SARIF Summer GRA Award – Michelle Odoi

Congratulations, Michelle!! The 2020 Faculty Senate Research Council Summer Graduate Research Assistantship Committee and the Office of Research & Engagement (ORE) has made its funding decisions, awarding Michelle Odoi a $3600 stipend for the summer. Michelle is a PhD student with a concentration on Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions. She is under the tutelage of Drs. Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry and Robert Trigiano. Her proposal is titled Hunger Solution in West Africa: Genetic Diversity and Spatial Distribution of Native Frafra Potato Plants. This project had been previously worked on by her mentor, Dr. Hadziabdic-Guerry in Africa during her Fulbright fellowship. You can view Michelle Odoi’s proposal here We are very proud of Michelle and can’t wait to see where her accomplishments take her!…

The adult female ambrosia beetle and ambrosial fungi in the gallery

Granulate Ambrosia Beetles

Dr. Jason Oliver at the TSU Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville alerted us that they had caught a single granulate ambrosia beetle adult and two black stem borers in their ethyl alcohol baited trap when it was checked on Wednesday, March 18. As spring approaches, so too do the emergence of these pests as temperatures at or above 70 degrees F are conducive for ambrosia beetle activity. They primarily attack trees that are stressed and dormant, which many plants, especially if they were not irrigated last August through October could have been damaged by the flash drought. Often, these plants will not show signs of stress because of their dormancy. The granulate ambrosia beetle is an invasive pest from…

Portrait Wanwan Liang

Accomplishments From a Recent Graduate, Dr. Wanwan Liang

  Dr. Wanwan Liang (class of 2019 and former EPP graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Jerome Grant) recently published her fourth manuscript from her doctoral research conducted at the University of Tennessee. Her manuscripts were published in four prestigious journals: Biological Invasions, Ecological Modeling, Environmental Entomology, and Remote Sensing. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Center of Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University and can be contacted at wliang5@ncsu.edu. Dr. Liang was an amazing student during her time here at UT. She excelled academically and socially; she fit right at home here in our department. She even stopped by to help with last year’s Buggy Buffet! We are very proud of her. If you get…

Amani Khalil smiling candidly after her research poster was awarded "Best Judged Poster"

Amani Khalil Awarded “Judged Best Poster” from SSAWG Conference 2020!

Amani Khalil– Mani to her friends– recently won the poster competition at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) this past week in Little Rock, Arkansas. She competed against 36 other posters from other students, extension agents, and organizations. Mani is a Graduate Research Assistant and working on her MS. She is tackling the interaction between native perennials and pollinators and follows the mentorship of Dr. Laura Russo. We are very proud of your accomplishment, Mani. Please keep up the great work!!

Marlo Black, equipped with proper lab equipment, pipettes material for a research experiment.

Marlo Black Awarded Undergraduate National Conference on Urban Entomology (NCUE) Scholarship!

Congratulations are in order for young Marlo Black who recently became the BS scholarship winner for the 2020 NCUE conference! In addition to her $1500 scholarship, Marlo is receiving complimentary registration for this year’s meeting in Mobile, AL where she will get to deliver her research paper during the main session at the conference. Marlo is co-advised by Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell, Dr. Karen Vail, and Jennifer Chandler. Along with her advisors, the rest of us in EPP are beyond proud and excited about Marlo’s accomplishment. Thank you for all that you do and congratulations!!

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