Department of
Entomology

Entomology News

Professor Andrew Suarez elected AAAS Fellow

Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to include Entomology's and EEB's Andrew Suarez, have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Suarez, a professor of entomology and head of the department of evolution, ecology and behavior, is a leading figure in conservation and invasion biology.

A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds

Scientists, including Adam Dolezal, placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered.

New study shows link between iridescence and friction, wettability of beetle cuticle

Iridescent appearance is ubiquitous in the insect world, and is used for a variety of functions, such as signaling to a mate or providing camouflage. A new study from the University of Illinois is exploring the link between iridescence and the biomechanical properties of beetles’ cuticle, in an effort to better understand what other functions iridescence might serve.

Researchers turn to bees to guide better decision-making

Making important commercial or financial decisions can be a very difficult task, especially with a variety of perspectives and stakeholders to consider. Dr. Marianne Alleyne, assistant professor in entomology, and Molly Sturgis, graduate student researcher in industrial and enterprise systems engineering, have turned to bees to see what kinds of insights could be translated to human decision-making.

Brian Allan named University Scholar for Urbana-Champaign campus

Five University of Illinois professors at the Urbana-Champaign campus, including Brian Allan, have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. They will be honored at a Sept. 12 ceremony at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., Champaign.

Honey Bees Remember Happy and Sad Times, Scientists Discover

While the brains of honey bees are tiny compared to those of humans, the insects are capable of some surprisingly advanced thinking.

The best way to help cows and zebras? Make them live together

In Kenya, cattle reduce tick populations and help protect wildlife

Hollow peg holds key to click beetles’ explosive flips

Struggling to right themselves when stranded on their backs, click beetles have a remarkable correction strategy. Arching the joint between the front and second section of the thorax, the beetles suddenly release the deformation and spring spontaneously into the air. Entomologist Marianne Alleyne collaborated with Aimy Wissa, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and others to examine the structure holding the latch structure together.

Doctoral Candidate Scott Clem Awarded Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Scott Clem, doctoral candidate in Dr. Alex Harmon-Threatt's lab, for being awarded the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Education and Workforce Development (EWD) Predoctoral Fellowship for $119,990 (award no. 2019-67011-29504). This is a two-year fellowship coupled with funding to continue his research on hover fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) migration and other winter survival strategies.

Will more rain mean more risk of mosquito-borne disease?

The risk of some mosquito-borne diseases can go up with increased rainfall, entomology professor Brian Allan said. However, excess rainfall can reduce the number of mosquitos that hatch in stormwater catch basins, such as the Culex species that carry West Nile virus.