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John Obermeyer receives Outstanding Service Award for 2012
​Beth York
Date Added: 12/20/2012

2012 Obermeyer OSA.jpg

Congratulations to John Obermeyer, the 2012 recipient of the Entomology Department Outstanding Service Award. John received his award and was honored at the award ceremony on December 17, 2012. In addition to a commemorative clock/plaque, there is also a cash gift. Colleagues Rick Foster, Tammy Luck and Christian Krupke offered numerous examples of John's many contributions to the department.
Other award winners at the ceremony were: Joe Braasch, Outstanding Masters Student; Kapil Raje, Outstanding PhD Student; and Faith Weeks, Outstanding Service by a Student.


Christmas vegetation good bug food
​Tom TurpinOn Six LegsDecember 13, 2012
Date Added: 12/17/2012

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A Christmas season without traditional decorations wouldn't be quite as festive. All kinds of items are used to adorn our homes and businesses at this time of year - strings of lights, candy canes, sleigh bells, nativity scenes and plants.
Yes, plants. Many varieties of trees, including firs, pines, spruces and cedars, are decorated for Christmas. The 2012 national Christmas tree in the White House is a 19-foor Fraser fir. Fraser firs are the most popular species for Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.


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Lindsay Kolich and ESA President's prize winning poster
​Matt Ginzel, Steve Yaninek
Date Added: 12/13/2012

Lindsay Kolich and ESA President's Prize winning poster (2).jpgCongratulations to Lindsay Kolich, who won first prize in the President's Award category for her poster on developing ash varieties that increase resistance to emerald ash borer and improve the efficacy of biological control agents at the ESA meeting in Knoxville in November.


Scott Williams Publishes Cartoon
​Beth York
Date Added: 12/11/2012

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PhD student Scott Williams is published in the December 11, 2012 issue of The Purdue Exponent. This Fall 2012 Literary Edition features poems, essays, photos, art work and other artistic submissions from campus. Scott's entry, a cartoon captioned "Cricket," appears on the back page under Art Submissions.
Congratulations to Scott on successfully completing another step in his creative process.


Gladys Andino completes Programming for Biology course
​Gladys Andino with Beth York
Date Added: 12/4/2012

ColdSpringWorkshop2.jpg​​PhD student Gladys Andino recently attended the Programming for Biology course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. This 15-day course focused on scripting using the Perl programming language to enable biologists to analyze next generation sequencing DNA and RNA data.


The first week focused on familiarity with Unix and the basics of Perl, as well as ready-built modules like Bioperl. Introductory coding lectures were followed by sessions of problem solving sets. Each session allowed continuation of exploring different biological libraries and practical bioinformatics tools such as BLAST, genome and transcriptome assemblers, as well as SNP's discovery software.


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Rick Brandenburg a 2013 Distinguished Agriculture Alum
​Jay AkridgeAnnouncement 11/29/12
Date Added: 11/30/2012

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Congratulations to Rick Brandenburg (BS '77), William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University, who has been selected as one of nine Distinguished Ag Alumni in 2013. The other awardees are listed below. The award ceremony is scheduled for Friday, March 1, 2013 so mark your calendars. Watch Purdue Agriculture InFocus for more details.
Timothy K. Adams
Independent Consultant, MBO Partners 
BS 1982, Biochemistry and Animal Sciences


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Tickets Available for "Let's Make a Meal"
​Beth York
Date Added: 11/27/2012

​​The Science Theater Outreach Program (S.T.O.P.) will be putting on their play "Let's Make a Meal" on Sunday, December 2, 2012 in the Mallett Theater in Pao Hall. Performances will be at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and tickets are available for both performances. This is a food and agriculture play geared toward fifth graders. All are welcome, but ticket-holders will be seated on a priority basis.

See Professor Tom Turpin or the Main Office to pick up your ticket(s).


Linda Mason PUCESA Career Award winner
Pat EhrlichAdvance Purdue
Date Added: 11/10/2012


Dr. Linda Mason, associate dean of grad school and professor of entomology, received the Senior Career Award for LindaMason.jpgExtension Thursday, November 8th at the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Association Conference. Mason was recognized for her more than 20 years in Extension leadership, excellence in delivering public education programs, and research that has benefited extension clientele.
As the “go to extension entomologist” for extension educators, food pest management companies, and their clientele, Mason’s efforts have also resulted in more than $2 million in savings and a 20% reduction in pesticide applications worldwide.


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Greg Hunt and Jennifer Tsuruda track down genes that help bees defend against mites
​Brian WallheimerFrom Purdue Agricultural NewsNovember 8, 2012
Date Added: 11/9/2012


Purdue University researchers are zeroing in on genes that help honeybees defend against varroa mites, one of the largest factors in bee population declines.
Varroa mites are parasites that attack honeybees and infect them with viruses that cause death. The mites can infest and kill entire bee colonies. But certain honeybees have developed defensive behaviors that allow them to kill the varroa mites or disrupt mite reproduction. Greg Hunt, a professor of behavioral genetics, and Jennifer Tsuruda, a Purdue postdoctoral researcher, are searching for the genes that provide those defenses and believe they've narrowed the options considerably.




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Cutthroat politics, insect-style
​Tom Turpin From "On Six Legs"November 8, 2012
Date Added: 11/8/2012


Another U.S. presidential campaign has come and gone. Every four years we go through the throes of choosing the individual entrusted to lead these 50 states of the USA. We vote. Casting our ballots is one of the hallmarks of a country where the statement "We the People" is held dear.

We also use the ballot box to decide which people should hold other offices. We elect U.S. senators and congressmen. We select state governors and state legislators. Mayors, county councilmen, judges, sheriffs and even an occasional dogcatcher are put in place by the one-person, one-vote process.


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Tom Turpin named Honorary Old Master
​From the Old Masters Program BookletNovember 4-6, 2012
Date Added: 11/6/2012

Tom Turpin has been named an honorary Old Master for 2012. The program activities are being held November1Turpin.jpg 4-6, and the excerpt on Dr. Turpin from the program booklet reads as follows: Tom Turpin is a Purdue University professor of entomology and Cooperative Extension Service entomologist. Turpin created "Bug Bowl" in 1990 to demonstrate insect mobility to his students; the annual event now attracts more than 20,000 people as well as worldwide media attention. A popular speaker, he gives presentations on a variety of agricultural-related topics to audiences of all ages and has been featured in national magazines, on network television shows, and talk and call-in radio programs. A dedicated teacher, he has received numerous teaching honors, including Purdue's top undergraduate teaching award.

Congratulations, Tom, you Old Master, you!


High Five Frankfort High School Mentors!
​Melissa ShepsonOctober 30, 2012
Date Added: 10/31/2012

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I’m writing this afternoon to recognize and send out a big thank you to the members of the department who participated in the third Frankfort High School Science Mentors Project. DoE mentors this year were: Joe Braasch, Matt Ginzel, Gabriel Hughes, Lindsay Kolich, Morgan Lucke, Ahmad shah Mohammadi, Jonathan Neal, Donnie Peterson, Elizabeth Rowen, Madeline Spigler, Tom Turpin, Dan Martin, Emily Mroczkiewicz, Susan Schechter, Faith Weeks, Scott Williams, and Steve Yaninek. These representatives partnered with Stacy Baugh, a biology and zoology teacher at Frankfort High School, to mentor her students as they designed an insect related science project. The culminating activity was a community science fair held at the high school in Frankfort last night.

2012 OVEA Competition
Steve YaninekOctober 29, 2012​
Date Added: 10/29/2012

Purdue Entomology participated in the Ohio Valley Entomological Association's (OVEA) 25th Annual Forum for Student Competition this paOVEA 2012.jpgst Friday. The event was held at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. There were forty-four student presentations (a recent record) representing Cincinnati, Goshen, Kentucky, Ohio State, Purdue and Xavier. Purdue had 10 participants including an undergraduate (Chelsea Wood), two MS students (Jessica Kelly, Nikki VanDerLaan), and 7 PhD students (Mahsa Fardisi, Gabriel Hughes, Matt Paschen, Kapil Raje, Yanlin Tian, Faith Weeks and Scott Williams). Competition was very stiff with mostly very good to excellent presentations across the board. Purdue took a first place in the MS competition (Nikki VanDerLaan - BS '10), and came very close in the other competitions. One of our alumni (Jennifer Gordon, BS '08 now at Kentucky) won third place in the PhD competition. Other alumni in attendance included OVEA president Jonathan Larson (BS '09), and Goshen assistant professor Andy Ammons (PhD '07) who brought two students to the competition. A full account of the competition is expected later in the week.




Bug-infested office
​Tom TurpinOn Six LegsOctober 25, 2012
Date Added: 10/28/2012

I guess I have to admit it: My office is a mess! At least I’ve heard it described with that word. My wife, office secretaries, faculty colleagues, students – even my department head – all manage to include “mess” or a similar term when speaking of my office.
It is probably because I have a lot of stuff in my office. Not just stuff, but insect- related stuff – stuff that I use for teaching or stuff that I just might need some day for who knows what. After all, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
To be sure, my office has some of the requisite stuff for an office. Pictures of my wife, kids and grandkids. A plaque or two signifying a citation or an award. A desk. A computer. Some bookcases and bookshelves. A couple of file cabinets. A telephone. A clock. Two chairs – one for me, another for a guest. A microphone for recording podcasts.
It is not these rather standard office-type items that move some folks to declare my office a mess. It is the rest of the stuff, the buggy stuff that seems to be the basis for their declaration of untidiness.

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Ashley Kissick takes 3rd place in ESE poster competition
Linda S. Lee, AgronomyBeth York, Entomology​
Date Added: 10/26/2012


​Jeff Holland's graduate Student, Ashley Kissick, won 3rd place in the Ecological Science and Engineering 2012 poster
competition in the Graduate category. Her poster was entitled A Survey of Beetle Predators along a Landscape Gradient. Additional information about the competition follows.



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Gary Bennett publishes new book, "Bugs Be Gone"
​Gary Bennett/Steve YaninekOctober 25, 2012
Date Added: 10/25/2012

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform released a new book by Gary Bennett on August 28, 2012 entitled Bugs Be Gone: PeBugs Be Gone.jpgst control in homes and other buildings. Sold by North Coast Media LLC, they had this writeup on the volume.

Many insects, and some of their close relatives, commonly invade homes and other buildings, annoying the human occupants, damaging the structures, eating or contaminating the food, inflicting painful bites and stings, and transmitting debilitating and deadly diseases to the people and their pets. This practical illustrated guide is broken down by pest types (cockroaches) or by where they may be found (food pests) or by the harm they cause (stinging pests). Each chapter begins with a summary of the pests in that chapter, along with how-to-do-it information on how to get rid of pests in an environmentally friendly manner. Quite often this means calling a professional pest management company to eliminate the problem and to assist you in preventing the pest problem from occurring again. More details are presented in the chapter texts that follow the chapter summary. These details are provided for consumers and professional pest managers who want to research each pest and its control in greater depth. Bottom line – Bugs Be Gone is designed to help consumers eliminate pests in homes and other buildings and prevent their return.
Available at the following link:


Murdock and Lowenberg-DeBoer receive Burkina Faso's highest honor for PICS
​Tom CampbellPurdue Agricultural NewsOctober 22, 2012
Date Added: 10/23/2012


​Purdue University College of Agriculture faculty members Larry Murdock and James "Jess" Lowenberg-DeBoer received the highest honor given murdock-deboer-awardLO.jpgby the West African nation of Burkina Faso for their work in improving storage of the staple cowpea crops.
The Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Burkina Faso, the equivalent to the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and rarely given to foreigners, was awarded to Murdock and Lowenberg-DeBoer on Oct. 13 during the pair's visit to the country. The word "Chevalier" translates to "Knight."
"The high-level honor we received is a direct consequence of the priority that the Burkinabés put on food security," Murdock said. "Jess and I are overwhelmed by the honor. To be thought of in such high regard by the Burkinabé people is truly humbling."

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Christian Krupke's student Madeline Spigler awarded research grant from Purdue Center for Global Food Security
​Phillip FioriniFor Purdue News ServiceOctober 17, 2012
Date Added: 10/22/2012


A Purdue University research center leading efforts to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to help solve world hungspigler madeline 02.jpger is awarding $444,250 in grants to graduate students at 14 U.S. universities.
The Purdue Center for Global Food Security announced 23 research grants for student projects in 18 countries as part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program. The funding is through a five-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The grants for students at the 14 universities, including Purdue, range from $7,000 to $40,000 and are intended to provide support for overseas research projects leading to a master's or doctoral degree, Gary Burniske, managing director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, said Wednesday (Oct. 17) in announcing the recipients.


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Larry Murdock receives major award for PICS
​Steve YaniekOctober 18, 2012
Date Added: 10/21/2012

Medal.jpgMurdock and Lowenberg Deboer rec metals.jpg
Larry Murdock and Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer received the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Burkina Faso” (“Knight of the National Order of Burkina Faso”) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on Saturday October 13th. The award was in recognition for their outstanding achievements with the PICS program. The National Order is the highest honor given by the government of Burkina Faso. Attached are photos of the event and the medals they received. AgComm is working on a press release that will provide more details.


David Fincannon's Tribute to John V. Osmun
​David Fincannon
Date Added: 10/16/2012

David Fincannon, President, A-All Pest Control in Dallas, Texas, re-released his video on YouTube about the first Entomology degree in memory of John Osmun. In David's words: "I will miss him so much." Video Link: First Entomology Degree


Multitudes of bees and wasps
​Tom TurpinFrom "On Six Legs"October 11, 2012
Date Added: 10/12/2012

Temperate regions of the world are characterized by distinct seasons throughout the year. Each season has good and bad points. Winter has beautiful snow-covered landscapes, freezing temperatures and ice on roadways. New leaves, flowers, thunderstorms and tornados are hallmarks of spring. Summer is a time for water sports and hot and sweaty days. Autumn is harvest time, falling leaves, and bees and wasps.



Why is it that we always seem to be overrun with bees and wasps as the days decline during the fall season? The answer can be found in the biology of some of the social bees and wasps.


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David Fincannon's (BS '82) Entomology History Videos
​David W. FincannonOctober 10, 2012
Date Added: 10/11/2012

​Purdue alum David W. Fincannon (BS '82) recently wrote us to let us know he has been creating some Mofincannon.bmpments in Purdue Entomology videos and placing them on his YouTube channel. To view these videos (there are 22 of them!) you can access them through this link:


David wishes us all a happy Centennial celebration, and will publish more videos in the coming weeks.

Insect weed eaters
​Tom TurpinFrom "On Six Legs"September 27, 2012 issue
Date Added: 10/1/2012

Botanists have long opined that a weed is just a plant out of place. To farmers, gardeners and lawn owners, a weed could be classified as public enemy No. 1. To herbicide manufacturers and distributors, a weed is a source of income. To a number of insect species, a weed is merely something good to eat.
About half of the insects in the world feed on plants, and these six-legged creatures don't shun a food source just because it's called a weed by humans. What insects are plant feeders? Almost all of the butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and walking sticks chow down on plants. So do most of the true bugs, about 30 percent of the beetles and a few bees, wasps and flies.


Individual plant species vary as to the number of insect species that make a meal of them. That is because plants defend themselves against insect feeding with physical barriers, such as spines and thorns or chemicals toxic to the insect.




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Ian Smith (BS '07) keep education a priority
​Beth YorkFrom an interview with Ian Smith 7/6/12
Date Added: 9/27/2012


When Ian Smith was a sophomore at Purdue University, he had more than classes and projects and homework and deadlines . . . he had vision. He had a determination to create a foundation which would encourage inner-city students and help them focus on completing their education.
Now, the Ian Smith Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana is doing exactly that. Founded in 2005, volunteer mentors are paired with at-risk youth to provide the impetus and encouragement they need to succeed. The Foundation differs from organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters in concentrating on academic goals rather than family or social opportunities.


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EAB likely in most Lafayette-area trees, Purdue expert says
​Keith RobinsonFrom Purdue TodaySeptember 26, 2012
Date Added: 9/26/2012

​The highly destructive emerald ash borer has been discovered in the city of West Lafayette after being found in neighboring Lafayette last year, suggesting that most ash trees in the area now are infested, a Purdue University entomologist and expert on the invasive beetle said.


Cliff Sadof said homeowners need to decide now if they want to protect their trees next spring because it is time to plan against next year's crop of beetles or begin putting money aside to pay for tree removal. He predicts that the beetle will kill every untreated ash in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area in 4-5 years.


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Some Human Surnames Suggestive of Insects
​Tom TurpinOn Six LegsSeptember 13, 2012 issue
Date Added: 9/13/2012

Exactly when people began to acquire personal names is not known. My guess is that it was about the same time we began to connect through language. After all, language evolved as a way for people to communicate with each other. And if we were going to talk to someone, or about someone, it was necessary to have names for individuals. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, there were a lot of Whos in Whoville, and we had to be able to tell them apart. So we gave people names like Tom, Dick or Sally.
In our early history, when there weren't a lot of us, most people had only one name. In modern times, if you are famous, or a king, queen or pope, one name is still sufficient. Names such as Madonna, Cher, Yanni, Pele, Elizabeth or Paul can stand alone. But, historically, one name can lead to confusion, so we have Elizabeth I and II, and Pope Paul I through VI.


Today, most people have at least two names - a given name and a surname. Your given name is one that your parents decide you should have. Your surname generally is a family name, the name of your father in some societies or your mother in others. Today, some people hyphenate their last names to reflect both paternal and maternal surnames.


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Tom Turpin addresses insect invasions
​Erik Hartman, Assistant Campus EditorFrom The ExponentSeptember 5, 2012
Date Added: 9/5/2012

Imagine yourself in a tight, dark space, damp from water and festering with thousands of cockroaches crawling all over you. You can feel the little legs running over your skin. It sounds like a scene from a nightmare.


Although this scenario isn’t a common occurrence, Tim Freels says he has found himself in the occasional “unnerving” situation. Purdue turns to its pest and rodent control technician for its occasional insect infestations. Freels said insects are not necessarily a major issue on campus, but with so many people and buildings, pest control problems do sometimes arise.


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Turpin workshop to apply farm wisdom to cultivating teaching
​From Purdue TodayAugust 30, 2012
Date Added: 8/30/2012

He didn’t know it at the time, but growing up on a Kansas farm gave Tom Turpin his personal perspective on teaching. On Sept. 6, this award-winning instructor will share his insights on how some of the rules associated with agriculture apply to teaching.
The occasion is "Everything You Need to Know About Teaching According to Tom Turpin," a workshop from the Center for Instructional Excellence. It will be at 9-10:30 a.m. in Pfendler Hall, Room 241 (Deans Auditorium). Turpin is professor of entomology with responsibility in insect outreach, as well as instruction development specialist.



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To kill or not to kill insects
Tom Turpin From On Six LegsAugust 9, 2012
Date Added: 8/27/2012

To kill or not to kill insects is a question that has bugged humans throughout our existence. The question is rooted in the historical battle between humans and insects for the earth's resources. In addition, some insect species pose health risks to humans through stinging, allergic reactions or transmission of disease-causing organisms. These negative aspects of insects mean, to some people at least, that the only good insect is a dead insect!


The vast majority of insects are not a hazard to humans. However, insects that are dangerous, or that resemble dangerous insects, can cause people to panic. It happened last weekend (Aug. 4) at the Purdue University graduation ceremony.


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Purdue Entomology Tribute to Boilermaker Neil Armstrong
​John Obermeyer
Date Added: 8/27/2012
Purdue Entomology Tribute to Boilermaker Neil Armstrong
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In honor of 100 years of excellence and service, Purdue Entomology is currently producing a film designed to capture alumni memories of campus life and some recent dramatic improvements. One segment of the video recognizes Neil Armstrong, Boilermaker and first man on the moon, in front of Armstrong Hall of Engineering. We felt this segment was fitting as a tribute to him and his passionate spirit for science and exploration. The complete video will be released at the national Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee in November.
(Click on the word "film" above or on the gold headline to view the tribute.)
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