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2015

Landscaping plans beautify campus while making it more environmentally-friendly
December 16, 2015
The Hippocratic Oath says first, do no harm. This pledge is exemplified by not only the physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center but also facilities staff who maintain the campus grounds.
Our Augmented Reality Coloring Page
December 10, 2015
If you are familiar with the recent trend in augmented reality coloring pages, here is one we developed with a company called QuiverVision just for kids (young and not-so-young)!
Dicamba drift affects non-target plants and pollinators
December 4, 2015
Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
Penn State entomology researchers receive Grand Challenges Explorations grant
December 1, 2015
Two Penn State researchers have been chosen to receive a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Johanna Ohm, graduate student in biology, and Matt Thomas, professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project titled "Insects feeding insects: An artificial hemolymph-based diet to rear Aedes/Anopheles mosquitoes."
As Beekeepers Lose More Hives, Time For New Rules On Pesticides?
November 30, 2015
America's beekeepers are having a rough time. They lost an estimated 42 percent of their hives last year.
Smartphones enlisted in the battle versus crop disease
November 24, 2015
Crop diseases, a major cause of famine, have always been diagnosed by visual inspection, though scientists today also use microscopes and DNA sequencing. But the first line of defense is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice.
2015 Apes Valentes Awards support healthy bees and the students that care about them
November 20, 2015
What does being a healthy bee mean? The seven students selected for the 2015 Apes Valentes Awards had some very different ideas. To some of them, Apes Valentes (Latin for “healthy bee”) included bumble bees, others honey bees, and to another Japanese orchard bees. Some students sought to identify the flowering plant species that are most nutritious for bees, while others worked on developing new management approaches to help breed and maintain healthy bee populations.
Wimps or warriors? Honey bee larvae absorb the social culture of the hive, study finds
November 2, 2015
Even as larvae, honey bees are tuned in to the social culture of the hive, becoming more or less aggressive depending on who raises them, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.
Cell phones could be a lifeline for honey bees and beekeepers in Africa
October 22, 2015
A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.
Bees to scientists: "We're more complicated than you think"
October 21, 2015
Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and Tel Aviv University, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species.
Entomology Society of America announces winners of the 2015 awards
September 17, 2015
Pleas join us in congratulating the department’s multiple winners: Dr. Andy Deans, Mitzy Porras, Loren Rivera Vega, Flor E. Acevedo, Anjel Helms and Mehmet Ali Doke.
Pollinator Heath Special Issue from "Current Opinion in Insect Science"
September 14, 2015
The issue contains 19 review articles from genomics to ecology, reviewing our current state of knowledge on pollinator health, and providing creative and concrete ideas for the next steps in tackling these issues.
Building a Better Honeybee
August 26, 2015
Beekeepers have plenty of tough days. But urban beekeeper Steve Rapaski is not having one of those today.
2016 Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lectureship awarded to Jim Tumlinson
August 21, 2015
This Lectureship was established in 1981 by ARS to honor the memory of Sterling B. Hendricks and to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the chemical science of agriculture. Hendricks contributed to many diverse scientific disciplines, including soil science, mineralogy, agronomy, plant physiology, geology, and chemistry. He is most frequently remembered for discovering phytochrome, the light-activated molecule that regulates many plant processes.
Julia Fine receives the Agrochemical Education Award for Student Travel
August 21, 2015
The AGRO Division has established an endowment fund in collaboration with Bayer CropScience that is used to promote an understanding of the role of chemistry in agriculture. To address this goal, awards are made through the Division’s Education Committee.
Don't Worry, Honey, The Other Bees Have Your Back
August 14, 2015
If you want to hang out with a bunch of bees, you'd better be prepared for a little pain. Mario Padilla, a honeybee researcher at Penn State University, can usually tell when his hives are getting agitated. But he's already been stung three times today. And he's about to get it again.
Local beekeeper working to save honey bees
August 12, 2015
A local beekeeper is part of a federal grant breeding a new type of Queen bee which could change the future of beekeeping.
Student Research Spotlight - Yuhao Huang
August 12, 2015
This is the 13th and final short news article written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Student Research Spotlight - Shelley Whitehead
August 6, 2015
This is the 12th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
The Buzz is Building Over 'Other' Bees
August 5, 2015
If you want to hang out with a bunch of bees, you'd better be prepared for a little pain.
Great Insect Fair headlines Ag Progress Days youth activities
August 3, 2015
Families and youths accustomed to attending Penn State's Great Insect Fair each fall will need to adjust their schedules. For this year at least, the popular annual event will leave the Bryce Jordan Center and instead will be part of the 2015 Ag Progress Days expo, Aug. 18-20.
National Geographic supported studies of Kenyan honey bees
August 3, 2015
Penn State graduate student Zach Fuller recently received a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant to sample honey bee colonies and document beekeeping practices across a wide range of habitats in Kenya and to explore for the presence and diversity of recently introduced pathogens. Together with Penn State graduate student Jeff Kerby, Zach is posting updates of their research expedition to Kenya on their blog.
Student Research Spotlight - Carolyn Trietsch
July 23, 2015
This is the 11th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Yellow poplar weevil makes presence known in Pennsylvania, mid-Atlantic
July 7, 2015
Many residents in Pennsylvania and neighboring states are getting "ticked" about an insect that has made its presence known in a big way this spring and summer. But this bug is not a species of eight-legged arthropod known to carry Lyme disease and other pathogens.
Student Research Spotlight - Sarah Shugrue
July 6, 2015
This is the 10th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
New faculty position to investigate pollinator health
July 3, 2015
Pollinators are declining rapidly throughout the world, and researchers are scrambling to figure out why. To assist Pennsylvania's beekeepers, growers and others as they face this crisis, the Department of Entomology at Penn State has created a new faculty position that will be responsible for conducting research, education and outreach on pollinator health, conservation and management.
Discovery Space camp shows girls ins, outs of science
July 1, 2015
It would have been easy — maybe too easy — to assume that the group of young ladies meandering through the mulch in the small park outside of Memorial Field on Tuesday were admiring the bed of pretty pink flowers.
2015 Penn State Postdoc Society awards
June 30, 2015
Penn State Postdoc Society (PSPS) is pleased to announce the 2015 outstanding postdoc and 2015 outstanding postdoc mentor awards.
Protecting the honey-bearers
June 24, 2015
Ancestors of American honey bees shed light on pollinator health - The honey bearers arrived in the early 17th century, carried into the United States by early European settlers. Apis mellifera--the name truly translates as bee honey-bearer, though they are better known as honey bees.
Penn State Brandywine is the 'bee's knees' of pollinator habitats
June 24, 2015
Bees do more than just sting, make honey and buzz. In fact, these insects have a proven positive effect on our ecosystems. A national strategy was created to save honeybees and other pollinators because of this impact and Penn State Brandywine is now an important part of the movement.
Student Research Spotlight - Maria Mazin
June 19, 2015
This is the 9th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Pesticides and Pollinators
June 12, 2015
Researchers believe that long term honey bee declines are a result of a complex set of factors. The primary suspects are: poor nutrition, pesticides, pathogens/ parasites, and poor quality genetic stock. Here we will consider recent research results describing how pesticides might affect pollinators.
ESA Science Policy Fellows Share Their Experiences
June 10, 2015
In Fall 2014, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) initiated the Science Policy Fellows program. Five Fellows were chosen that year: Marianne Alleyne, Jamin Dreyer, Anders Huseth, Rayda Krell, and Ariel Rivers. But what exactly is this program? The inaugural class of Fellows recently returned from a trip to Washington, DC, where they met with legislators and their staff to talk about ESA and the importance of entomology. The Fellows share their experiences below:
Student Research Spotlight - Kaixi Zhao
June 8, 2015
This is the 8th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Honeybee genetics fight pathogens
June 4, 2015
Scientists look at how to use insect’s antiviral response to control viruses and parasites 
in crops and bee colonies
2015 IOSP Fellows announced
May 26, 2015
The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce its 2015 Integrative Organismal Systems Physiology (IOSP) Fellows. Fellowship winners spend the summer in the laboratory of an established scientist and APS member. The IOSP program recruits undergraduate students nationwide from disadvantaged backgrounds and from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and students with disabilities to work with APS member-researchers in the National Science Foundation IOS mission area of comparative and evolutionary physiology research, which looks at the similarities and differences of various species of living organisms.
Budding biotechs convene in Durham
May 22, 2015
Two out of state agricultural biotechnology companies came away with $12,500 in funding Tuesday after winning a pitch contest at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Student Research Spotlight - Fern Graves
May 19, 2015
This is the 7th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Student Research Spotlight - Maridel Fredericksen
May 8, 2015
This is the 6th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Andrew Read elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
May 4, 2015
Penn State Evan Pugh Professor Andrew Read – Director of the Huck Institutes' Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics – has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Student Research Spotlight - Briana Ezray
May 1, 2015
This is the 5th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Pollinator Declines
April 21, 2015
Domestic honey bees hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago with rapid declines over the last forty years. This long term decline was punctuated by recent average losses of 30% per winter since 2006. The populations of some native bee species may also be declining.
What can we do to encourage native bees?
April 21, 2015
Pollinators need a diverse, abundant food source and a place to build their nests and rear their young. As land managers, if we keep these two elements in mind we can encourage native bee populations.
Who are our pollinators?
April 21, 2015
Approximately three quarters of our major food crops are pollinated. At the same time domestic honey bees hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago. Here we will look at how wild bees provide insurance against ongoing honey bee losses. Keep a look out for upcoming articles on factors affecting pollinators and ways farmers can promote pollinator health.
2015 Eric E. Conn Young Investigator Award Winner: Dr. Joe Louis
April 17, 2015
Dr. Joe Louis is recognized for his significant contributions to the field of plant insect interactions, as well as for his demonstrated excellence in outreach, public service, mentoring and teaching. Joe’s research work has shown that specific elicitors delivered by insects are recognized by plants to induce innate defense mechanisms. His research publications are in high impact journals, and these publications have excellent citation records. Joe has trained and mentored many students from high school through PhD level, and he has taken multiple leadership roles in outreach activities. He has been very active in scientific society activities, and he has organized many symposia at several national and regional meetings. For his significant contributions at different stages of his career, he has received many awards from different organizations.
New Online Resource Will Help Control the Asian Longhorned Beetle
April 16, 2015
The Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, is a wood-boring insect that is capable of destroying 30% of the urban trees in the United States at an economic loss of $669 billion. Infestations of this invasive beetle have been found in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois, and they have been shown to feed on more than 100 different tree species, with a preference for maples, poplars, aspens, cottonwoods, and willows.
Student Research Spotlight - Courtnee Eddington
April 14, 2015
This is the 4th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
More natural ways to deal with pests
April 13, 2015
Roaches, rodents, and bedbugs — Those are the Big Three for Dion Lerman, who has become an odd sort of celebrity because of the community presentations he gives about how people can manage pests in their homes without using toxic chemicals. Kids call him "the bug guy."
Rapid increase in neonicotinoid insecticides driven by seed treatments
April 2, 2015
Use of a class of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, increased dramatically in the mid-2000s and was driven almost entirely by the use of corn and soybean seeds treated with the pesticides, according to researchers at Penn State.
Honey bees use multiple genetic pathways to fight infections
March 27, 2015
Honey bees use different sets of genes, regulated by two distinct mechanisms, to fight off viruses, bacteria and gut parasites, according to researchers at Penn State and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The findings may help scientists develop honey bee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections.
Student Research Spotlight - Anna Busch
March 27, 2015
This is the 3rd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Tom Baker to Deliver 2015 Founders' Memorial Lecture
March 19, 2015
Dr. Thomas C. Baker, a distinguished professor of entomology and chemical ecology at Penn State University, has been selected to deliver the Founders’ Memorial Award lecture at Entomology 2015, the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) to be held November 15-18, 2015 in Minneapolis.
Student Research Spotlight - Alex McMenamin
March 13, 2015
This is the 2nd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Student Research Spotlight - Aine O'Sullivan
February 27, 2015
This is the 1st of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Newly formed Beekeepers Club introduces maintenance and fundamentals of beehives
February 17, 2015
Crafting hives, making honey, what could bee better? New this semester, the Penn State Beekeepers Club is hoping to garner some buzz around Penn State.
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity
February 10, 2015
Obesity and diabetes are not just problems of modern-day humans and their domesticated pets. Insects also are affected by these health conditions, and intestinal infections by protozoans are the cause, according to researchers at Penn State. The research suggests that intestinal infections may contribute to metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity, in humans as well.
Last Friday's seminar now available online
February 2, 2015
“Herbicide drift impact on floral resources and pollination services: A landscape approach.” by David Mortensen & Melanie Kammerer, Plant Sciences Department, Penn State University
Center for the Performing Arts Staff Member Combines Skills and Interests to Save the Pollinators -- and Our Food
January 15, 2015
Center for the Performing Arts staff member Medora Ebersole is using her experience as an education and community programs manager to develop an interdisciplinary project aimed at increasing knowledge of pollinator behavior—from bees and bats to birds and butterflies—in order to benefit food production efforts and battle the use of pesticides world-wide.
Open Faculty Position
January 15, 2015
The department of entomology is seeking an Assistant/Associate Professor of Plant–Insect Interactions/Chemical Ecology
Third grade students campaign for honey bee health
January 14, 2015
Four third graders researched the important role of honey bees in agriculture and mounted a local public awareness and fundraising campaign to support bee health.