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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  22.10.14  /    /  No comments
Mungkin ramai yang percaya pest control hanya diperlukan setakat untuk mengawal serangga dan makhluk perosak di premis atau tempat anda menginap sahaja.

Tapi banyak juga kejadian yang berlaku menunjukkan bahawa pest control perlu selain daripada mengawal serangan serangga dan makhluk perosak, ia juga mampu selamatkan nyawa dan selamatkan juga perniagaan anda.

Memang betul orang gunakan khidmat pest control untuk mengawal serangan serangga dan makhlk perosak. Tak ada orang yang sanggup kongsikan semua makanan mereka dengan tikus yang berlari ke sana-sini dalam rumahnya.

Tak ada orang yang suka anak-anaknya bermain dengan lipas yang berbau busuk seperti najis di dalam rumah mereka. Dan tak ada orang yang sanggup lihat anak-anak atau diri mereka digigit binatang berbisa seperti semut api atau lipan bara.

Pest control selamatkan nyawa dan perniagaan

Namun begitu, ada lagi keutamaan dan kelebihan menggunakan khidmat pest control di tempat penginapan anda atau di pejabat atau tempat perniagaan anda. Cuba baca cerita berikut di bawah:

Wanita mati ketika tidur di dalam rumahnya

Ada satu kejadian di Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Seorang wanita bernama Rebecca Van Bibber yang berumur 55 tahun pergi melawat rumah anak lelakinya.

Ketika dia sedang tidur di salah satu bilik rumah anaknya, sebatang pokok telah tumbang menimpa rumah tersebut. Dan lebih malang lagi ia tumbang betul-betul pada tempat wanita tadi tidur.

Akibatnya wanita malang itu mati di tempat kejadian. Dilaporkan bukan saja wanita itu meninggal dunia, malah seekor anjing yang dipelihara oleh tuan rumah juga turut terkorban.

Siasatan ke atas kejadian menunjukkan pokok itu tumbang angkara kerosakan terusk yang dilakukan oleh anai-anai pada bantang pokok. Serangan anai-anai memang senyap sunyi atk dapat dikesan. Anda hanya tahu apabila pokok tumbang dan malapetaka menimpa.

Satu keluarga terpaksa keluar berpindah dari rumah

Satu lagi kejadian berlaku di Weldon Spring, Missouri. Satu keluarga telah berpindah masuk ke rumah baru yang baru mereka beli.

Mereka dapati rumha itu telah diserang oleh banyak labah-labah merbahaya. Mereka sangkakan satu rawatan pembersihan mudah dapat selesaikan semua masalah tersebut.

Tapi rupa-rupanya ia bukanlah semudah itu. Kerja pencucian rumah itu tidak dapat menghapuskan labah-labah yang telah bersembunyi di berbagai tempat dan ruang yang tersembunyi.

Kecewa dengan apa yang berlaku mereka telah saman penjual dan nasib baik kes itu telah dimenangi oleh mereka dan dibayar ganti rugi sebanyak $472,110.

Namun begitu, syarikat insurance mereka tidak mahu membiayai rawatan serangga dan makhluk perosak yang perlu dilakukan terhadap rumah tersebut. Binatang merayap labah-labah itu mesti dihapuskan terlebih dahulu sebelum rumah dapat diduduki.

Akhirnya mereka sekeluarga terpaksa berpindah dan keluar saja dari rumah yang telah mereka beli tersebut.

Perniagaan kena tutup akibat serangga penyakit

Dalam industri makanan, kebersihan adalah perkara yang paling utama perlu diambil kira. Sebuah restoran makanan Cina telah ditemui kotor apabila sebanyak 120 ekor lipas berada di dalam restoran itu.

Akibat daripada penemuan sebanyak 120 ekor lipas di dalam restoran itu, pihak berkuasa telah keluarkan notis penutupan restoran dengan serta merta.

Kedai makan itu hanya dibenarkan untuk beroperasi semula sehinggalah mereka berjaya menunjukkan lipas sudah tidak ada lagi bermaharaja lela di dalam kedai mereka. Penutupan itu membuat taukehnya mengalami kerugian wang dan juga sokongan pelanggan.

Dapatkan khidmat pest control segera

Dari cerita di atas, ternyata pest control bukan saja dapat jauhkan anda daripada serangan serangga dan makhluk perosak, malah dengan pest control anda mungkin dapat selamatkan nyawa dan perniagaan anda yang amat berharga.

Oleh itu dapatkan khidmat pest control daripada syarikat yang berlesen dan bertauliah di sekitar tempat anda tinggal. Pencegahan sentiasa jauh lebih baik untuk anda. Untuk dapatkan khidmat pest control di sekitar Shah Alam dan Petaling Jaya, anda boleh hubungi Izam 012-2067 357

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  21.10.14  /    /  No comments
The conclusions of a new meta-analysis of the systemic pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil confirm that they are causing significant damage to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species and are a key factor in the decline of bees.

Concern about the impact of systemic pesticides on a variety of beneficial species has been growing for the last 20 years but the science has not been considered conclusive until now.
Systemic Pesticides Pose Global Threat to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Undertaking a full analysis of all the available literature (800 peer reviewed reports) the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides - a group of global, independent scientists - has found clear evidence of harm, a threat to environment similar to that posed by the banned DDT and many of the organophosphate pesticides made illegal in recent years.

The science has progressed to the stage where it is now sufficient to trigger regulatory action and have suggested a global phase out of the products.

Intro to neonicotinoids

Unlike other pesticides, which remain on the surface of the treated foliage, systemic pesticides are taken up by the plants vascular system and transported to all the tissues (leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar).

They are increasingly used as a prophylactic to prevent pests rather than eradicate them once a problem has occurred. As a result of their extensive use, these substances are found in all environmental media including soil, water and air.

The metabolites of neonics and fipronil (the compounds which they break down into) are often as or more toxic than the active ingredients to non-target organisms

Environmental contamination by both parent and metabolites are able to persist and build up via a number of pathways.

These include dust generated during drilling of dressed seeds; build-up of concentrations after repeated application in arable soils and soil water; run-off into surface and ground waters; uptake of pesticides by non-target plants via their roots followed by translocation to the whole of the plant; dust and spray drift deposition on leaves; and wind- and animal-mediated dispersal of contaminated pollen and nectar from treated plants.

Persistence in soils, waterways and non-target plants is variable but can be long; for example, the half-lives of neonicotinoids in soils can exceed 1,000 days. Similarly, they can persist in woody plants for periods exceeding 1 year.

This increases their toxicity effects and makes them more damaging to non-target species. Breakdown results in toxic metabolites, though concentrations of these in the environment are rarely measured (Bonmatin et al. 2014).

Breakdown of the effect on species

Neonicotinoids and fipronil operate by disrupting neural transmission in the central nervous system of organisms.

Neonicotinoids bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, whereas fipronil inhibits the GABA receptor. Both pesticides produce lethal and a wide range of sublethal adverse impacts on invertebrates but also some vertebrates (Simon-Delso et al. 2014; Gibbons et al. 2014)

Most notable is the very high affinity with which neonicotinoid insecticides agonistically bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) such that even low-dose exposure over extended periods of time can culminate into substantial effects.

Even long term exposure at low, non-lethal levels can be harmful. Infograph analysis of the current data available for the effects of neonicotinoids on a range of taxonomic groups.

Showing the route and potential of exposure; the eco-toxicological effects on the individuals, populations and communities; and what ecosystem services are impacted.

The analysis found that the most affected groups of species were terrestrial invertebrates such as earthworms which are exposed at high levels via soil and plants, medium levels via surface water and leaching from plants and low levels via air.

Both individuals and populations can be adversely affected at even low levels and by acute exposure. This makes them highly vulnerable to the levels of neonics associated with agricultural use.

The next most affected group is insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies which are exposed to high contamination through air and plants and medium exposure levels through water.

Honeybees have been at the forefront of concern about neonics and fipronil to date and limited actions have been taken, for example by the EU Commission, but manufacturers of these neurotoxicants have refuted any claims of harm.

In reviewing all the available literature rather than simply comparing one report with another, the WIA has found that field-realistic concentrations of neonics adversely affect individual navigation, learning, food collection, longevity, resistance to disease and fecundity of bees.

For bumblebees, irrefutable colony-level effects have been found, with exposed colonies growing more slowly and producing significantly fewer queens. Both individuals and populations can be adversely affected by low or acute exposure making them highly vulnerable.

Then aquatic invertebrates such as freshwater snails and water fleas which are vulnerable to low and acute exposure and can be affected at the individual, population and community levels.

While vertebrate animals are generally less susceptible, bird populations are at risk from eating crop seeds treated with systemic insecticides, and reptile numbers have declined due to depletion of their insect prey.

Microbes were found to be affected after high levels of or prolonged exposure. Samples taken in water from around the world have been found to exceed ecotoxicological limits on a regular basis.

In addition to contaminating non-target species through direct exposure (e.g. insects consuming nectar from treated plants), the chemicals are also found in varying concentrations outside intentionally treated areas.

The water solubility of neonics mean that they leach and run-off easily and have been found to contaminate much wider areas leading to both chronic and acute exposure of organisms, including in riparian zones, estuarine and coastal marine systems.

Current Use

Neonicotinoids have become the most widely used group of insecticides globally, with a global market share now estimated at around 40% and sales of over US $2.63 billion in 2011.

This combination of persistence (over months or years) and solubility in water has led to large-scale contamination of, and the potential for build-up in, soils and sediments (ppb-ppm range), waterways (ground and surface waters in the ppt-ppb range) and treated and non-treated vegetation (ppb-ppm range).

Screening of these matrices for pesticides and their metabolites has not been done in a systematic and appropriate way in order to identify both the long-term exposure to low concentrations and the short-term erratic exposure to high concentrations.

However, where environmental samples have been screened, they were commonly found to contain mixtures of pesticides, including neonicotinoids or fipronil (with their toxic metabolites).

In addition, samples taken in ground and surface waters have been found to exceed limits based on regulatory ecological threshold values set in different countries in North America and Europe. The combination of prophylactic use, persistence, mobility, systemic properties and chronic toxicity is predicted to result in substantial impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

The body of evidence reviewed in this Worldwide Integrated Assessment indicates that the present scale of use of neonicotinoids and fipronil is not a sustainable pest management approach and compromises the actions of numerous stakeholders in maintaining and supporting biodiversity and subsequently the ecological functions and services the diverse organisms perform.

In modern agricultural settings, it is increasingly clear that insecticide treatments with neonicotinoids and fipronil—and most prominently its prophylactic applications—are incompatible with the original mindset that led to the development of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM).

Although IPM approaches have always included insecticide tools, there are other approaches that can be effectively incorporated with IPM giving chemicals the position of the last resort in the chain of preferred options that need be applied first.

Note that the current practice of seed treatment is the opposite: it applies chemicals as the first applied option instead of the last resort. Continued use can only accelerate global decline of important invertebrates and risk reduction in levels of diversity security and stability of ecosystem services.

Current legislation

Neonicotinoids have been subjected to various restrictions since their initial registration. In 1999, France banned imidacloprid as a seed dressing for sunflowers and in 2004 for corn after one-third of honeybees died after its use.

Germany and Italy followed suit in 2008 with clothianidin. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued reports in 2013 confirming that three of the five neonicotinoids approved for use in the European Commission (thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid) present acute risks to honey bee survival.

A “high acute risk” to honey bees was identified from exposure via dust drip for authorised uses in cereals, cotton, maize and oilseed rape. A “high acute risk” was also identified for exposure to the residues in nectar and/or pollen for authorised uses in cotton, oilseed rape and sunflowers.

The EFSA also identified other risks and major data gaps in the studies previously undertaken such as the effect on other pollinators such as bumblebees. The European Commission, based on the findings of the EFSA, then restricted the sale and use of neonicotinoid insecticides, specifically products containing clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

This restriction entered into force on December 1, 2013 and will be reviewed within two years. The restriction applies to the use of neonicotinoids for seed treatment, soil application (granules) and foliar treatment on plants and cereals (with the exception of winter cereals) that are attractive to bees. 

The Precautionary Principle “When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm” - Enshrined in the EU Commission Directive 1107/2009.

The European Commission did not invoke the Precautionary Principle when implementing the temporary suspension on neonicotinoids. The response was based on a sound, robust analysis of the science which led to a measured response.

Had the precautionary principle been considered, all uses of neonicotinoids would have been withdrawn due to the number of unknown risks that EFSA discovered during their analysis.

Going forward

The adequacy of the regulatory process in multiple countries for pesticide approval must be closely considered and be cognizant of past errors.

For example, other organochloride insecticides such as DDT were used all over the world before their persistence, bioaccumulation and disruptive impacts on ecosystem functioning were recognised, and they were subsequently banned in most countries.

Organophosphates have been largely withdrawn because of belated realisation that they posed great risks to human and wildlife health.

The systemic insecticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil, represent a new chapter in the apparent shortcomings of the regulatory pesticide review and approval process that do not fully consider the risks posed by large-scale applications of broad-spectrum insecticides.

There is an urgent need to reduce the use of these chemicals and to switch to sustainable methods of food production and pest control that do not further reduce global biodiversity and that do not undermine the ecosystem services upon which we all depend.

The authors strongly suggest that regulatory agencies apply more precautionary principles and further tighten regulations on neonicotinoids and fipronil and start planning for a global phase-out or at least start formulating plans for a strong reduction of the global scale of use.
Source

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  16.10.14  /    /  No comments
McDonald Canada terpaksa membuat siasatan rapi apabila adanya aduan pelanggan yang mendakwa bahawa dia telah menemui seekor tikus mati di dalam kopi McDonald yang dibelinya.

Ron Morais singgah di sebuah kedai makanan segera McDonald untuk membeli secawan kopi ketika dalam perjalanannya untuk ke tempat kerja.
Tikus mati dijumpai dalam kopi McDonald

Ron Morais tanpa rasa apa-apa yang pelik minum sedikit demi sedikit sehinggalah dia dapati ada seekor tikus mati di dasar cawan kopinya. Rupanya dia mendapat lebih daripada sekadar secawa kopi di McDonald.

Agak pelik juga bagaimana dia tak ada rasa perbezaan atau berbau sesuatu yang tidak menyenangkan ketika menghirup kopinya itu. Namun begitu, saksi dari kalnagan rakan-rakan sekerjanya mengesahkan kebenaran laporan yang dibuat oleh Ron Morais.

McDonald Kanada siasat laporan tikus dalam kopi

Memandangkan kejadian tikus mati dijumpa dalam kopi McDonald itu adalah satu dakwaan yang amat serius, McDonald terpaksa membuat satu kenyataan rasmi terhadap isu berkenaan.

Berikut kenyataan rasmi McDonald Kanada:

Food safety and quality are a top priority for McDonald’s Canada and all of our restaurants are held to high industry standards.

We have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure our guests receive the highest quality product when they visit our restaurants. We take allegations involving cleanliness and sanitation very seriously.

Upon learning of this situation, the local franchisee immediately began an investigation, including working closely with the local public health authority who conducted an inspection this morning following receiving a complaint.

Both the local health authority and an independent inspection by a pest control company of the interior and exterior today found no evidence of any pest issues in the building. We are continuing to investigate this isolated incident and have reached out to the customer to obtain the product sample. 

Until such time as we are able to collect all the necessary facts and laboratory results to conclude a full review, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. Similarly, we would also caution against jumping to conclusions until more details are available.

Untuk mengetahui laporan lanjut berkenaan masalah tikus mati dalam cawan kopi McDonald ini, anda boleh baca laporannya di sini.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  12.10.14  /  ,   /  No comments

STATUS KESIAPSIAGAAN DAN RESPON KKM

Situasi kejadian wabak penyakit virus Ebola (Ebola virus disease; EVD) yang melanda beberapa buah negara di Afrika Barat masih dipantau secara berterusan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM).

Situasi tersebut masih belum menunjukkan tanda-tanda untuk reda. Beberapa kes telah mula dilaporkan di luar Afrika seperti kes import pertama di Amerika Syarikat yang dilaporkan pada 24 September 2014 dan terkini pada 6 Oktober 2014 di Sepanyol melibatkan seorang anggota kesihatan. 

Sehubungan itu, KKM akan terus memperkukuhkan tahap kesiapsiagaan dan respon bagi menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan penularan penyakit EVD ke dalam negara.
KKM menghadapi potensi penularan Ebola

Fahami dengan jelas kes PUI EVD

Adalah amat penting semua fasiliti kesihatan kerajaan dan swasta yang terlibat dalam pengurusan kes jangkitan EVD memahami dengan jelas definisi kes PUI (Person Under Investigation) EVD atau disyaki EVD yang digunakan.

Ini adalah untuk memastikan pengamal perubatan dapat mengenalpasti kes PUI EVD, merujuk kes disyaki ke hospital yang dikenalpasti untuk pemeriksaan dan rawatan selanjutnya.

Langkah-langkah pencegahan dan kawalan sewajarnya adalah penting bagi mencegah sebarang penularan kes EVD dalam negara. Definisi kes PUI-EVD yang digunakan melibatkan kriteria dari aspek klinikal dan epidemiologikal.

Dari aspek klinikal

Ia meliputi pengesanan gejala demam dengan gejala tambahan seperti sakit kepala, sakit otot, muntah, cirit birit, sakit perut atau pendarahan.

Aspek epidemiologikal

Iaitu sejarah risiko pendedahan sepanjang tempoh 21 hari sebelum individu terbabit mula bergejala, seperti berikut:

  1. Mempunyai kontak langsung dengan cairan badan atau mayat individu lain yang diketahui menghidap EVD atau disyaki menjangkiti penyakit tersebut
  2. Mempunyai sejarah perjalanan atau merupakan masyarakat dari tempat yang melaporkan penularan jangkitan EVD yang aktif
  3. Terlibat dalam mengendalikan secara langsung kelawar atau sebarang jenis haiwan lain yang berpotensi menyebabkan jangkitan di kawasan endemik EVD.

Kes definisi ini digunakan untuk mengenalpasti PUI EVD (disyaki EVD) tidak hanya terhad kepada warga Afrika tetapi juga warganegara Malaysia atau warganegara lain yang mempunyai sejarah tinggal, bekerja atau melawat ke negara dijangkiti.

Negara terjejas jangkitan Ebola

Buat masa ini negara-negara yang paling terjejas dengan jangkitan (senarai negara terlibat akan disemak dari semasa ke semasa berdasarkan laporan daripada pihak WHO) adalah:-

  1. Guinea
  2. Liberia
  3. Sierra Leone
  4. Nigeria

Hospital rujukan kes PUI-EVD

KKM telah mengenalpasti sebanyak 21 buah hospital dari seluruh negara untuk menerima rujukan kes PUI-EVD untuk tujuan pengurusan awal dan pengesahan jangkitan.

Bagi kes yang disahkan positif jangkitan EVD melalui ujian makmal pula, akan dirawat di tiga (3) buah hospital khas yang dikenalpasti iaitu

  1. Hospital Sungai Buloh bagi Semenanjung Malaysia
  2. Hospital Queen Elizabeth Kota Kinabalu Sabah dan 
  3. Hospital Umum Kuching Sarawak

Sebanyak 20 makmal di hospital dari seluruh negara telah dikenalpasti untuk menjalankan ujian rutin bagi pengurusan kes PUI-EVD.

Manakala sebanyak tiga (3) makmal yang boleh menjalankan ujian pengesanan EVD iaitu

  1. Institut Penyelidikan Perubatan (IMR)
  2. Makmal Kesihatan Awam Kebangsaan Sungai Buloh
  3. Makmal Kesihatan Awam Kota Kinabalu

Simulasi persediaan hadapi Ebola

KKM juga sentiasa menilai status kesiapsiagaan dan respons dari semasa ke semasa dengan mengadakan latihan simulasi di pelbagai peringkat KKM di mana buat masa ini empat (4) sesi latihan simulasi telah diadakan dan terkini latihan simulasi EVD yang dianjurkan oleh pihak Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO) peringkat Western Pacific Regional Office pada 8 Oktober 2014.

KKM mempertingkatkan kerjasama rapat dengan berbagai kementerian dan agensi yang berkaitan (multi-sectoral collaboration) dalam usaha mencegah penularan penyakit EVD ke dalam negara.

Terkini pada 8 Oktober 2014 satu mesyuarat interagensi telah diadakan yang dipengerusikan oleh YB Menteri Kesihatan Malaysia bagi menerangkan situasi semasa wabak EVD dan peranan yang boleh dimainkan oleh setiap agensi yang berkaitan bagi membantu KKM dalam mencegah kemungkinan jangkitan dan penularan EVD di Malaysia.

Sekian dan terima kasih.

Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah
Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan Malaysia
12 Oktober 2014 sumber

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  10.10.14  /    /  No comments
There are about 40 fatal bee attacks in the US every year.

The danger is not the toxicity of the venom but that when killer bees are disturbed “they are more likely to pursue the source of disturbance more consistently,” Dr May Berenbaum, a professor at the University of Illinois, told CBSNews.com.
800,000 bees kill Arizona gardener

A gardener in Arizona has died after being dive bombed by a swarm of killer bees and another man was taken to hospital with 100 stings.

The 32-year-old victim was working on a house in Douglas near the Mexican border with three colleagues who were preparing to cut the lawn of a 90-year-old man when the bees struck.

They were working for a charity that provides work for people with learning difficulties and assists needy or elderly people in the community.

As soon as they turned on their lawn mower they were dive bombed by a huge swarm of bees from a hive which was concealed in the back of the house.

Two of the other gardeners who were not badly stung ran to a neighbor’s house to call the fire service but when the emergency services arrived on the scene one of the men had collapsed and was already in respiratory arrest.

“A witness said his face and neck were covered in bees,” Captain Ray Luzania, from the Douglas fire department, told the Arizona Republic.

The man, whose name has not been released, later died on arrival to hospital having suffered a heart attack.

The second victim is believed to have been stung about 100 times before managing to escape and remains in critical condition in the hospital.

read more here...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  7.10.14  /    /  1 comment
BOGOR, Indonesia - They’re green. They’re flowery. And to many of the insects that ravage crops in Africa, they’re deadly.

Call it a “back to nature” approach to pest management

With infestations still threatening the food security of many smallholder farmers in Africa and global demand growing for produce free of synthetic pesticides, researchers say it is high time to tap African farmers’ knowledge of naturally occurring pesticides to make such botanical solutions efficient, affordable and accessible.

“Current pest management technologies are not accessible to those who need them,” said Phosiso Sola, Senior Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

“Those pesticides that get to smallholder farmers are often out of date or adulterated.”

Sola is the lead author of a new study on botanical pesticides in Africa, which makes the case for deeper investment in plant-based products.

She pointed out that up to 30 percent of crop yields were lost before harvesting and during storage in sub-Saharan Africa because farmers cannot protect them adequately from parasites.

Meanwhile, synthetic pesticides pose health risks to their users and may shut them off from lucrative export markets such as Europe and the U.S., where regulations on chemical residues are getting stricter, the publication notes.

OF DOUBT AND WITCHCRAFT

In this context, the authors see botanical products as an attractive alternative:

“The high diversity of African plant species with pesticidal properties and existing indigenous use of such plants by resource-poor farmers suggest that there is scope for developing a strong market that meets local as well as international demand for more ecologically benign pest control,” they write.

Yet despite their appeal, botanical pesticides are currently underdeveloped in Africa.

“Studies show that many more farmers know about them than use them — by deduction, there is a certain amount of doubt,” said Philip Stevenson, a professor of plant chemistry at the University of Greenwich’s Natural Resources Institute and a co-author of the paper.

“The main reason is that synthetic pesticides are promoted more effectively and farmers think they are more efficient — which includes a part of misinformation when you realize the resistance to them that has been building up,” Stevenson added.

He also mentioned the influence of some religious groups who denounce the use of plants as witchcraft.

Many botanical pesticides are currently used in a low-tech way, with farmers growing or collecting selected plants and using their flowers, leaves or bark in crude form to combat infestations of insects or fungi in crops.

Such traditional techniques yield inconsistent results, which has contributed to reinforcing the image of botanicals as less reliable than synthetic pesticides.

This gap is where science is now needed to turn plant-based products into a viable alternative, according to Stevenson.

“We don’t need research to find new plant species — we have enough — but rather to learn how to grow and use them more efficiently and sustainably,” he said.

While researchers noted a complete lack of interest for botanicals among the multinationals that currently produce synthetic pesticides, they remarked that Chinese and Indian companies had successfully converted some tropical plants such as neem into commercial sprays.

They believe there is a middle ground for researchers and commercial investors to develop plant-based products in Africa, for use by African farmers.

The paper analyzes examples of well-known botanical pesticides such as pyrethrum, an insecticidal flower grown in East Africa that generates significant export revenues for the region’s local farmers.

Inefficiency and financial problems at the Kenyan state-owned monopoly that processed pyrethrum had triggered the industry’s decline, according to the study, but there are now opportunities for private investors to revive it.
Back to nature approach to pest management
Tephrosia Shrub

The tephrosia shrub is also known across Africa to kill insects. A more scientific approach to its use could help farmers select the best varieties and the most efficient techniques to draw insecticide from its leaves.

“It would be possible to produce plant material and pack it in tea-bag-like containers so that farmers can make their own extract without having to grow it or dry the leaves, thus creating business for entrepreneurs,” Stevenson said.

Such cheap insecticide, he said, could become the first ever accessible to some smallholder farmers in poorer regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

NO POLICY FRAMEWORK

To enable such developments, researchers highlight the need for African governments to adapt existing regulations designed with botanical pesticides in mind.

“There is no policy framework for the production and distribution of botanicals. It’s very difficult to conduct the research to bring them to market,” Sola said.

While some countries such as Kenya have moved to adapt registration requirements more specific to each type of pesticide, in most countries the cost is often too high for potential local producers of botanicals.

For example, “while synthetic products have a simple list of chemical contents, plant products include multiple chemicals, and you cannot begin to conduct toxicology studies on each of them,” Stevenson said.

Researchers say African governments could foster vibrant domestic industries by opening simpler avenues to support botanicals value chains — including incentives for conservation where their collection or cultivation may threaten forests, as in the case of promising species found in the wild such as species of Lippia and Securidaca.

“Botanical pesticides produced on a commercial basis by smallholder farmers could increase household incomes, and if used could increase food security by reducing yield losses,” Sola said.

Not to mention the export of low-residue fruit and vegetables so eagerly sought by Western consumers. source

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mohd Shubhi  /  5.10.14  /    /  No comments
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2014 awards. The awards will be presented at Entomology 2014, ESA's 62nd Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon from November 16-19, 2014.

The following individuals are recipients of the 2014 ESA professional and student awards. 

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN EXTENSION

This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to extension entomology. Dr. John C. Palumbo is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona.

John is an Arizona native and received his BS in agricultural science (1982), and MS in entomology (1985) from the University of Arizona, and a PhD degree in entomology from Oklahoma State University (1989).

He joined the department in 1990 as a faculty member at the Yuma Agricultural Center, where he has developed an internationally recognized extension and research program in IPM for desert vegetable crops.

He has previously served as the state IPM coordinator, and is presently the Arizona state liaison to the USDA IR-4 Program. Dr. Palumbo's translational research and outreach program provides the Arizona vegetable and melon industries with innovative insect management solutions designed to reduce their reliance on broadly-toxic insecticides without sacrificing yield and quality.

Over the past 24 years, he and his colleagues have collaboratively developed pest management alternatives and educational programs for several invasive species in the western U.S., including Bemisia tabaci, Nasonovia ribisnigri, and most recently Bagrada hilaris.

These efforts have resulted in numerous refereed publications, book chapters, and extension publications, including nearly 200 papers in the ESA's Arthropod Management Tests. He has delivered more than 500 presentations to growers and agricultural consultants on a wide range of topics on vegetable IPM and reduced-risk pesticides.

John's accomplishments in extension have been recognized by stakeholders in Arizona and California, where he has received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award (Arizona Farm Bureau), the Distinguished Service Award (Yuma Fresh Vegetables Association), and the Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award (California Association of Pest Control Advisors, Desert Chapter).

He was recently recognized as the University of Arizona, CALS Faculty Member of the Year by the Arizona Agriculture 100 Council.

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

This award, which is sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, is based on outstanding contributions which have a direct relation to integrated pest management (IPM). Dr. Peter C. Ellsworth is an IPM specialist and professor at the University of Arizona Department of Entomology, and the director of the Arizona Pest Management Center.

He received degrees in entomology from the University of New Hampshire (BS), the University of Missouri (MS), and North Carolina State University (PhD). He established the Arizona Pest Management Center (APMC) in 2003 as a multidisciplinary consortium of pest management scientists focused on research, outreach, and implementation of IPM in Arizona, which in 2012 was awarded the US-EPA's PESP Gold Tier Shining Star Award.

He serves as director of the APMC, state IPM coordinator, state pesticide coordinator, and co-director of the Western IPM Center. Dr. Ellsworth develops science-based solutions for IPM through applied ecological investigations and organized outreach programs of cooperative extension, with principal focus on the cotton agroecosystem.

He has special interests in the integration of chemical and biological controls, and landscape processes that govern pest and beneficial insect distributions. He is located at the University of Arizona's largest experiment station, the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Maricopa, a 2,100-acre laboratory, research, and demonstration farm complex.

Dr. Ellsworth has studied cotton IPM for over 23 years and has authored the successful US-EPA Section 18 Emergency Exemption that made two strategic insect growth regulators, pyriproxyfen and buprofezin, available to Arizona cotton growers for the control of whiteflies in 1996.

Together with many other cotton pest management advances, it is estimated that the Arizona cotton industry saved over $388,000,000 (1996-2011) by pracicing the IPM programs that Dr. Ellsworth helped to develop. In collaboration with many others, he has helped implement innovative, cross-commodity whitefly management programs that have helped producers of cotton, melons, and vegetables to stabilize their IPM systems in Arizona.

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN HORTICULTURAL ENTOMOLOGY

This award honors any ESA member who has contributed to the American horticulture industry. Dr. Daniel A. Herms is professor, state extension specialist, and chair in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University (OSU), where he has been a member of the faculty since 1997.

He received his BS in landscape horticulture from OSU in 1982, his MS in both horticulture and entomology from OSU in 1984, and a PhD from Michigan State University in entomology with a specialization in ecology and evolutionary biology in 1991.

From 1984-1996, he was also employed by the Dow Gardens, a public horticultural display garden in Midland, Michigan, where he directed the pest management program.

His research and extension programs address the ecology and management of insect pests in forests, urban forests, ornamental landscapes, nurseries, and Christmas tree plantations, with foci on chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions, phenological modeling, ecological impacts of invasive insects, and biologically-based pest management.

He has published more than 200 research and extension papers, including more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has been invited to present more than 450 research and extension presentations.

He teaches or co-teaches Forest and Shade Tree Entomology and Pathology, Insect Ecology and Evolutionary Processes, and the Nature and Practice of Science. He has served on the USDA Emerald Ash Borer Science Advisory Panel and the Asian Longhorned Beetle Technical Working Group, he chairs the International Union of Forest Research Organizations Working Group on Tree Resistance to Insects, and he is a subject editor for Environmental Entomology.

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN TEACHING

This award is presented annually to the member of the Society deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year. Dr. Diane E. Ullman received a BS in horticulture from the University of Arizona (1976) and a PhD in entomology from the University of California (1985).

She began her career at the University of Hawaii-Manoa (1987), relocating in 1995 to the University of California, Davis, where she is a faculty member in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, and the Department of Plant Pathology.

Dr. Ullman chaired the Department of Entomology at UC Davis (2004-2005), after which she was named associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (2005-2014).

There she led curriculum and program development, student recruitment and outreach, and she administrated all undergraduate academic activities. Dr. Ullman is known for innovative, multidisciplinary teaching strategies that connect science and art programs that mentor the next generation of scientists and help undergraduates succeed.

Key examples are the Art/Science Fusion Program (using experiential learning to enhance scientific literacy), the Career Discovery Group Program (training mentors to help students explore careers and select majors), and the national Thrips-Tospovirus Educational Network (training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to mentor new scientists).

Ullman's research revolves around insects that transmit plant pathogens, in particular plant viruses. She is best known for advancing international knowledge of interactions between thrips and tospoviruses and aphids and citrus tristeza virus.

Her contributions have played a fundamental role in developing novel strategies for management of insects and plant viruses. She leads a $3.75 million Coordinated Agricultural Project, and has authored more than 100 refereed publications (cited 3,660 times, h-index of 32).

Ullman is an ESA Fellow (2011) and the recipient of numerous awards, including the USDA Higher Education Western Regional Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching (1993), the UC Davis Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community (2008), and the 2014 Distinguished Award in Teaching from ESA's Pacific Branch.

EARLY CAREER INNOVATION AWARD

This award, which is sponsored by BASF, honors young professionals working within the field of entomology who have demonstrated innovation through contributions within any area of specialization (research, teaching, extension, product development, public service, etc.).

Dr. Mary Gardiner is an associate professor in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University. She received her MS from the University of Idaho in 2004 and her in PhD from Michigan State University in 2008.

She currently advises eight graduate students and two research scientists who work in a diversity of agricultural and urban ecosystems. Much of this research takes place within an urban ecosystem that encompasses 20,000 vacant lots in Cleveland, Ohio that were formerly residential and commercial space.

Here, her laboratory is focused on how redesigning vacant land to restore native plant communities, improving storm-water infiltration, and providing access to locally-produced food can influence arthropod communities and their contributions to ecosystem functions and services.

To fund her research, Dr. Gardiner has generated over $4 million in grant dollars as a lead or co-principal investigator, including a prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Award. She has published 22 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, and eight extension publications in her career.

She also has a book due out in February, 2015 titled Good Garden Bugs: Everything You Need to Know About Beneficial Predatory Insects, published by Quarry Books.

Mary is actively engaged in extension activities related to enhancing home landscapes, urban green spaces, and small-scale farms as habitats for beneficial arthropods. She co-teaches two graduate courses: Insect Ecology and Evolutionary Processes, and Presentation Skills for Scientists.

HENRY and SYLVIA RICHARDSON RESEARCH GRANT

This grant provides research funds to postdoctoral ESA members who have at least one year of promising work experience, are undertaking research in selected areas, and have demonstrated a high level of scholarship.

Sarah Jandricic grew up thinking she was going to be a zoologist, a marine biologist, and an environmental lawyer. At age 22, she decided she should settle on just one profession. After falling in love with insects at the University, she began studying entomology and toxicology.

Under the guidance of Drs. Cynthia Scott-Dupree and Bruce Broadbent, she earned a joint MS in both fields in 2005. After graduating, Sarah worked for two years as the director for research for Eco Habitat Agri-Services, a company offering pest management consulting for the greenhouse industry.

Realizing she had so much more to learn about insects and their control, she returned to academia in 2007, receiving her PhD from Cornell University in 2013 with Dr. John Sanderson. Her project investigated oviposition decisions of an aphidophagous predator (Aphidoletes aphidimyza) in multi-prey environments, as well as the biology of a serious and emerging greenhouse pest, the foxglove aphid.

Sarah is now actively avoiding interacting with snow and cold by working as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Steven Frank at North Carolina State University, where she is investigating non-consumptive predator effects on the behavior and fitness of western flower thrips, as well as other avenues for improving integrated pest management of these pests.

Over her career, Sarah has received several prestigious awards, including funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, a North East SARE grant, and the John Henry Comstock Award from ESA's Eastern Branch. She hopes to continue in a career studying predator-prey interactions and the optimization of IPM programs in agriculture.

NAN-YAO SU AWARD FOR INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY IN ENTOMOLOGY

Each year this award is given to an ESA member who is able to demonstrate through his/her projects or accomplishments an ability to identify problems and develop creative, alternative solutions that significantly impact entomology.

Dr. Luke Alphey is a leader in the emerging field of genetic pest management, focusing particularly on mosquitoes. He is a non-executive director of Oxitec Ltd, a spin-out company from Oxford University that he co-founded in 2002 (he was the research director from 2002-2014).

Oxitec is developing innovative technology known as RIDL (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal) to control insect pests, based on the use of engineered sterile males of the pest insect species. These insects carry a simple genetic system imparting conditional (repressible) lethality.

In the lab or factory, provision of tetracycline allows the insects to thrive. On release into the wild, the males mate with wild female insects, which lay eggs that are unable to develop into adults, due to inheritance of the control circuit and the absence of the repressor "antidote." In 2006, Oxitec and the USDA led the first open field releases of a genetically-modified insect.

In 2009 and 2010, in collaboration with government of the Cayman Islands, the first outdoor GM mosquito experiments were conducted, showing that RIDL male mosquitoes could indeed find, mate with, and suppress a wild mosquito population.

Further open trials in Malaysia and Brazil have subsequently been successfully completed, indicating that the engineered mosquitoes can perform well across a broad range of ecological and social settings.

Prof Alphey's earlier career focused on basic science, using Drosophila as a model system. After 11 years at Oxitec, he moved to the Pirbright Institute in Feb, 2014. Dr. Alphey has published extensively on insect genetic engineering and contributed to regulatory frameworks. He and Oxitec have won several awards for this pioneering green technology.

RECOGNITION AWARD IN ENTOMOLOGY

This award, which is sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, recognizes entomologists who are making significant contributions to agriculture. Dr. James F. Campbell is a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, Kansas.

Dr. Campbell received a BS and an MS in entomology from Rutgers University, and a PhD in entomology from the University of California, Davis.

He joined USDA-ARS in 1999 and has since then conducted research focused on the spatial distribution and movement patterns of stored-product insects in food facility landscapes, improving the implementation and interpretation of insect monitoring programs, and determining the impact of different management tactics on pest populations within commercial food facilities.

Dr. Campbell is an adjunct professor in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University, where he has co-supervised eight graduate students and served on many other graduate student committees.

He has written more than 110 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 35 book chapters, proceedings papers, and technical articles. He has also given more than 150 invited presentations, and has been a part of collaborative research teams that have obtained more than $9 million in extramural funding.

Dr. Campbell serves as the secretary/treasurer for the Permanent Committee of the International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Stored Products Research. He has served ESA as Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair of the former Section Cd.

Dr. Campbell has received the USDA-ARS-NPA Early Career Research Scientist of the Year Award and the ESA NCB Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management and the Recognition Award in Entomology.

RECOGNITION AWARD IN INSECT PHYSIOLOGY, BIOCHEMISTRY, and TOXICOLOGY

This award, which is sponsored by Apex Bait Technologies, Inc., recognizes and encourages outstanding extension, research, and teaching contributions in urban entomology.

Dr. Sarjeet Gill is a professor of cell biology and neuroscience and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of California, Riverside. He received his doctorate in insecticide toxicology from UC Berkeley and joined the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside in 1983.

He helped established the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and the Graduate Program of Environmental Toxicology, and served as chair of the department and director of the program. Professor Gill is currently the editor of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a premier journal in entomology, and he co-edited the series Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science.

Professor Gill's laboratory has two principal research foci. The first area is to elucidate the mode of action of insecticidal toxins derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. These toxins are active against agricultural pests and vectors of human diseases.

More recently, his work involves another Gram positive bacteria, Clostridium bifermantans, which is mosquitocidal. The aim of the research in Professor Gill's lab is to gain a molecular understanding of the toxins involved, and how these toxins interact with cellular targets, thereby causing a disruption of ion regulation and lethality.

A second area of research focuses on understanding mosquito midgut and Malpighian tubules function, in particular ion and nutrient transport, and changes that occur following a blood meal and how toxins affect these functions. Prof. Gill is a fellow of the AAAS, and has served on numerous grant review panels at the NIH and USDA.

RECOGNITION AWARD IN URBAN ENTOMOLOGY

This award recognizes and encourages outstanding extension, research, and teaching contributions in urban entomology. Dr. Nancy Hinkle moves easily between agricultural and urban entomology, dealing with significant pests in both areas.

Most of her research has involved flies—not only on flies around the home, but also concerning their origins and their impact on animal agriculture. Discoveries from field studies on avian mites inform her work with delusory parasitosis (and debunk many of the claims made on http://www.birdmites.org).

Because fleas are both significant ectoparasites and household pests, she investigates on-host control as well as environmental suppression. She has studied the distribution of brown recluse spiders in Georgia, seasonality of tick activity in north Georgia, and the role darkling beetles play in Salmonella transmission in poultry.

After completing her bachelor's and master's degrees at Auburn University, Nancy worked in veterinary entomology at UGA's Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton. She then went back to school and received a PhD in urban entomology (working on fleas) from the University of Florida.

For nine years she taught at the University of California, Riverside before returning to the University of Georgia (Athens) in 2001. Nancy served ESA on the Governing Board (2010-13), as chair of the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Section (2005), and she is currently President-Elect of ESA's Southeastern Branch.

In 2009 she served as president of the Society for Vector Ecology. She coached the UCR Linnaean Games team to the 1998 national championship, and the UGA Linnaean Games team to the national championship in 2012. In 2012 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Veterinary Entomology, and she was awarded ESA's Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension in 2001.

THOMAS SAY AWARD

This ESA award acknowledges significant and outstanding work in the fields of insect systematics, morphology, or evolution. Dr. Bryan N. Danforth, a professor in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, is internationally recognized for his research on the biodiversity, natural history, and evolution of bees and their closely-related wasp relatives.

Danforth, a native of Oyster Bay, NY, received his BS in zoology from Duke University, and his MS and PhD degrees in entomology from the University of Kansas. He was a postdoctoral associate with George Eickwort at Cornell before he joined the faculty in the Department of Entomology in 1996. 

Danforth's work spans a range of topics, including the origins of bees, the higher-level phylogeny of bees, the evolutionary history of bee social behavior, the antiquity of bees based both on hard fossil evidence as well as fossil-calibrated molecular phylogenies, the historical biogeography of bees, the evolution of cleptoparasitism, and, most recently, the role of native bees in agricultural pollination.

Danforth has conducted field work on bees in Australia, Africa, Madagascar, Europe, and North America. He has published nearly 80 peer-reviewed papers and has played a significant role in the careers of graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars.

Danforth teaches a number of courses at Cornell, including Alien Empire: Bizarre Biology of Bugs; Insect Diversity and Evolution; and Tropical Field Entomology. He is also a regular contributor to the Bee Course, an annual workshop on all aspects of bee biology and systematics that takes place at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, AZ.

Danforth holds additional appointments at the American Museum of Natural History, the Cornell University Insect Collection, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and the Cornell Center for Comparative and Population Genomics.

ESA STUDENT AWARDS LARRY LARSON GRADUATE STUDENT AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP IN APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY

This award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, recognizes Dr. Larry Larson's role as a leader and pioneer in insect management and carries that legacy to the next generation of leaders in applied entomology.

Zachary DeVries was born in Columbus, Ohio, but raised in Auburn, Alabama. As an undergraduate at Auburn University, Zach jumped right in to field work, exploring his interests in biology by working in both a fish ecology lab and a herpetology lab.

Zach later began conducting research with Dr. Ray Henry (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Auburn University), studying the physiology and behavior of giant aquatic salamanders. Zach completed his BS degree in zoology with a minor in statistics in 2011.

Upon completion of his BS, Zach began pursuing his master's degree in entomology at Auburn University, working with Dr. Art Appel. His research focused on the physiology of urban pests, such as silverfish, firebrats, and bed bugs.

His work has led to some interesting discoveries about the metabolism of these species as well as numerous collaborations with other departments and universities. Zach completed his master's degree in 2013.

Zach is currently a PhD student at North Carolina State University, where he is studying the physiology, behavior, and management of urban pests under the direction of Dr. Coby Schal. Zach's dissertation research integrates two important areas of urban entomology: German cockroach allergen mitigation, and bed bug chemical ecology and behavior.

Through his work, Zach hopes to improve the management of both of these pests by acquiring both basic and applied knowledge. Zach would like to thank both the Entomological Society of America and Dow AgroSciences. This opportunity will be invaluable to his career development.

LILLIAN and ALEX FEIR GRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL AWARD IN INSECT PHYSIOLOGY, BIOCHEMISTRY, OR MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

This award aims to encourage graduate students working with insects or other arthropods in the broad areas of physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to affiliate with ESA's Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section and to attend the ESA Annual Meeting or an International Congress of Entomology.

Holly Holt is a graduate student in Dr. Christina Grozinger's laboratory at Penn State University. Her PhD research focuses on two fungal pathogens of honey bees, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Infection with either pathogen species is energetically costly for honey bee workers and can lead to numerous aberrations in worker physiology and behavior, culminating in premature death.

Using a whole-genome approach, Holly and collaborators (Drs. Kate Aronstein and Christina Grozinger) identified molecular factors with intersecting nutritional, hormonal, and metabolic roles that likely drive the physiological and behavioral symptoms of infection in worker honey bees.

Holly is currently characterizing molecular, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of infection in male honey bees and directly comparing drone disease management strategies to worker responses. She hopes that by contributing to our basic understanding of Nosema pathology in honey bees, we can find effective, long-term treatments for these damaging pathogens.

Holly also enjoys outreach, mentoring, and policy activities, and she appreciates opportunities to engage with the general public, beekeepers, and scientists.

STUDENT ACTIVITY AWARD

Sponsored by Monsanto Company, this award is presented annually to recognize a student for outstanding contributions to the Society, his/her academic department, and the community, while still achieving academic excellence.

Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris received her BS in biology from Washburn University in Topeka, KS. With her research advisor, Dr. Lee Boyd, she completed an independent research project investigating prey preferences and kin selection in praying mantids.

She is currently in the final year of her doctoral studies in the Department of Entomology at Washington State University. Her dissertation research, under her major advisor Dr. Elizabeth H. Beers, focuses on the biological control of mite pests by phytoseiid mites in apple orchards.

Aspects of this work include phytoseiid releases, diversity surveys, and behavioral and pesticide bioassays. Rebecca enjoys actively participating in both ESA and her department. She has served in several offices for the WSU Entomology Graduate Student Association, including representative to the graduate senate, secretary, and two terms as president.

In this capacity, she coordinated several department events, including visits by guest speakers and the annual Insect Expo. She also volunteers as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for the department.

At the Branch level, Rebecca has enjoyed chairing the Student Symposium and Text-Messaging Competition. She is currently the Vice Chair and Pacific Branch Representative of the ESA Student Affairs Committee and will begin her term as the Chair at the end of this year.

One of her favorite activities to organize is the annual Student Debates. She was excited to be appointed as a Co-Chair of the Student Affairs Committee for the 2016 International Congress of Entomology and is currently working to plan student activities for this meeting.

After completing her degree, Rebecca hopes to find a postdoctoral or professorship position working in integrated pest management, and would love to continue studying predatory mites.

JOHN HENRY COMSTOCK GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS

These six awards are given to one graduate student from each ESA Branch to promote interest in entomology and to stimulate interest in attending the ESA Annual Meeting. Flor Edith Acevedo (Eastern Branch) is a PhD candidate at the Pennsylvania State University.

Her dissertation research focuses on the study of the adaptive mechanisms used by polyphagous insects to exploit different host plants. She has been working in entomology for the last 10 years. For her undergraduate thesis research, she developed DNA molecular markers in the coffee berry borer to study the dispersion of this insect in field conditions.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in 2006 from Universidad de Caldas (Colombia), she joined the entomology team of the Colombian Center for Coffee Research (Cenicafé), where she studied the genetic variability of the coffee berry borer in Colombia. In 2010, she started her PhD studies at Penn State, partially sponsored by a Fulbright scholarship.

Flor has been captivated by research in the field of insect-plant interactions. She is interested in understanding how insects evolved the ability to feed on plants and how this influences insect diversification.

Further avenues that she would like to explore are related to the factors driving insect-plant specialization and its relation to speciation. She is also interested in studying the evolution of neuroethological adaptations mediating host finding in plant feeding insects.

Rebecca Dew (International Branch) is currently in her second year of her PhD at the Flinders University of South Australia. Rebecca's research is focused on the evolution of social behavior with climate in the allodapine bee tribe and, in particular, the arid adapted genus Exoneurella.

Rebecca have always been interested with animal behavior, particularly social behavior, and this genus of bee is a fascinating group to study due to the presence of Exoneurella tridentata, which demonstrates eusociality, the most extreme form of social behavior.

The occurrence of eusociality in this group is of particular interest as the three other members of this genus are only weakly social. Rebecca has been studying the Exoneurella since 2010 when she undertook a three-year undergraduate research project under her current supervisor, Associate Professor Michael Schwarz.

After receiving her bachelor's degree, she took a year off to travel before deciding to return to Flinders to complete her Honors in 2012. This led straight into her PhD project, which expands on her previous work.

She is employing behavioral studies, haplotype networks and phylogenetic reconstructions to explore changes in social behavior within and between species, and how these may have been influenced by climate.

Outside of her PhD work, she is also the editor for the monthly email newsletter for the Society of Australian Systematic Biologists. Michael McCarville (North Central Branch) will complete his PhD in entomology with a plant pathology minor this spring at Iowa State University (ISU).

He completed his BS at Briar Cliff University in 2008 and his MS in 2011 at ISU. He is advised by Dr. Matthew O'Neal. Michael's research focuses on integrating soybean aphid and soybean cyst nematode management through host-plant resistance.

Michael has always been intrigued by how insects, nematodes, and pathogens manipulate host-plant defenses and primary metabolism. He realizes that multiple herbivores and stressors attack plants simultaneously, and this can lead to plant-mediated interactions between herbivores and pathogens.

Integrated pest management, therefore, should not be limited to using multiple tactics to manage a single pest, but should include combining tactics to efficiently manage multiple pests at once. Michael's dissertation is divided into two parts.

The first evaluates the compatibility of a resistance pyramid with other tactics for managing both soybean aphid population densities and virulence allele frequencies. The second explores the ability of host-plant resistance to manipulate pest population densities and subsequently alter soybean aphid-soybean cyst nematode interactions.

Michael has authored six peer-reviewed journal articles, nine extension publications, and has co-authored a grant to fund his all of his PhD research. He has given 16 scientific presentations, five extension talks, and eight posters. Michael has taught courses at ISU in insect biology and pest management, serving as a lab instructor for six semesters.

He has been active in the ESA's North Central Branch, serving on the Student Affairs Committee for two years. Dr. Kelly Hamby (Pacific Branch) received her PhD in entomology in March, 2014 under the direction of Professor Frank Zalom at the University of California, Davis with a focus on sustainable integrated pest management strategies for various insect pests.

Her dissertation research, titled "Biology and pesticide resistance management of Drosophila suzukii in coastal California berries," covered monitoring, yeast associations, chronobiology, chronotoxicity of insecticides, and the implications of this work to managing a recent invader, the spotted wing drosophila.

Kelly also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study molecular mechanisms of target site resistance to insecticides in this system. In 2011, she was awarded the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology from the ESA Pacific Branch.

Amber Dawn Tripodi (Southeastern Branch) earned her BS in biology with a minor in entomology from the University of Arkansas, with undergraduate projects in termite phylogeography and sexual selection in cactophilic Drosophila.

She obtained her MS in environmental sciences from the University of Colorado, studying the effect of nitrogen deposition on the growth of high-altitude trees, before returning to the University of Arkansas for a PhD while working on native bees.

Her dissertation combined community ecology, population genetics, and phylogeography to provide insights into the distributions and conservation status of bumble bees and carpenter bees. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the USDA-Logan Bee Laboratory, where she investigates bumble bee pathogens.

Dr. Nathan Lord (Southwestern Branch) is an insect systematist specializing in the order Coleoptera. He is broadly interested in alpha- and beta- level taxonomy, reconstructing phylogenies utilizing both morphological and molecular data, and exploring interesting evolutionary scenarios within Coleoptera.

Nathan received his BSES in entomology in 2006 and his MS in entomology in 2008 from the University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Joseph McHugh. His MS thesis was a molecular phylogeny of the minute brown scavenger beetles (Coleoptera: Latridiidae), a description of a new beetle family (Akalyptoischiidae), and a taxonomic revision of the genus Deretaphrus Newman (Coleoptera: Bothrideridae).

He received his PhD in biology in 2013 from the University of New Mexico under the direction of Dr. Kelly Miller, where his research focused on phylogenetic reconstruction and taxonomic revisionary work within the beetle family Zopheridae, with an emphasis on the biogeography of the southern hemisphere through the use of zopherids as a model taxon.

In addition, he has conducted several descriptive and revisionary projects within Zopheridae and Bothrideridae, where numerous new taxa have been described. Nathan has also produced several interactive, digital tools (e.g. Lucid keys).

He has authored a book chapter and nine peer-reviewed papers/taxonomic tools, and is the recipient of numerous academic awards. Nathan is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brigham Young University under the advisement of Dr. Seth Bybee, where his research involves applying NGS methods to investigate the evolution of visual systems within the beetle family Buprestidae and across the order Odonata.

### The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines.
Founded in 1889, ESA today has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government.
Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists.
For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.

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