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Mississippi Entomological Association Newsletter - June, 2010 [pdf]

Presidents Message:

I want to start off by thanking Meg Allen for her work on getting the MEA newsletter back up and running. A lot of new and exciting things have happened since our last newsletter. Most notably, the Mid-South Entomologist has come online and is doing well thanks to a lot of hard work by Chris Petersen. Also, the Joint Pest Management Association Annual Meeting (the Stoneville Meeting) has joined forces with the Crop College for the last two years and has been very successful. Finally, we have added a series of roundtable discussions to the fall meeting that have increased participation in the meeting from individuals who have not been active in recent years. All of these things have contributed to continued growth of the MEA as an organization. As the current president, I would like to encourage all of you to become more involved with the MEA. With your help, we can continue to grow and promote the discipline of Entomology in Mississippi. There are some exciting things planned for the future as well. Currently, I am forming a committee that will develop plans to allow the Mississippi Weed Science Society to hold a fall meeting in conjunction with our annual meeting this fall. As those plans come together, we will keep the membership informed of any new developments. Finally, I want to thank all of the members that have contributed to this newsletter and encourage everyone to contribute to the next newsletter that will come out later this year.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the annual meeting this fall. Thank you for allowing me to serve as president of the MEA.

Jeff Gore


News from the Newsletter:

Hello MEA members! This being the first newsletter for a while, there are a few newsletter business items to mention. First, thanks for your membership! PLEASE if you know of anyone who isn’t on the membership list and would enjoy getting the newsletter, forward it to him/her. Better yet, encourage MEA membership. The MEA website is – please visit frequently and provide the site address to potential new members. And if you or someone you know is not getting MEA communications via email, please update your contact information with MEA President Jeff Gore

This newsletter is for and about YOU, the members. If you have an item to contribute, please contact me, Meg Allen . Newsletter articles should be relatively short (longer articles might be better suited to MidSouth Entomologist), concern current topics, and of course be relevant to entomology. Ideas for articles may include member achievements, student activities, cartoons or photos, short essays or poetry, updates from a location or project; be creative! While this issue is rather short, I hope to have a second newsletter compiled to distribute prior to the Annual Fall MEA meeting. The date I am shooting for is September 1, but you know what they say about good intentions…

Have a great and productive summer!

Contributed by Meg Allen

Annual Meeting:

Mississippi Entomological Association Meeting

The MEA recently participated in the Mississippi Crop College/Joint Pest Conference in Stoneville, MS, during late February. The purpose of this meeting was to provide objective continuing education and technology transfer for practicing crop advisers and other professionals. Educational efforts were made in the areas of crop and pest management, in addition to soil, water, and nutrient management. The meeting consisted of a three-day program that was well-represented by members from the MEA. Six presentations were made by research and extension entomologists dealing with insect pests of corn, cotton, rice, and soybeans. Attendees deemed the meeting a success based on the breadth and quality of presentations.

The 57th Annual Conference of the Mississippi Entomology Association will be held at the Bost Extension Center on the Mississippi State University Campus on October 25-26, 2010. We hope to see you there.

Contributed by Ryan Jackson

Mid-South Entomologist Update:

Midsouth Entomologist launches blog, completes volume 3.

The third volume of the Midsouth Entomologist is rapidly nearing completion. We are still falling short of our goal of 30 articles per volume (15 per issue), but we are growing nonetheless. We have now included articles from all five states served by the journal, and have published one article from Missouri. Please be sure to submit source files for any pictures in your submissions, as this will facilitate online posting. We have also recently launched a blog, where you can stay up to date on the latest news regarding the journal: Please submit materials directly to me at, or call me at 662-325-0199.

Contributed by Chris Peterson

Faculty Corner:

The Entomology and Plant Pathology Department at Mississippi State University has been dealing with the recommendation of the University’s Select Committee for Efficiencies and Innovations to merge the Entomology and Plant Pathology and Plant and Soil Sciences Departments as part of the university’s plan to deal with the state’s current economic situation. Since such a merger would create an extremely large department and would not resolve the problem of both departments having low undergraduate student numbers, another option has been under consideration; the merger of the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with Entomology and Plant Pathology. No final decisions have been made to date.

Entomology graduate student programs and numbers continue to be strong. Recent entomology graduates include: John Smith (PhD), Ishakh Pulakkatu Thodi (MS) and Ankit Kumar (MS). John Smith’s dissertation title was “Early-Season Management Of Twospotted Spider Mite On Cotton And Impacts Of Infestation Timing On Cotton Yield Loss.” Ishakh Thodi’s thesis title was “Injury And Damage By Threecornered Alfalfa Hopper (Spissistilus festinus SAY) In Group IV Soybean” and Ankit Kumar’s thesis title was “Optimization Of An Immunomarking Technique For The Study Of Tarnished Plant Bug Movement Between Corn And Cotton.”

Since the last newsletter, we have hired two new entomologists; John Riggins (forest entomologist) and Jerome Goddard (medical/veterinary entomologist). John Riggins joined the department in July 2008. His PhD is from the Department of Entomology at the University of Arkansas and his dissertation research involved remote sensing of forest decline and the red oak borer outbreak in the Arkansas Ozarks. John’s current research programs include investigating the recent occurrence of redbay ambrosia beetle and Laurel wilt in Mississippi, southern pine beetle ecology when populations are at a low level, changes in southern pine beetle predator behavior due to low beetle populations, hazard modeling for the European wood wasp in the southeastern U.S., interactions between native and introduced species of termites, bark beetles and blue stain fungus and importance of black turpentine beetle as a precursor to initiation of southern pine beetle attack in lightning struck pine trees.

Jerome Goddard assumed his duties in the department in October 2008. Prior to his appointment, Jerome served as the state medical entomologist with the Mississippi Department of Health in Jackson for the past 20 years. As state medical entomologist, he designed, implemented and supervised vector control programs relating to public health throughout Mississippi. Since his arrival, he has been involved in the increasing bed bug problem, tick ecology and control, Rocky Mountain spotted fever-like illnesses, state-wide mosquito survey, control of lesser mealworms in poultry houses and black flies attacking poultry. His main research interests are the ecology and epidemiology of tick-borne diseases.

Jack Reed and Clarence Collison will be retiring from Mississippi State University on June 30th, 2010. Jack joined the department in 1985 to develop pesticide efficacy research trials and small plot insecticide research primarily on cotton and secondarily on other row crops as related to grower, industry and university needs. He has evaluated insecticide efficacy against pests of cotton, corn, soybean, tomatoes, peanuts, sweet potatoes and fire ants. Major research contributions have been associated with the development and computerization of small plot spray equipment for improved application of insecticides, his taxonomic and efficacy work associated with thrips of the southeastern United States, sweet potato IPM and area wide management of imported fire ants. Dr. Reed has served as the major advisor of seven graduate students. Jack also served as a faculty advisor of the Ag Pest Management Club, Secretary of the Mississippi Entomological Association, numerous crop insect control guide committees and University Hazardous Waste Committee. Major awards received include: MEA Distinguished Service Award (2008), Mississippi Sweet Potato Council Service Award (2005), MEA Achievement and Service Award (2003), Mississippi Agricultural Consultant’s Association Certificate of Appreciation (1995) and MEA Merit Award (1993).

Clarence Collison was named head of the entomology department at Mississippi State University in March 1989. Prior to that he served as an extension entomologist at The Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his administrative responsibilities and serving as graduate student coordinator, Clarence has maintained his interests in beekeeping, continuing to lecture and write monthly articles for Bee Culture. He has served as the executive vice president of MEA from 1990-1995, 2001-2010. In 2006 he received the MEA Distinguished Service Award, Merit Award in 1998 and 1992.

Contributed by Clarence Collison

Student Corner:

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University has recently graduated two advanced degree students. Kristine Edwards received her PhD in Veterinary and Medical Entomology last December. Ankit Kumar received his Master’s degree in Entomology last April.
Under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Gore, Dr. Fred Musser and Dr. Angus Cachot, new graduate students in Entomology at Mississippi State University include Wes McPherson, Will Scott, Joshua Jones, Brian Adams, and George Awuni. Ryann Campbell and Nathan Little are new Forest Entomology graduate students under John Riggins. Lauren Goltz is a new Medical Entomology graduate student under Dr. Jerome Goddard. Dr. Richard Brown’s new graduate students include Jennifer Seltzer and Terry Schiefer. Audrey Berry is working on her PhD degree in entomology under Dr. Clarence Collison.
Mississippi State University was recognized at the National Entomological Society of America Meeting in December 2009. ”Tracing an Invasion: Phylogeography of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in the United States Based on Mitochondrial DNA” by Thomas J. Simonsen, Richard L. Brown, and Felix A. H. Sperling received one of the Editors Choice Awards for Best Articles in 2008 during the National Entomological Society of American meeting in December 2009. The presidents 1st prize award in student paper presentation was won by Ankit Kumar and Fred R. Musser. Titled “Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus lineolaris) Movement Dynamics within Corn, Cotton, and Corn/Cotton Interface.”

Contributed by Ryann Campbell