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News Archive


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.

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12/5/2011: Dr. Andrew Suarez contributes to a study regarding mutualistic interactions in the imported red fire ant (PNAS).
11/18/2011: Department head May Berenbaum discusses her five favorite insect books (The Browser).
11/16/2011: Congratulations to all who presented at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America! Honors went to graduate students Rob Mitchell and Nick Naeger for their presentations in the Student Competition. Further congratulations to Dr. Joseph Spencer for taking an award with his short film, "Prairie Cicadas at Loda Cemetary."
10/5/2011: Dr. James Whitfield collaborates on a study that infers traits of the last universal common ancestor, the most recent organism from which all life descends (Biol. Direct).
9/27/2011: The Robinson lab links observed behavioral states in bees to discrete patterns of expressed genes (PNAS).
News Image 7/29/2011: The BugScope project at the University of Illinois has been awarded the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education! Bugscope is an online service provided through the UI Beckman Institute and allows classrooms anywhere in the world to remotely control a scanning electron microscope and view insects on a grand scale. The browser-based software includes a live chat session where students can have questions answered by Bugscope staff as well as volunteers from the Department of Entomology. For more information, visit the BugScope website or read the prize essay published in Science Magazine.
7/20/2011: Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Wenfu Mao leads a study identifying several detoxification enzymes in honey bees that break down pesticides (PNAS).
6/20/2011: Department head May Berenbaum discusses honey bee decline in a brief interview (Smithsonian Magazine).
6/15/2011: Dr. Gene Robinson discusses the new i5k initiative to sequence the genomes of 5,000 insects (Am. Entomol., PCT Magazine).
5/25/2011: Dr. Gene Robinson discusses the recent finding that queen determination in honey bees is primarily driven by a specific and strongly conserved protein in royal jelly (Nature).
4/22/2011: The Pittendrigh lab identifies cellular pathways in Drosophila melanogaster that are affected by methamphetamines (PLoS ONE).
News Image 4/15/2011: Department head May Berenbaum was awarded the 2011 Tyler Environmental Prize, a $200,000 award that recognizes individuals who have contributed in an outstanding manner to scientific knowledge and public leadership to preserve and enhance the environment of the world. The award recognizes Dr. Berenbaum's pioneering research in chemical ecology and her efforts to educate the public on insects, entomology, and the recent bee decline. Past laureates include Jane Goodall, Edward O. Wilson, and Paul Ehrlich. For more information, please view the award announcement.
4/12/2011: Members of the Robinson lab compare sequence data from ten bee species to identify several genes and biological processes in social insects that may be driving the evolution of sociality (PNAS; also see review in F1000).
4/5/2011: Dr. Kevin Johnson and colleagues demonstrate that lice diversified before the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, suggesting a much earlier date for the radiation of birds and mammals (Biol. Lett.).
3/10/2011: Dr. Brian Allan discusses the ecology behind the recent spike in tick-borne diseases (MSNBC).
3/1/2011: Members of the Pittendrigh lab develop instructive animated videos that play in cell phones, which will be used in educational programs in developing nations (CNET).
News Image 2/2011: 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.

2/4/2011: Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Sam Heads describes the first fossil representative of the extant grasshopper genus Schizodactylus, and finds that the genus has changed very little despite 100 million years of evolution (ZooKeys).
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!