Erik Smith and Aloy Gu declared 2014 Symposium winners

Our student winners at the annual department symposium are Erik Smith for best talk and Aloy Gu for best poster. Congratulations!!!

Winners were announced at the end of the symposium and presented with a certificate of excellence. They will receive a $50 gift. Cornell’s chapter of Sigma Xi is supporting the best talk award and Jugatae is funding the best poster award. Thanks to Dow Agrosciences, a new plaque will be purchased to feature winners each year in Comstock Hall, including last year’s winners: Heather Connelly, Calum Russell and Lucy Kafui Akosua Kavi.
Big thanks to all the student participants and judges.
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3rd Annual Jugatae Symposium a huge success

The 3rd annual Jugatae Entomology symposium was a great success.  Dr. David Grimaldi, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, and Cornell alumnus (’86), gave a great keynote lecture.  Dr. Kyle Wickings, the new faculty member of the department, led the day with an equally impressive overview of research his lab will initiate in the near future.

Students and postdocs were well represented, and each of three sessions were given to capacity audiences made of faculty staff and students from three different departments on campus.

Thanks to Suzi Claflin, Mia Park and Dan Olmstead for making the event a huge success.

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Evan Hoki published in the journal Biocontrol

Congrats to Evan Hoki, 2nd year masters student in the Losey Lab.  Evan published a peer-reviewed journal article examining the consumptive and non-consumptive effects of native and introduced lady beetles on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum).  Click here for a link to the article.

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Cornell students Caflin, Houtz and Schwenke Receive NSF Recognition for Grant Proposals

BIG congrats to Cornell University Entomology Students to Suzi Caflin (Thaler and Power Labs), Phil Houtz (Douglas Lab) and Robin Schwenke (Lazzaro Lab) for recognition of their proposals to the National Science Foundation Predoctoral Research Fellowship Program.

Suzi, a second year student, will receive a financial award for 3 years of graduate support.

Phil and Robin, first year students, both received honorable mentions for their proposals.

NSF received >13,000 applications this year.  Of those, 2000 received financial awards and 1762 received honorable mentions.

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Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski to give Jugatae Invited Speaker Seminar April 1st 2013

Jugatae is pleased to announce that Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski of the University of Florida Citris Research and Education Center will give the Jugatae Invited Speaker Seminar on April 1, 2013 at 3:30PM in 226 Weill Hall.  The Seminar can been seen in Geneva, Barton lab A137 as well.

Dr. Pelz-Stelinski will discuss:

“Vector-pathogen interactions: transmission of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and its effect on Asian citrus psyllid life history”

The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, which transmits the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), is responsible for the spread of citrus huanglongbing (HLB), throughout most of the world’s citrus-producing regions. Understanding the relationship between D. citri and Las is critical for the development of psyllid and HLB management programs. As part of a comprehensive study on this vector-pathogen interaction, we have conducted a series of studies investigating psyllid fitness, Las transmission, and replication of Las within the psyllid. Our results suggested that Las infection plays an important role in the fitness of D. citri, resulting in greater reproductive output from infected psyllids. Furthermore, nymph development time was shorter when D. citri fed on infected plants compared to healthy citrus. Decreased survival was observed in association with feeding on infected plants, suggesting that a trade-off may exist between these life-history traits in response to Las infection. Studies of acquisition and inoculation indicated that transmission of Las by Florida D. citri populations occurs at a lower rate than previously reported for other populations of D. citri and for the African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae, and that transmission may be mediated by temperature. Acquisition of Las was greatest in nymphs reared on infected plants, while a smaller percentage of psyllids acquired the bacterium during adult feeding. Transovarial and sexual routes of Las transmission may also provide significant contributions to the spread of Las in the absences of infected plant hosts. Inoculation experiments indicated that approximately10% of citrus plants developed HLB within one year after exposure to a single infected psyllid. Additionally, we show in a laboratory setting that Las apparently manipulates D. citri behavior to potentially facilitate further spread.

 

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Jugatae Luncheon with Niklas Wahlberg, 2013 Griswold Speaker

The Jugatae club will have a graduate student lunch on Monday 3/25 with Professor Niklas Wahlberg, the 2013 Griswold speaker.  Hosted by Drs. Jim Liebherr and Jason Dombroskie,  Wahlberg will give a seminar entitled “Elucidating reasons behind massive radiations in Lepidoptera over 215 million years.”  Dr. Wahlberg is currently a University Researcher at the Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology, University of Turku. His main area of research is the systematics and evolution of the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Special thanks to Jugatae secretary, Heather Connelly (Greg Loeb lab) and Sara Ali (Jennifer Thaler Lab) for organizing the event.

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