Our department publishes a (mostly) biennial newsletter that includes information on professors, students, postdocs, and alumni, as well as notable events and occurrences around the department. The most recent newsletters are listed below and are free for download. More recent newsletters may be larger files (>5MB) and require a long load time. Older newsletters are archived on a separate page and may be reached by the link below.
The Department of Entomology hosted the 31st Annual Insect Fear Film Festival on February 22, 2014. The theme for the year was Pesticide Fear with some scary films that frightened and delighted guests. The festival showcased the movies: Riders of the Whistling Pines (1949) and Locusts: The 8th Plague (2005) and featured the insect petting zoo, BugScope, face painting, and our annual insect art contest! Thanks to our volunteers!
Congratulations to Dr. Brian Allan, who has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation! His research will center around how human land management, including livestock production and wildlife conservation for ecotourism, can affect tick-borne diseases and human health. For more information on ongoing research in the Allan lab please click here.
6/2013: Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate National Pollinator Week on June 17th through the 23rd. Our 6th annual celebration events included: a guided nature walk of the prairie at Meadowbrook, pollinator food guides at the Common Ground Food Co-op, an insect photography workshop by Alex Wild, a workshop on nurturing native bees, and children's activities! For more information, please visit the website.
The 30th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival took place on February 23, 2013. The theme for this year was The InsX-Files: The Truth (About Insects) Is Out There, with special guest Chris Carter, creator of the X-Files. The festival featured the episode The X-Files: "The War of the Coprophages," about a wave of deaths linked to what may be alien robotic cockroaches, followed by the 1998 feature The X-Files: Fight the Future, about killer bees that transmit a deadly alien virus by stinging. The event featured a variety of exhibits and activities, including exotic insect displays from around the world, the insect petting zoo, face painting and entries from the annual insect art contest. For more information, please check out the official IFFF website and Facebook page.
6/13/2012: Congratulations to Department Head May Berenbaum, who was recently named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, in recognition for her eminent and distinguished service to the field of entomology!
6/12/2012: The Robinson Lab develops a technique to probe the relationship between gene expression and transcription factors in the honey bee (PNAS).
We hope you all were able to attend our National Pollinator Week events, which took place June 18th through the 24th. Events included: food guides at Common Ground Food Co-op, a pollinator dinner at Buvons Wine Bar, honey and cheese tasting at Prairie Fruits Farm, an Insects and Music Performance at the Pollinatarium, a concert by The Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra, an insect photography workshop by Alex Wild, and many children's activities! For more information, please visit the website!
The Department of Entomology hosted its 29th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival. The theme this year was International Ant films with some more recent scary films that frightened and delighted guests. The festival showcased the movies: Glass Trap (2005) and The Bone Snatcher (2003) and featured an insect petting zoo, the BugScope, face painting, and our annual insect art contest! For more information, please check out the official IFFF website. Thank you to all of our guests and volunteers!
Thanks to all who attended and volunteered at the Department of Entomology's 28th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival! This year we presented cinema showcasing Killer Wasps, including the 1958 B-movie classic Monster from Green Hell and the more recent made-for-TV "Swarmed" (2005). Special thanks goes to the producer of Swarmed, Gordon Yang, who visited the festival to introduce his film and discuss it with the audience. As always, we featured an insect petting zoo, art contest, hands-on electron microscopy, and displays of insects from around the world.
1/31/2011: Congratulations to department head May Berenbaum, who has been awarded the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean's Award for Undergraduate Teaching!
Department head May Berenbaum and the U of I Press have published "Honey, I'm Homemade", a dessert cookbook featuring honey-based recipes donated by our students, staff, alumni, and other sources worldwide. Sales of the book benefit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, the first freestanding science outreach center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. The department celebrated the release with a launch party and cooking competition featuring recipes from the book. Images of the elegant (and delicious) entries are available online, courtesy of photographer Alex Wild.
9/28/2010: The University of Illinois has the highest ranked entomology doctoral program nationwide, according to an analysis conducted by the National Research Council. The data were obtained from a variety of statistics from the 2005-6 academic year, including faculty publications, grants, student GRE scores, financial support, program size, and time to degree. For more information and to view the data, visit the National Academies Press and view the free download options.
The Department of Entomology was pleased to offer IB 496: Introduction to Beekeeping during Summer Session II of 2010. Students in this course learned the skills to manage small apiaries for honey production. Additional lecture topics included bee biology, genetics, social evolution, pests & diseases, native pollinators, and a history of apiculture. Please visit the course website for more information, or contact course instructor Alex Wild.
The Department of Entomology's 27th annual Insect Fear Film Festival, "Prehistoric Insects," was a huge success! For this year's theme we went back millions of years in Earth's history to take a look at some spectacular and bizarre prehistoric creatures. This year our insect petting zoo featured popular "pets" like cockroaches, moths and grasshoppers as well as live horseshoe crabs and a display of insect fossils! For more information, check out the official IFFF website.
Congratulations to the Illinois Linnaean Games team for winning the national championship at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America! Team members Rob Mitchell, Scott Shreve, Nils Cordes, Fred Larabee, and Stephanie Dold defeated teams from several competing schools for the department's first victory at the national level. Further congratulations to Cindy McDonnell and Emilie Bess for winning honors for their presentations in the student competition!
The Department of Entomology's newest outreach effort, the Pollinatarium, has opened its doors. This small museum is located south of the university's Arboretum and is dedicated to educating the public about the natural history of pollinators such as bees, bats, and butterflies. The Pollinatarium will be open beginning May 30th, every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 PM. Click here to watch a photoessay by the News-Gazette, or visit the Pollinatarium website for more information!
4/28/2009: The photography of postdoctoral researcher Dr. Alex Wild is featured in a New York Times slide show presentation on ants (NYT).
4/2/2009: The Cameron lab pioneers a new technique to non-destructively sample genetic data from museum specimens, and demonstrates that populations of bumble bees have fragmented and lost genetic diversity as numbers have declined (Mol. Ecol.).
The Department of Entomology hosted the 26th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival, "Centipede Cinema," on Saturday, February 28th, 2009. This year's movies debuted the insects' fellow arthropods: the Myriapods! Our terrifying film offerings featured a giant centipede menacing spelunkers and hordes of smaller centipedes devouring their victims alive. We also featured a live petting zoo with our own giant centipedes and millipedes, interactive electron microscopy, insect artwork, and exotic insect displays from around the world! For those who missed it, the event can be seen here in a multimedia report by the News-Gazette, and pictures are available here courtesy of graduate student Jo-Anne Holley and postdoc Alex Wild. Some of our live insects can be seen here in pre-festival publicity on WICD, and Environmental Almanac covered the natural history of our star performers.
The Champaign Urbana Pollinator Awareness Network (CUPAN), in conjunction with the Department of Entomology, planned a celebration of National Pollinator Week during June 22-28, 2008. Activities kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Plant Biology Conservatory on the University of Illinois campus, and featured a pollinator art exhibit, pollinator-themed tours of the conservatory and greenhouses and information on how the public can participate in pollinator conservation. The week's activities also included children's discovery programs, workshops on bee identification and the BeeSpotter monitoring program, events at the Farmer's Market, and many other opportunities to observe and appreciate pollinators in our community.
Analytics has released the results of their 2006-07 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.
This index measures departments in several areas, including faculty publications, other
works citing these publications, grants awarded, and many others. This year our department took
the #3 spot among Entomology departments nationwide, and ranked first in the subcategories
of grants and awards per faculty. For more information, please see a description of the
survey's methods here.
The Department of Entomology hosted the 25th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival, "Animated Social Insects," on Saturday, February 23rd. This year's feature, Bee Movie, shook up our usual film roles and pitted bees against a villainous honey industry bent on bee subjugation. Following that, we were proud to host Simon Smith, director of Bee Movie, who discussed his work on the film and answered questions from the audience! We wrapped up the evening with an ant's quest for individuality in 1998's animated film Antz. We also featured a live insect petting zoo, an active, observation bee hive, interactive electron microscopy, insect artwork, and exotic insect displays from around the world!
The University of Illinois has launched the BeeSpotter web portal, designed to
aid the public in identifying and reporting populations of honey bees and bumble bees.
The site, a work in progress, allows users to submit bee pictures and the locations where
they were taken. The pictures are identified by staff in the Department of Entomology,
and the location data is incorporated into a map to create a statewide record of bee
populations. The site will also feature guides to bees, and information on several other
bee-related topics such as natural history, sting treatment, and bee gardens.
We are proud to announce that Ph.D. Alum, Dr. Rachel Galun (1955),
received the 2007 LAS Alumni Achievement Award. This award is
given to alumni who have demonstrated the
values derived from a liberal arts and science education, through
outstanding achievement. For more information about Dr. Galun and
her work, please read her CV
and letter of nomination
(MS Word format).
Their Buzz - Dr. Berenbaum discusses honey bee decline in a New York Times op-ed piece (NYT account required).
Analytics has rated the UIUC Department of Entomology #1 in the nation
by a wide margin in their 2005-06
Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. This index, as reported by the
Chronicle of Higher Education, measured departments in several factors:
faculty publications, other works citing these publications, grants awarded,
and many others. For more information, please see a description of the
survey's methods here.