Dr. Laura Russo recently published a manuscript showing bee preference for an invasive thistle may be associated with higher protein content in the pollen. The paper can be found here.
National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators of all types and to spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Check out the podcast by Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, Assistant Professor and Extension Apiculturist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee where she discusses honey bee pollination.
The Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) Robert May early career researcher award is named after Lord May, from the University of Oxford. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted by an early career author at the start of their research career. The winning paper: Laura Russo, Adam D. Miller, John Tooker et al. Quantitative evolutionary patterns in bipartite networks: Vicariance, phylogenetic tracking or diffuse co-evolution? Methods Ecol Evol 2018, 9:3. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12914 Here is excerpt from BSE: Dr. Laura Russo led work to develop a framework that can incorporate species traits or behaviours to investigate diffuse evolutionary patterns within ecological communities, using plant-pollinator interactions as a case study. The study of interactions and their impacts
Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition
A recent paper in Current Biology by DeWayne Shoemaker and colleagues from the University of Georgia describes a socially polymorphic population of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, in which multi-queen colonies produce queens asexually but produce workers sexually via matings with males from the sexually reproducing single-queen social form. Two distinct asexual lineages from multi-queen colonies likely originated from the same sexual single-queen population. Multiple asexual/polygyne genomes are transmitted undiluted in this system, but sterile workers produced with sperm from a sexually-reproducing/monogyne population are necessary for the persistence of these lineages. The intersection of social polymorphism, facultative asexuality, and genetic caste determination marks this population of S. geminata as an embodiment of the diversity of ant reproductive systems and suggests previously
Check out the recent article about Dr. Jurat-Fuentes at: https://news.utk.edu/2019/04/05/jurat-fuentes-destroying-insects-from-the-inside-out/ Also, see a related video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glbbYa7MB-8
Since 2011, Biltmore Estate has run international rose trials where rose breeders and growers submit new roses for a two-year trial. Winning roses from the trials are considered to be some of the best roses in the world. Dr. Mark Windham has been invited to become a permanent judge for the International Jury for the Biltmore International Rose Trials competition. Additionally, he has been selected to participate in the annual formal international judging, which is attended by rose enthusiasts from across the globe. These invitations are a very big honor in the “rose world.” Dr. Windham was not chosen for his ability to grow roses (very modest skills at best), but for his ongoing research on rose diseases and for
The Entomology and Plant Pathology Department was saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Carroll J. Southards on January 2, 2019. Dr. Southards joined the department (previously called Ag Biology) in 1965 as an assistant professor in Nematology. In 1974, Dr. Southards became head of the department of Ag Biology and under his leadership, the departmental name was changed to the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. During Dr. Southards 20+ year tenure as department head, the department grew and flourished. Among his achievements were increasing diversity within the department and the development of departmental programs that assisted the citizenry of Tennessee. He also served as counselor to the President of the UT System from 1979-1981. Faculty, staff
Ratnasri Mallipeddi took first place in the student competition for President’s Prize for her presentation in the Physiology Biochemistry and Toxicology section 2 at the 2018 ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The title of her talk was “Biochemical and transcriptome characterization of the cellulolytic system in Thermobia domestica for identification of novel enzymes with industrial applications.” The presentation was co-authored by Brian Johnson, William Klingeman, Margaret Staton, and Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes. According to Dr. Jurat-Fuentes, “Ratnasri’s research has not only resulted in the discovery of a wide array of new plant cell wall degrading enzyme (PCWDE) genes from very primitive insects that may have applications to increase efficacy of ethanol biofuel production, but more importantly
Dr. Sean Ryan, a postdoctoral researcher in the EPP Department, Dr. DeWayne Shoemaker, and an international team of more than three dozen researchers published a paper highlighting the potential of citizen science to address pressing research challenges in agriculture and food systems. One key to capitalizing on such efforts, the researchers find, may be to build stronger ties between citizen science and agricultural extension efforts. A press article summarizing the article is here and a free copy (open access) of the original paper can be downloaded from the journal web site.