Undergraduate research award creates buzz around Penn State pollinator studies

Undergraduate research aimed at supporting pollinator health is flourishing at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research, thanks to philanthropic support.

More than 100 years of data show Pennsylvania tick population shift

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.

Penn State graduate students visit Capitol Hill, discuss science-based policy

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.

Protecting pollinators: Penn Staters working to reverse bee population declines

Within the past decade, beekeepers across the globe have observed massive declines in managed honey bee populations. Given their critical role in the nation’s agricultural industry, Penn State’s Christina Grozinger and the Center for Pollinator Research are implementing creative approaches to protecting bee populations in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Alumnus honors father, entomology department with professorship

The inspiration behind a person’s philanthropy can come from a variety of sources. For alumnus Dr. Roger Simon, it stems from two places: the Penn State Department of Entomology and his father, Sam Simon.

Combating mosquito-borne diseases with bacteria

Viruses, spread through mosquito bites, cause human illnesses such as dengue fever, Zika and yellow fever. A new control technique harnesses a naturally occurring bacterium called Wolbachia that blocks replication of viruses and breaks the cycle of mosquito-borne disease, according to an international team of researchers.

Ants maintain essential interactions despite environmental flux

Ants adjust their social interactions to accommodate changes in population density, according to researchers at Penn State and Georgetown University. The findings suggest that ant colonies are capable of maintaining their sophisticated social organization despite potentially drastic changes in their environments.

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'

Plants may induce "leaky gut syndrome" — permeability of the gut lining — in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our understanding of plant defenses, the findings could contribute to the development of new pest control methods.

Asian longhorned beetle larvae eat plant tissues that their parents cannot

Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees — such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer — Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle.

Organic control of spotted lanternfly is focus of study by Penn State, Cornell

Could soilborne fungi found nearly everywhere in North America be the kryptonite that can help control the spotted lanternfly? Studies underway in the Philadelphia region -- carried out by scientists from Penn State and Cornell University -- aim to answer that question, with early findings showing promise against what has been described as the worst invasive pest to hit the U.S. since the gypsy moth.

Penn State entomologists join project to track historical parasite populations

Supported by a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a multi-institutional project will draw on Penn State entomological expertise and collections to document and digitize the historical population dynamics of arthropod parasites, such as ticks, lice and mosquitoes.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair imagines a world without bugs

Appreciating insects' role in agriculture and the environment will be the focus of Penn State's 2019 Great Insect Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Snider Agricultural Arena on the University Park campus.

Diversity statement shows Department of Entomology's commitment to inclusivity

The Department of Entomology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has released its first diversity statement, which articulates the department’s goal to “cultivate a community of people who have diverse ways of thinking, views, values and perspectives and who represent the composition of our society.”

Penn State receives $7.3 million grant to advance spotted lanternfly research

A $7.3 million grant awarded to Penn State will support an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team of researchers as they conduct research and develop strategies to combat the spotted lanternfly.

Pollinator project will complement Penn State solar power initiative

A unique undertaking in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will shine a light on how solar farms can contribute to healthy ecosystems and boost pollinator populations.

Frost Entomological Museum reopens after renovations, renewal

After being closed to the public for more than six years, Penn State's Frost Entomological Museum has reopened with new and improved exhibits, storage facilities, and research capacity, much to the delight of school groups and insect enthusiasts.

Roush honored as fellow of the Entomological Society of America

Rick Roush, dean of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been elected as an Entomological Society of America Fellow, an honor that acknowledges his outstanding contributions to entomology in research, teaching, extension and outreach.

Grant will support expanded use of artificial intelligence for crop health

A research team developing artificial-intelligence-based solutions for diagnosing and managing threats to crop health has received a grant to expand the technology to assist more smallholder farmers around the world. Co-led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, the team developed a smartphone app that is capable of accurately diagnosing crop diseases without an internet connection.

Spot on: Efforts to stop spotted lanternfly are ongoing for Penn State, agencies

For residents of southeastern Pennsylvania, winter provides a brief respite from the spotted lanternfly, an insect invader that has impeded their warm-weather enjoyment for the past several years. But for scientists, extension specialists and government regulatory officials, putting a stop to the pest is a year-round endeavor.

Safe pest management in schools and childcare facilities is focus of manual

The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program, a collaboration between Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, has developed the book, “IPM for Pennsylvania Schools and Childcares: A How-To Manual.”

'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment

By diversifying their crop rotations to create conditions that promote beneficial, predatory insects to combat pests, farmers can reduce their reliance on insecticides to control early-season crop pests, such as caterpillars, and still produce competitive yields of corn and soybeans.

Common soil fungus could be ally in organic corn growers' fight against pests

A common soil fungus might be enlisted as a powerful partner by corn producers to suppress pests and promote plant growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest promoting the fungus could be an especially valuable strategy for organic growers who struggle with insect control.

Tracking spread, testing traps are focus of spotted lanternfly study in Altoona

Assessing the potential spread of the spotted lanternfly in the Altoona area is the focus of a study underway by scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Asian giant hornets currently not a concern for Pa., eastern North America

Recent alarming news reports aside, Asian giant hornets — sometimes referred to, hyperbolically, as "murder hornets" — are not an immediate concern in the Northeast, nor are they likely to be for a long time, if ever, according to an entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Extension experts: Risk of spotted lanternfly on Christmas trees is minimal

Folks worried that the spotted lanternfly will put a “bah humbug” into their holiday by taking up residence in their live Christmas tree should toss those concerns to the side like used wrapping paper, according to Penn State Extension experts.

Some Pollinators Swipe Right on Annual Ornamental Flowers

When it comes to flowers, the traits humans prefer—things like low pollen production, brighter colors, and changes to the height and shape of plants—are a mixed bag for pollinators. Plants bred for larger flowers or extended bloom times may be a boon for some hungry pollinators, but structural changes in the plants can make it harder for pollinators to handle the flowers, access nectar, or even find the flowers in the first place.

Bacteria-infected mosquitoes take bite out of deadly dengue

They still bite, but new research shows lab-grown mosquitoes are fighting dangerous dengue fever that they normally would spread.

Fourteen Penn State faculty recognized with lifetime honor

American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows are honored for extraordinary achievements in advancing science

Much-anticipated Pollinator and Bird Garden underway in Arboretum at Penn State

Recent visitors to The Arboretum at Penn State may have noticed a bright blue construction fence surrounding about 3 acres of open meadow between the botanic gardens and the College Heights neighborhood. The fence delineates the future site of the Pollinator and Bird Garden, which will increase the size of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens by about 60%.

No, Spotted Lanternflies Are Not Hiding in Your Soon-to-Be-Christmas Tree

I, like so many others, find it necessary to usher in the holidays by picking out a good ol’ Christmas tree and plopping it in a watering basin in my living room. It’s a surefire way to get into the festive spirit — and a live tree fills your home with that fresh forest smell, after all. So this past weekend, I was dismayed when my equally holiday-crazed roommate told me she might not want to get a live tree.