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March 24, 2014

It is with sadness that I inform you that Stan Gesell passed away on March 21st. Stan was one of the founding members of our Department and made very important contributions to pest management of crop pests. Nearly a dozen of our fact sheets were authored by Stan and remain posted and relevant for today.

March 21, 2014

A local startup’s Big Idea has won $25,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Nina Jenkins of Penn State’s Department of Entomology and her business partner, Giovani Bellicanta, have developed a patent-pending, nontoxic, bio-pesticide that successfully removes and further prevents bed bug infestations in homes and hotel rooms.

March 4, 2014

Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State have received three grants from the United States Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides, and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats.

March 4, 2014

Last summer, Finian Stroup was inspired to save the bees. She read the Time Magazine cover article describing the massive losses of honey bee colonies around the world, and knew that she could make a difference. And in just a few months, the eight year old raised over $1000 to help support research on honey bee health, while also raising awareness of the plight of bees in her community.

February 26, 2014

Brown marmorated stink bugs cause millions of dollars in crop losses across the United States because of the damage their saliva does to plant tissues. Researchers at Penn State have developed methods to extract the insect saliva and identify the major protein components, which could lead to new pest control approaches.

February 14, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State.

The Asian longhorned beetle is ranked among the top quarantine pests in the world. Image: Maya Nehme/Penn State
February 14, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Female Asian longhorned beetles lure males to their locations by laying down sex-specific pheromone trails on tree surfaces, according to an international team of researchers. The finding could lead to the development of a tool to manage this invasive pest that affects about 25 tree species in the United States.

February 14, 2014

Justin Runyon, a 2008 graduate of the Ph.D. program in entomology at Penn State, has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Polistes fuscatus colony-founding queens fighting in a laboratory setting. Image: Jennifer Jandt/Iowa State University
February 11, 2014

Aggression-causing genes appeared early in animal evolution and have maintained their roles for millions of years and across many species, even though animal aggression today varies widely from territorial fighting to setting up social hierarchies, according to researchers from Iowa State University, Penn State and Grand Valley State University.

February 3, 2014

Ke Chung Kim, Professor Emeritus, Founding Curator of the Frost Entomological Museum and Former Founding Director of the Center for BioDiversity Research, has been chosen as the recipient of the Forensic Biology Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr Kim will be presented with the award at the Pathology/Biology Sections's 2014 Business Meeting at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle later this month.

Image: Maryann Frazier/Penn State
January 28, 2014

Four pesticides commonly used on crops to kill insects and fungi also kill honeybee larvae within their hives, according to Penn State and University of Florida researchers. The team also found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) -- an inert, or inactive, chemical commonly used as a pesticide additive -- is highly toxic to honeybee larvae.

KALLISTA IMAGES/GETTY
January 24, 2014

Mosquitoes carrying a malaria-causing parasite develop an increased desire for sugar. Baldwyn Torto of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi and his colleagues monitored the attraction of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes (pictured) to plant odours and the investigative behaviour of the insects around nectar sources. In laboratory experiments, the authors showed that insects infected with Plasmodium falciparum parasites were more attracted to plant odours and demonstrated increased pre-feeding probing activity compared with uninfected individuals. Plant odours could be used to trap parasite-infected mosquitoes, the authors suggest.

January 21, 2014

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, professor of entomology, biology, and statistics at Penn State University, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed by peers upon members of the AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.

January 15, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that three hundred thousand Americans contract Lyme disease every year, and the number of infections is growing. Contrary to popular belief, ticks transmit disease 12 months of the year, especially during winter! What can YOU do to prevent the tick-borne disease? On the next Conversations LIVE our experts will talk about preventing and treating Lyme disease. They’ll also take YOUR questions. Join us for Conversations LIVE: Lyme Disease.

January 14, 2014

Published on Nov 6, 2013 (CBC News) - We like to believe we're in control. But if what we're discovering about parasites is anything to go by, who is really in control is a lot more complicated, and a lot more interesting, than we ever imagined.

December 19, 2013

Populations of European corn borer (ECB), a major corn crop pest, have declined significantly in the eastern United States, according to Penn State researchers. The decline suggests that the use of genetically modified, ECB-resistant corn hybrids -- an expensive, yet effective, solution that has been widely adopted by farmers -- may now be unnecessary in some areas.

December 12, 2013

Maryann Frazier from Penn State University talks about how tree fruit growers can help honeybee populations by reducing pesticides and fungicides at the 2013 Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Dec. 10, 2013. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower magazine)

November 27, 2013

Seven Penn State faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

November 26, 2013

Penn State University's Center for Chemical Ecology is pleased to announce a summer course in Insect Chemical Ecology called ICE 14 that will be conducted on the Penn State campus June 1 -15, 2014

November 25, 2013

There has been a huge increase in bedbug infestations – in homes, hotels, dorm rooms and even movie theaters. Once a pest of the past, bedbugs now infest every state in the U.S. Many bedbugs are now resistant to pesticides, so getting rid of these pests is neither easy nor cheap.