New Paper on Relative Attractiveness of Ornamental Cultivars to Pollinators

Ornamental plants are generally considered to be less attractive to pollinating insects, but some varieties and cultivars are more attractive than others. Here we compare the relative attractiveness of different popular ornamental plants to flower-visiting insects and provide recommendations for more pollinator-friendly varieties. View the open-access article Please feel free to email Dr. Laura Russo with any questions concerning this project: lrusso@utk.edu

On the left, Swati showcasing a plant seed in a laboratory; top right, Matthew identifying insects in a laboratory; bottom right, Rebecca collecting rodents out in the field

EPP STUDENTS EXCELLED at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-20, 2019

ESA Meeting 2019 Faculty, post-docs, staff, and students from the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology participated in the Annual Entomological Society of America National meeting held in St. Louis, MO. Seven graduate students presented oral papers either in the Student Competition or in the invited Symposium. Swati Mishra, a PhD student working with Dr. Juan Jurat-Fuentes, co-organized two symposia, and three students were invited to speak in a symposium. Congratulations to two EPP students for winning first place in their individual student competitions. Rebecca Butler, a PhD student working with Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell, won 1st place for her study of ecological relationships of ectoparasites on rodents in western Tennessee. Matthew Longmire, an MS student working with Dr. Jerome…

Russ enjoying a dinner with his wife and friends during his retirement

Passing of Former EPP Faculty Charles Russel Patrick III

It is with deep sorrow we announce that we lost one of our own Nov. 20th, 2019. Before Russ (pictured left) worked for us, he was a part of the TN Department of Agriculture and primarily worked on cyst nematodes. He then happily moved onto our department and worked with all crops but had expertise on corn, soybean, and stored grain. When he wasn’t working, he was either messing with Ham radios or volunteering for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. He eventually retired from our UT Extension Service and became a member of our Emeritus Faculty. He is survived by his wife, who he had been married to for 50 years (Pat Patrick), his daughter (Lynn Box), granddaughter (Addison Box),…

Closeup of the Asian longhorned tick's different life development stages (adult, nymph, and larva)

Grant to Support Dr. Trout Fryxell’s Research on the Asian Longhorned Tick

Congratulations! Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell has just been awarded a grant for her research regarding the Asian Longhorned Tick by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). The aim is to halt the spread of this invasive tick species, a problem with both canines and cattle. With this funding, greater resources can be pulled in to help identify solutions. FFAR’s contribution of $150,000 was matched by the University of Tennessee, making a $300,000 effort against this invasive. Please check the following news releases on the matter: FFAR’s News Release UTIA’s News Release EurekAlert!’s News Release (includes video)    

A grandpa panicking as a rose-haired tarantula climbs atop his head, while his granddaughter stares at him with curiosity

Ag Day 2019

The Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology Crawling to the Top at Ag Day Every year, the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture hosts an event that encompasses agriculture, tailgating, and Big Orange spirit. While Ag Day includes many departments, none of them quite leave the same impression as ours does. The photo above has Rosie, Dr. Grant’s rose-haired tarantula, trying to get a peek at the festivities. Check out the other photos to see our team represent UT spirit:  

EPP Graduate Student Honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellow

Julian Cosner, a Ph.D. student in EPP, is one of five PhD students recently honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellows. Tennessee Doctoral Fellows are chosen every three years; this is only the second group of fellows at UT. The fellowships are funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and UT’s Graduate School. Congratulations, Julian! For more information, please see UT News here.

Nourolah Soltani receives the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award from APS

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) announces that Nourolah Soltani received the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award to supports his travel to the APS meeting in Cleveland, OH. Mr. Soltani was also awarded support for travel from the Plant Research Center and the Graduate Student Senate. At the meeting, he will present two posters on the quinoa-Cucumber mosaic virus interaction.

Nourolah Soltani Poster Featured in Pendergrass Library

The poster created by Nourolah Soltani was chosen for display by Pendergrass Library as an example of the #betterposter approach. Research on the impact of infection of quinoa by Cucumber mosaic virus on expression of genes regulating terpene biosynthesis is described in the poster. Nourolah will present the poster at the American Phytopathological Society meeting in Cleveland (Aug. 3- 7). Dr. Meg Staton, and Dr. Kimberly Gwinn are also authors on the poster.