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2019

Penn State Extension: What’s the Buzz?
May 7, 2019
Inside this issue: Pollinator Garden of Merit, Outstanding Pollinator Plants, Protecting Pollinators, News from the Center for Pollinator Research and Beescape: An online tool
Penn State graduate students visit Capitol Hill, discuss science-based policy
May 7, 2019
Members of the Penn State Science Policy Society recently visited Washington, D.C., where they met with officials from several congressional offices and nongovernmental organizations to discuss the promotion of science and evidence-based policy.
Penn State Extension marks milestone in outreach to Spanish-speaking growers
May 7, 2019
For close to a decade, Jorge Manzo has worked at McCleaf’s Orchard, a fifth-generation family farm near Gettysburg in Adams County, where he is responsible for preparing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for market, including a few of his favorites — kiwi, blackberries and raspberries.
Student Research Spotlight - Jonathan Hernandez
May 6, 2019
This is the 6th of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
More than 100 years of data show Pennsylvania tick population shift
May 3, 2019
The prevalence of the most abundant species of ticks found in Pennsylvania has shifted over the last century, according to Penn State scientists, who analyzed 117 years' worth of specimens and data submitted primarily by residents from around the state.
Spotted lanternfly egg hatching confirmed in Berks
May 2, 2019
The first known hatching of the pest's eggs this spring were discovered on Wednesday from eggs laid on the side of a building in Shillington, according to the PA Department of Agriculture.
Researchers find 2 fungi killed spotted lanternflies in Berks
May 2, 2019
The discovery could lead to a biological weapon to control the Asian pests.
5 Questions: Helping manage the Beescape in Carlisle
May 2, 2019
Each winter Pennsylvania beekeepers lose nearly 50% of their honey bee colonies and several wild bee species are threatened or endangered, reflecting trends around the world.
What if a solution to malaria came from Pennsylvania?
May 1, 2019
Penn State's Matt Thomas and a team of collaborators are investigating a new method for preventing malaria transmission that involves limiting mosquito access to houses by blocking openings and installing “eave tubes” that contain a unique insecticide-laced mosquito netting that kills the insects as they attempt to enter. “Eighty percent of transmissions happen at night when people are in their homes, so if you could stop mosquitoes from getting into the house then you will have taken personal protection to the level of the household,” said Thomas, professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology.
How the bumble bee got its stripes
April 30, 2019
Researchers have discovered a gene that drives color differences within a species of bumble bees. This discovery helps to explain the highly diverse color patterns among bumble bee species as well as how mimicry--individuals in an area adopting similar color patterns--evolves. A study describing the gene, which occurs in a highly conserved region of the genome that provides blueprints for segmentation, was led by researchers at Penn State and appears April 29, 2019, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
How a parasitic fungus turns ants into 'zombies'
April 25, 2019
They walk among us: insects hijacked by parasitic fungi that control their every move.
Student Research Spotlight - Hannah Greenberg
April 22, 2019
This is the 5th of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Feel the buzz: Penn State to bring pollinator garden that will last ‘forever' to the Arboretum
April 19, 2019
After years of planning and research by Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research, a large pollinator garden is set to break ground at the Arboretum in the fall 2019.
Invasive lanternfly wreaking havoc in the Northeast poses big threat to Michigan plants, crops
April 18, 2019
Invasive species can cause major damage to an ecosystem. They compete with native flora and fauna for resources, and often lack any natural predators to control their populations.
Undergraduate research award creates buzz around Penn State pollinator studies
April 18, 2019
Undergraduate research aimed at supporting pollinator health is flourishing at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research, thanks to philanthropic support.
The Arboretum at Penn State launches new interactive Plant Finder map
April 17, 2019
Visitors to The Arboretum at Penn State now can explore the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens with the Arboretum's new, interactive Plant Finder.
Thirteen graduate students receive the Alumni Association Dissertation Award
April 15, 2019
Thirteen graduate students received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal in recognition of their outstanding professional accomplishment and achievement in scholarly research in any of the disciplinary areas of arts and humanities; social sciences—applied and basic; physical and computational sciences—applied and basic; life and health sciences; and engineering.
Graduate student Bipana Paudel Timilsena receives International Research Award
April 15, 2019
Bipana Paudel Timilsena, a doctoral student in entomology with a dual title in international agriculture and development, received the Graduate Student International Research Award. The purpose of the award is to promote and support international research and scholarship by graduate students that has the potential for global impact.
Graduate student awardees celebrated at annual luncheon
April 15, 2019
Penn State President Eric Barron presented 11 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 11 at the Nittany Lion Inn.
CPR researchers awarded grants from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign
April 11, 2019
North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Task Force for Honey Bee Health Selects 2019 Research Projects
Stopping Malaria at its Source
April 11, 2019
Penn State’s Matthew Thomas and an international team of researchers have developed an in-home solution aimed at preventing the spread of malaria.
Protecting Pollinators
April 11, 2019
Penn State’s Christina Grozinger and the Center for Pollinator Research are implementing creative approaches to protecting bee populations in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Beescape is ‘just the beginning’ for beekeepers and researchers alike
April 9, 2019
Researchers at Penn State and around the country have come together to create a website that will offer an inside look into the lives of nature’s pollinators.
Spotted lanternflies found to be flyers, not gliders
April 8, 2019
The spotted lanternfly is not a strong or frequent flyer, weaknesses that may hinder its ability to travel long distances by air, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
New pollinator plant selection tool
April 8, 2019
Trying to decide which plants to include in your garden? The USDA-SCRI funded, "Protecting Bees" project has developed a pollinator plant selection tool that lets you search for flowering plant species according to zip code, bloom time, sun exposure, soil moisture levels, and relative attractiveness to different types of pollinators - including flies, which are the second most important group of pollinating insects, after bees!
Ottar Bjørnstad Elected as an Ecological Society of America 2019 Fellow
April 8, 2019
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce its 2019 Fellows. The Society’s fellowship program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and management and policy.
Student Research Spotlight - Julie Golinski
April 8, 2019
This is the 4th of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Package Bee Installation
April 5, 2019
Spring is a busy time of the year for beekeepers as it marks the arrival of bee packages. Package bees have become a staple for beekeepers in North America as more people take up beekeeping as a hobby and overwinter colony losses have increased.
The Latest Information on a Hitchhiking Pest
April 3, 2019
The Spotted Lanternfly represents a new pest challenge to those in the horticulture industry due to its wide host range and potential for damage. In our previous coverage, we had preliminary information about this pest, as it had just been detected and not much was known about it. But the first, and arguably most important, update is that the geographic range has increased.
New online tool and community to support bees
April 3, 2019
A new online tool and community, called Beescape, enables beekeepers, or anyone interested in bees, to understand the specific stressors to which the bees in their managed hives, home gardens or farms are exposed, according to researchers at Penn State.
Voracious hordes of destructive insects on the horizon: Here's what it means to NY
April 3, 2019
Spotted lanternflies, the feared invasive insect that could wreak havoc in the Finger Lakes, have been found in at least eight New York counties since last summer, including Monroe, Chemung, Yates and Westchester.
Online tool identifies best and safest places to keep bees
April 2, 2019
Honeybees play essential roles in pollinating plants that humans and animals rely on for food. Declines in bee populations - including 20 percent of honeybee colonies per year in Indiana - threaten our food supply. Insecticide exposure, loss of flowering plants, and fewer nesting habitats, disease and parasites are all factors.
When and where in Pennsylvania will 17-year cicadas emerge this year?
April 2, 2019
Hordes of 17-year cicadas will be making an appearance in Pennsylvania in May and June, but only in the southwestern corner of the state.
Introducing Beescape: A new online tool and community to support bees
April 1, 2019
A new online tool and community, called Beescape, enables beekeepers, or anyone interested in bees, to understand the specific stressors to which the bees in their managed hives, home gardens or farms are exposed, according to researchers at Penn State.
Pennsylvania growers struggle with spotted lanternfly
March 27, 2019
The Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are better known for apple production than wine, but it is winegrape growers who perhaps have the most to lose from the latest pest threatening that region.
Student Research Spotlight - Nathan Derstine
March 25, 2019
This is the 3rd of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Raising a stink for BMSB research
March 21, 2019
Almost a decade after the first brown marmorated stink bug outbreak cost Mid-Atlantic apple growers millions, the pest is no longer inducing panic, thanks to advancements in targeted management for orchardists.
Pea-planting, lanternfly scraping, and lawn preparations: This Weekend in the Garden
March 21, 2019
Sunday’s arrival of St. Patrick’s Day is the milepost that many long-time vegetable gardeners use to determine the season’s first planting – peas.
Spotted lanternfly quarantine zone expanded to Dauphin County
March 21, 2019
Pennsylvania’s spotted lanternfly quarantine zone has been expanded to include Dauphin County, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today.
Study tracks the rise of mange in black bears
March 19, 2019
Research projects have increased in recent years to determine how many black bears are affected and what the best remedy is. The state handles between 50 and 60 cases of severe mange each year, Ternent said.
Bug off! Penn State takes proactive approach in dealing with pesky pests
March 19, 2019
Warm weather at Penn State’s University Park campus sprouts scenes of flowers in bloom, students playing frisbee on the Old Main lawn and folks strolling around campus as they enjoy Berkey Creamery ice cream.
What Makes Them Tick
March 14, 2019
Researchers in the college investigate tick behavior and molecular biology with a goal of preventing tickborne illnesses.
Winter chill won’t affect mosquitoes, ticks
March 14, 2019
Did this winter’s cold weather lessen the numbers of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks?
Pennsylvania will have 150 researchers trying to eradicate the spotted lanternfly in 2019
March 14, 2019
Penn State University and the state and federal departments of agriculture are committing resources to combat the invasive insect
Nematode odors offer possible advantage in the battle against insect pests
March 14, 2019
Gardeners commonly use nematodes to naturally get rid of harmful soil-dwelling insects. A new study published today in the journal Functional Ecology revealed that these insect-killing nematodes also produce distinctive chemical cues, which deter Colorado potato beetles and make potato leaves less palatable to them.
WTAJ Originals: PSU research team discovers how beetle stores toxins without being harmed
March 11, 2019
Everybody has a self-defense system. Some use brute force...others like Ground Beetles prefer to use their own nasty combination of chemicals to ward off predators.
Student Research Spotlight - Nina Dennington
March 11, 2019
This is the 2nd of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
Unique workshop for teachers highlights connection between plants, pollinators
March 1, 2019
A professional development experience for middle and high school teachers that illustrates the interaction between landscapes and pollinators will take place this summer at Penn State.
Penn State Berks center supports spotted lantern fly research
February 28, 2019
The Center for the Agricultural Sciences and a Sustainable Environment (CASSE) at Penn State Berks is the “killing fields” for spotted lantern flies. At least that’s the goal of researchers from Penn State University’s College of Agriculture Sciences, who have been working with researchers from Penn State Berks and Penn State Cooperative Extension to study the biology and also the effectiveness of various insecticides on the pests that have invaded and wreaked havoc on Berks County since 2014.
Checking out Pollinators in Pennsylvania By Carolyn Trietsch
February 27, 2019
With insect species declining and agriculturally-important pollinators at risk, it’s important to know what species are present in an area to help protect them. PhD student Shelby Kilpatrick is trying to find out what bees are present in Pennsylvania, and is creating a list that could help with future conservation efforts.
Material that shields beetle from being burned by its own weapons, holds promise
February 25, 2019
Carabid beetles produce caustic chemicals they spray to defend themselves against predators, and the compound that protects their bodies from these toxic substances shows promise for use in bioengineering or biomedical applications, according to Penn State researchers.
Student Research Spotlight - Staci Cibotti
February 25, 2019
This is the 1st of eight short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.
New Penn State gardens, oak woes, and changes in growing conditions: The latest in gardening news
February 21, 2019
Let's catch up this week on some gardening news and interesting tidbits ... Bird and pollinator gardens coming to Penn State
Spotted Lanternfly: A pretty destructive pest
February 21, 2019
“Invasive pretty” may be one way to describe the Spotted Lanternfly, although Penn State entomologist Heather Leach warns that the beautiful bug is also a destructive pest.
Firefly-inspired surfaces improve efficiency of LED lightbulbs
February 19, 2019
A new type of light-emitting diode lightbulb could one day light homes and reduce power bills, according to Penn State researchers who suggest that LEDs made with firefly-mimicking structures could improve efficiency.
Bed bug task force aims to secure bed bug ordinance for City of Philadelphia
February 19, 2019
Philadelphians Against Bed Bugs (PhABB) – a partnership among Penn State Integrated Pest Management Program, local agencies, non-profits, health care professionals, senior and low-income housing advocates, lawyers, and everyday citizens -- is one step closer to securing a bed bug ordinance for the city of Philadelphia and awaits the vote of the City Council.
Open Position - Assistant Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology and/or Ecology
February 11, 2019
9- month, Tenure Track, 75% Research, 25% Teaching
Open Position - Assistant Professor of Entomology: Arthropod Ecology
February 11, 2019
9-month, Tenure Track, 60% Research, 30% Extension, 10% Teaching
Bee dispersal ability may influence conservation measures
February 8, 2019
The abilities of various bee species to disperse influences the pattern of their population's genetic structure, which, in turn, can constrain how they respond to environmental change, as reported by an international team of researchers.
Crafting social ties
February 6, 2019
On Thursday nights, the yarn comes out. Every week, my fellow entomology graduate students and I get together to make insect-inspired crafts. One crochets butterflies, another makes earrings out of wings from discarded research specimens, and a third decoupages notebooks with figures and illustrations from journal articles thrown out after a lab cleanup. It may sound light or frivolous, but it's far from it. A regular social night like this—whether built around crafts or some other shared interest—can make a significant difference in our work and our lives.
Entomology students' global research to be supported by inaugural Guyton Award
January 25, 2019
Two students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are the recipients of the Guyton Award, a global learning scholarship established recently by Bill Guyton, an agricultural economist and internationally recognized expert in sustainable development.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Peer Review System
January 17, 2019
I was thrilled to receive my first request to peer review a paper while working on my Ph.D. Then I realized I didn’t know how to peer review. It had never been covered in my classes, so I started asking around and sending emails, reaching out to my friends in other programs, but with little luck. As important as peer review is, it seems that few STEM programs actively teach students about how to navigate the peer review process and make the decisions involved, such as whether to accept or reject a paper for publication.
Colony Size Drives Honey Bees’ Overwinter Survival
January 16, 2019
When the temperature drops and the days get shorter, honey bees don’t hibernate—they huddle. Meanwhile, worker bees produced in the fall are plump and have longer lifespans than their spring counterparts. These winterized workers form a “thermoregulatory cluster” around their queen. Powered by honey stores, they shiver their muscles to produce heat, keeping temperatures at the center of the cluster around a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius (C). Still, winter is a stressful time for honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. In the United States around 30 percent of colonies don’t survive until spring.
The sting left by a fallen bee colony is felt by researchers, volunteers
January 16, 2019
For university scientists and student volunteers, the reality of bee deaths during winter is harsh. Just last year, the Beekeepers Club lost all of its bees to the cold weather, thus slowing its productions and making this year one of rebuilding.
Cellular protein a target for Zika control
January 14, 2019
A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.
Agriculture Awards Grants For Spotted Lanternfly, Farm Conservation Research
January 8, 2019
On December 21, the Department of Agriculture award $1.286 million in grants to 15 Pennsylvania universities and research organizations to advance Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food industry.
Registration is open for the 2019 Authentic Plant Pollinator Landscape Research for Educators Workshop!
January 8, 2019
A unique teacher professional development experience for middle and high school teachers. June 24th - 28th, 2019
Alumnus Honored at Florida Mosquito Control Association Annual Meeting
January 2, 2019
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) is proud to announce that Chris Law, Bruce Stevens and Dr. Larry Hribar were honored at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Florida Mosquito Control Association in St. Petersburg, Florida.