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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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12/20/2009: Department head May Berenbaum discusses the increasing use of fly decals to improve hygeine in men's restrooms (NPR).
News Image 12/2009: The Department of Entomology celebrated its 100th birthday with a one-day symposium on December 11th, 2009. Sessions were organized around a distinguished past faculty member who had made a lasting contribution in an area of insect science, and featured invited alumni speakers who are making a contemporary impact on that area. Please visit the official EntCent website for more information, and visit the UI News Bureau for a slideshow about the history of the department!

News Image 12/2009: 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!

10/7/2009: Congratulations to department head May Berenbaum, who has received the 2009 AAAS Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award!
10/6/2009: Emeritus professor Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer publishes "Fireflies, Honey, and Silk," a book documenting the beneficial impact of insects on human society. The text is illustrated by fellow department member Dr. James Nardi.
9/26/2009: Professor Gene Robinson is awarded the NIH Pioneer award to use bees as a model for studying the molecular basis of altruism and addiction.
8/25/2009: Drs. Reed Johnson, May Berenbaum, and Gene Robinson identify a new marker for colony collapse disorder and a potential cause (PNAS, Time).
8/17/2009: The Robinson lab links inherited aggression in Africanized bees to genes and behaviors that are induced by environmental factors in European honey bees (PNAS).
8/14/2009: Department head May Berenbaum discusses the agricultural - and the cultural - impacts of honey bees in a two-part podcast (Scientific American: Part 1; Part 2). Also, click here to read an online forum where Dr. Berenbaum discusses the use of DDT to combat malaria (Public Radio International).
8/3/2009: The Electronic BeeSpace Project is featured on ESA's Buzz of the Week.
7/22/2009: Congratulations to Professor Gene Robinson, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America.
7/7/2009: Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Jeff Lozier humorously illustrates the pitfalls of ecological niche modeling (J. Biogeogr.).
6/23/2009: Congratulations to department head May Berenbaum for taking first place in the National Pollinator Week recipe contest with her original dessert recipe, "Apiscotti."
6/8/2009: Dr. Barry Alto leads a study reporting that a predatory midge preferentially eats the larvae of invasive Asian tiger mosquitoes over native species of mosquito (J. Anim. Ecol).
News Image 5/2009: 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.).
News Image 3/2009: Congratulations to the Illinois Linnaean Games team for their first place victory at the 2009 North Central Branch meeting of the ESA! Team members Rob Mitchell, Scott Shreve, Nils Cordes, Fred Larabee, and Stephanie Dold defeated teams from several competing schools to bring home the gold. These students will move on to represent their school and their branch at the national meeting in December. A further congratulations to all students who presented at the meeting, and to Rob Mitchell for taking first place in the student competition.

2/12/2009: Professor Jim Whitfield discusses how parasitic wasps use a virus to subdue their hosts' immune system. (Nature News).
2/10/2009: Research of the Robinson lab is humorously featured on a segment of the Colbert Report. (Comedy Central).
2/3/2009: Dr. Sam Beshers co-authors a study on how leaf-cutter ants regulate the flow of traffic in foraging trails (J. Exp. Biol).
News Image 2/2009: 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.

News Image 2/2009: The University of Illinois Library, in conjunction with the Chicago Field Museum, is digitizing 175 volumes on the taxonomy and life history of the Hymenoptera! As entomologists know well, the Hymenoptera -- the ants, bees, and wasps -- contain a staggering amount of diversity and the addition of these books to our digital collections is exciting news. Read more at the library's blog, or view a example scan of a French monograph.

News Image 1/2009: To celebrate its centennial, the Department of Entomology published its first calendar, titled 'Orange & Blue Insects.' This 2009 calendar marks important entomological dates and features images of insects with natural patterns of orange and blue colors. Click here for a close-up of the cover!