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Murdock and Baributsa attend Millionaires Club luncheon

​B. York

Date Added: 2/23/2015

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Larry Murdock and Dieudonné Baributsa attended the Millionaire's Club Luncheon on February 11, 2015 in the Anniversary Drawing Room of the Purdue Memorial Union.  The Excellence in Research Awards dinner celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of Purdue's research community, so in 2005 the College of Agriculture started its own Millionaire's Club to recognize CoA faculty who have been awarded a one million dollar (or higher) grant.   

 
Drs. Murdock and Baributsa were awarded ten million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the third phase of the PICS program, PICS3.

 

Grzegorz Buczkowski featured in Purdue Ag News

​Natalie  Van  Hoose

Date Added: 2/19/2015

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The February 18, 2015 issue of Purdue University Agriculture News featured research on ants and hydrogel bait by Grzegorz Buczkowski.  To read the entire article, click managing invasive ants.

 

You may have noticed this article in the February 19th Exponent under the "ETYMOLOGY" section on Page 2!
PICS technology saving crops in Malawi

​James Chavula
The Nation
February 1, 2015

Date Added: 2/17/2015

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The newspaper headline shouts, "Improved sack kills weevils."  Important news in a country where the insects destroy a quarter of the stored grains harvested by small farmers in this southeast African nation.  To read the entire article published in The Nation on February 1, 2015, click PICS Helps Malawi. 

Pass the honey, Honey

​Tom Turpin
On Six Legs
February 12, 2015

Date Added: 2/13/2015

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Honey, as you know, is a sweet substance. It is also a wonderful food. No one can say how long humans have been eating honey. There are numerous mentions of honey in the Old Testament of the Bible, and rock paintings dating back some 8,000 years depict humans collecting honey from bee nests. It is probably safe to assume that humans have been eating honey for most of our existence.

 

We have learned about some of the foods in the diet of ancient humans because identifiable pieces and parts of food items show up in the fossil record. Bones and shells from animals and stems and seeds from plants don't disintegrate rapidly and persist in rock formations discovered by archeologists. On the other hand, a liquid such as honey is not likely to be preserved in such a way. 

 

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Nick Seiter (BS '07, MS '09) cited in Arkansas TV news video on Kudzu bug

​B. York

Date Added: 2/5/2015

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​Purdue entomology alumnus Nicholas Seiter was recently interviewed by an Arkansas television station.  Nick is an extension entomologist who did his PhD on Kudzu bug, which has now found its way into Arkansas. 

 
To watch the video clip and read the entire article, click on Nick Seiter's interview.
Ian Kaplan in Ag Research Spotlight in January

​B. York

Date Added: 2/2/2015
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Dr. Ian Kaplan is featured this month in the Ag Research Spotlight to underscore the theme, “Strengthening ecological and environmental integrity in agricultural landscapes.”
 
To read the article, click Ian in the Spotlight.
Pilgrim among Insects

​Tom Turpin
On Six Legs
January 22, 2015

Date Added: 1/26/2015

VaseBookEnd200.jpgA number of years ago a boyhood friend sent me a book. He liked the book and thought I would enjoy it as well. The book reminded him of the carefree, bygone times of our youth. Days when two young farm boys traipsed through meadows, roadsides and streams, wallowing in everything that nature had to offer.  He also said that the book had a lot of insect stuff in it so it was right down my alley. 

 
The book was "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard. It wasn't just another nature book but the 1975 Pulitzer Prize-winner for General Non-Fiction. It is a book about nature, spirituality and religion. Many people have compared the book to the work of Henry David Thoreau. That is an apt comparison. Dillard actually did her college senior thesis on Thoreau's work. Furthermore, she lived for a year at Tinker Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and kept a journal of her thoughts and observations that became the basis for the book.

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Four from ENTM receive 2015 Provost Awards

​B. York

Date Added: 1/23/2015

2015 Provost Awards.jpgCERIS staff members Joe Hegarty and Preston Wiley received Provost Awards at the luncheon held Thursday, January 22, 2015 in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms.  Joe has been with Purdue for 30 years, and Preston observed his 10th anniversary with the University.

 
Other award winners were Tammy Luck (35 years) and Susan Schechter (20 years)  Congratulations to all!
 
 
Pictured here are department head Steve Yaninek, Preston Wiley, Joe Hegarty, and CERIS director Eileen Luke.
 
 
 
Grzegorz Buczkowski part of AgSEED venture
​Keith Robinson
Date Added: 1/16/2015

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Dr. Grzegorz Buczkowski participated as a research team member in a recent AgSEED project.  In case you missed it in the recent issue of Agricultures magazine, go to this link to read the full article​: AgSEED Project.

Insect Insults
​Tom Turpin
On Six Legs
January 8, 2015
Date Added: 1/13/2015

ShakespeareBookRoaches800.jpgNo one is better known for use of words in the English language than William Shakespeare. The Bard, lo those many years ago, composed 43 works consisting of 884,421 words. For all of us remembering those dreaded writing assignments in high school, that is over 4,400 themes of 200 words each!

 
Shakespeare used 31,534 individual words in his writing. Don't you sometimes wonder who counts these things? Shakespeare no doubt had a large vocabulary, but he also coined words and phrases, many of which are commonly used today. For words such as eyeball, farmhouse, gossip, rawboned and sanctimonious, we can thank ol' William. It was Shakespeare's creativity that also gave us these phrases: naked truth, money's worth, one fell swoop, own flesh and blood, the short and the long of it and cold-blooded.

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2014 MRTF Award goes to Tim Gibb
​B. York
Date Added: 1/8/2015

Gibb_Tim.JPGDr. Timothy Gibb, ​Insect Diagnostician and Turf Pest manager, has been selected to received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award by the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation.  The award will be presented on January 22, 2015 at the MRFT Award Ceremony in Indianapolis as part of Indiana Green Expo.  Congratulations, Tim!

The Christmas Fly
Tom Turpin
On Six Legs
December 24, 2014
Date Added: 12/30/2014

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Ah, the joyous Christmas season! A time of festive celebrations - at work, at schools, at private homes and certainly at churches. 

 
Everywhere you go there are Christmas decorations. As a popular Christmas song recounts: "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style." Those words are the introduction to "Silver Bells," composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1950. Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell sang the now classic carol in the movie "The Lemon Drop Kid." Bing Crosby and Carol Richards were the first to record the song.

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Brittany Peterson featured in Graduate Ag Research Spotlight
​Wendy Madore
Date Added: 12/19/2014

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Brittany Peterson is the featured graduate student in the current edition of Purdue Agriculture Graduate Ag Research Spotlight.  Her write-up appears below.   

 
​Science was always a strong suit for Brittany Peterson, an Air Force brat who spent her high school years in a suburb of St. Louis.  "I was fascinated by opportunities to make discoveries," she says.  Peterson earned a bachelor's in microbiology at Western Illinois University as a likely precursor to medical school.  She hadn't considered graduate school until her thesis advisor, an ichthyologist, encouraged her to think instead about a career in research. 

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Cesar Cabra featured in Ag Research Spotlight
​B. York
Date Added: 12/12/2014

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Cesar Cabra, Colombian intern with Jeff Holland, was featured in the Global Student Ag Research Spotlight.  He is a researcher with the Undergraduate Research Experience Purdue-Colombia program . . . (UREP-C).  His segment is reproduced here.
 
 
"Cesar Cabra's research in the department of entomology is focused on hardwood ecosystem experiments that include various approaches to understanding the conservation of natural resources.  He is part of the "beetle crew" directed by Dr. Jeff Holland.  He leads an "Intrepid lab team" (as the people now know them) deep into the forest to collect, clean, and rebuild beetle traps.  Cesar and his team enumerate species that affect trees in search of ecological bio-indicators of biodiversity loss and environmental fragmentation." 
Bugs and Bogus Science
​Tom Turpin
On Six Legs
December 11, 2014
Date Added: 12/12/2014

mosquito.jpgAs an insect scientist I have heard quite a number of unproven theories about the six-legged creatures I study. Some such theories originated long ago and are now considered folklore. That is the case of the earwig that is so named because of the ancient belief that the insect would enter human ears and chew through the eardrum. There is no truth to that assumption.

 

Some unsubstantiated beliefs today are associated with human efforts to control insects that are considered pests. For instance, I am sometimes told that placing hedge apples - the green, ball-shaped fruits of Osage orange trees - in closets will keep moths out of clothes. There is no scientific support for such a control approach, short of dropping the hedge apple on the offending moth. Also, some people believe that eating garlic will prevent mosquito bites. Again, scientific evidence does not support this contention.

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Eileen Luke receives OSA award
​B. York
Date Added: 12/8/2014

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Members of the department gathered Monday morning at 10:00 for a delicious brunch and to honor award winners for 2014.  Eileen Luke was awarded the Outstanding Service Award, and received an engraved clock/plaque, as well as a monetary award.

 
Students also shared in the ceremony.  Aaron Myers received the Outstanding MS Student award; Faith Weeks was selected for the Outstanding Service by a Student award; and Mahsa Fardisi received the Outstanding PhD Student award.  Each student received a certificate of award at the gathering, and will also see a nice bonus appear on their pay stubs in the next week or so. 
 
Congratulations to all our winners - they are very deserving of their awards!
Jen Zaspel awarded National Geographic grant
​J. Zaspel
Date Added: 12/3/2014

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In November, Dr. Jennifer Zaspel was awarded a Research and Exploration Grant from the National Geographic Society.  The title of the project is ​"Phylogeographic history and the evolution of blood feeding in the vampire moth Calyptra minuticornis." Dr. Zaspel and colleagues will be using the funds to support a field expedition to Australia this spring!

Gina Angelella awarded USDA-NIFA fellowship
​Ian Kaplan
Date Added: 12/3/2014

angellela gina new.jpgPhD student Gina Angelella in the Ian Kaplan lab has been awarded a predoctoral fellowshp through USDA-NIFA.  The RFA describes the fellowship as follows:  "The FY 2014 AFRI NIFA Fellowship RFA focuses on developing the next generation of research, education and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society.  The AFRI NIFA Fellowships Grant Program targets talented, highly-motivated doctoral candidates that demonstrate remarkable promise and the potential to become gifted education, extension and research professionals in the United States.  The Program seeks to develop the technical and academic competence of doctoral candidates in the food, forestry and acricultural sciences, which are within NIFA's AFRI Challenge Areas, through well-developed and highly interactive mentoring and training activities."

 

The title of this Fellowship is: "Are crop virus dynamics influenced by aphid secondary endosymbionts?"  Gina's sepcific fellowship will fund research examining the impact of aphid facultative endosymbionts on vector behavior and their ability to transmit non-persistent viruses that affect cucurbit production.  The fellowship starts December 1, 2014 and runs for a full year.  Dr. Jen White at the University of Kentucky is a collaborator on this work.

"Labelpalooza" Event for PERC Collection
​B. York
Date Added: 12/1/2014

​The Purdue Entomological Research Collection staff is hosting a "Labelpalooza" blitz on Friday, December 5th to facilitate digitization and imaging of the PERC pinned collection.  Read all about it in today's Exponent at: Labelpalooza!

Do Insects Have Good Taste?
​Tom TurpinOn Six LegsNovember 26, 2014
 
Date Added: 11/26/2014

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Taste is an important sense found in almost all species of animals. Taste is the dominant sense associated with food and eating, although smell certainly plays a role here as well. Eating and food acquisition are essential to animal survival.

 
Whenever an animal is in the process of devouring a meal, the sense of taste plays an important role. Historically, taste has allowed an animal to discern if something was beneficial to eat or if it was something that would be harmful. While such a statement might have applied to ancient humans who were hunters and gatherers, it probably doesn't apply to most people today. In fact, it might be just the opposite. Recent reports have surfaced suggesting that human desire for sweet- and salty-tasting foods might actually be harmful to our health. Indeed it has been shown in some studies that obese people who have either lost the sense of taste or had it diminished are less likely to eat food harmful to them.

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