Tag Archives: entomologist

‘Life as Research Scientist’: Shelley Rogers, Entomologist

Shelley Rogers is an entomologist and farmer, living in Cedar Grove, North Carolina. She studied pollination, specifically blueberry pollination. Shelley is deeply passionate about biodiversity. Recently we spoke with Shelley about her research, current occupation and more.

So let’s join to our latest round of interview with Shelley Rogers on ‘life as research scientist’:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Shelley Rogers:  As a Master’s student, I studied pollination in agricultural ecosystems. I was specifically interested in blueberry pollination, and my research was focused around questions such as which bees are pollinating blueberry; do different pollinator species vary in the frequency of their visitation, their efficiency at pollinating blueberry, or with respect to the environment; and how do  these bees interact and affect one another. For my most recently published study, I wanted to see if successful blueberry pollination was related to bee species diversity, and, if so, how. I found that pollination increased with increasing diversity, and proposed several mechanisms underlying this relationship. (more…)

Read More

At home in her environment

Kate Knuth blends a love of the outdoors with a life of public service

When Kate Knuth proclaims that she loves Minnesota and is dedicated to living and working here, you can hardly accuse her of living in a hometown bubble.

After all, Knuth studied at the University of Chicago, had an internship in Hawaii, earned a master’s degree at Oxford University, and took advantage of a Fulbright scholarship to sample life in Norway. (more…)

Read More

Bittersweet: Bait-Averse Cockroaches Shudder at Sugar

Sugar isn’t always sweet to German cockroaches, especially to the ones that avoid roach baits.

In a study published May 24 in the journal Science, North Carolina State University entomologists show the neural mechanism behind the aversion to glucose, the simple sugar that is a popular ingredient in roach-bait poison. Glucose sets off bitter receptors in roach taste buds, causing roaches to avoid foods that bring on this taste-bud reaction. This aversion has a genetic basis and it eventually spreads to offspring, resulting in increasingly large groups of cockroaches that reject glucose and any baits made with it.

In normal German cockroaches, glucose elicits activity in sugar gustatory receptor neurons, which react when exposed to sugars like glucose and fructose – components of corn syrup, a common roach-bait ingredient. Generally, roaches have a sweet tooth for these sugars. (more…)

Read More

Grooming Helps Insects Keep Their Senses Sharpened

Like a self-absorbed teenager, insects spend a lot of time grooming.

In a study that delves into the mechanisms behind this common function, North Carolina State University researchers show that insect grooming – specifically, antennal cleaning – removes both environmental pollutants and chemicals produced by the insects themselves.

The findings, published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that grooming helps insects maintain acute olfactory senses that are responsible for a host of functions, including finding food, sensing danger and even locating a suitable mate. (more…)

Read More

Compound from Wild Tomatoes is Natural, Effective Herbicide

A naturally occurring compound derived from wild tomato plants is also a fast-acting, nontoxic herbicide, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

NC State entomologist Dr. Mike Roe had previously worked with the compound – known as 2-undecanone – as a natural replacement for the chemical DEET in insect repellents. Both he and his NC State colleague, entomologist Dr. George Kennedy, were exploring whether 2-undecanone could be used as an insecticide on plants, when they noticed an unexpected side effect: it killed the plants. (more…)

Read More

Promiscuous Queen Bees Maintain Genetic Diversity

EAST LANSING, Mich. — By mating with nearly 100 males, queen bees on isolated islands avoid inbreeding and keep colonies healthy.

The results, published in the current issue of PLoS ONE, focused on giant honey bee colonies on Hainan Island, off the coast of China. Since these bees have long been separated from their continental cousins, it was thought that the island bees would be prime candidates for inbreeding as well as having very different genes, said Zachary Huang, Michigan State University entomologist. (more…)

Read More

Building A Better Trap

Fieldwork in Peru’s Andes Mountains is demanding, especially when it involves hauling heavy equipment to remote sites that are accessible only by traversing the region’s rugged terrain.

But the task of collecting insects for the study of vector-borne diseases and other purposes has become a little less onerous since a Yale School of Public Health researcher and colleagues designed a lighter — and perhaps better — trap. (more…)

Read More

Are New England’s Iconic Maples at Risk?

*Invasive Asian longhorned beetle has potential for wide reach in region’s forests*

Are new England’s iconic maple trees at risk? If a beetle has its way, the answer may be yes.

Results from the first study of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in forests show that the invasive insect can easily spread from tree-lined city streets to neighboring forests. (more…)

Read More