
Image Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images file

Lisa Kuder Quoted In Associated Press 

Lisa Kuder, a Ph.D. student in Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab, is quoted in a story about insect declines.

University of Maryland entomology researcher Lisa Kuder says the usual close-crop "turf is basically like a desert" that doesn't attract flying insects. She found an improvement — 70 different species and records for bees — in the areas where flowers are allowed to grow wild and natural alongside roads
Read the full article here>>
Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Maile Neel's Research Featured in Maryland Sea Grant's Chesapeake Quarterly

What does it take to restore the once abundant underwater grasses of the Chesapeake Bay? Professor Maile Neel's research into the genetic diversity within these species of grasses points to new approaches for restoration managers. 

“She (Neel) has convinced us that we need to keep our seeds in the same region that they were harvested from,” Landry said. “Her argument is that it’s best to keep the plants local. It might be a waste of seeds and time if we move them too far — they might not be genetically suitable for the conditions in that spot. Plus, since they’ve found so much genetic diversity in the wild celery populations in the Bay, there’s no need to move the plants outside their region to increase diversity.”

Read more about how Neel's research is contributing to Bay restoration in this issue of 
Maryland Sea Grant's Chesapeake Quarterly
New and on-going research in the Entomology Department is supported by a variety of external funding sources, including federal agencies like USDA, NSF, and NIH; Maryland and other State agencies like the MD Department of Agriculture, the MD State Highway Association, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; and other sources like the Almond Board of California, the National Honey Board, and the North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation. For the past 5 fiscal years, Entomology has received over $4,000,000 in support from such sources as estimated by grant expenditures.

Of the 44 currently active research awards in Entomology, 16 were new in 
calendar year 2018. For more information on these awards read more>>

The Entomology Department at UMD is committed to encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in science. Sending students and faculty to meetings like SACNAS & ABRCMS is just one way the department is attempting to meet those commitments. Read more>>
Registration is open for the 2019 ADVANCED LANDSCAPE PLANT IPM PHC SHORT COURSE – sponsored by The Department of Entomology, University of Maryland-College Park. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today. The course will be held January 7-10, 2019.

Visit for more detailed information about this course and to download a printable registration form.
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.
Copyright © 2018 University of Maryland Department of Entomology, All rights reserved.

Department of Entomology, 4112 Plant Sciences Building 
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Contact us with comments, questions and feedback
Phone 301.405.3911 

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UMD ENTM · 4112 Dept of Entomology · College Park, Md 20742 · USA

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