2010 Hodson Alumni Award Recipient - Dr. Bhadriraju Subramanyam

Dr. Bhadriraju Subramanyam (Subi) is currently a professor in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He received both his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees in the Department of Entomology; for his M.S. he was advised by Dr. Laurence K. Cutkompand his thesis was titled "Susceptibility of Larval Instars of the Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera) to Bacillus thuringiensis - Insecticide Combinations." His Ph.D. advisor was Philip K. Harein and his Ph.D. thesis was titled "Insect Species Infesting Stored Barley in Minnesota: Their Detection, Distribution, Estimation, and Resistance to Organophosphates."

From 1989-1996 Subi was an Assistant Extension Professor and from 1996-1999 an Associate Extension Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. In 1999 he accepted a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University, where he has established an internationally renowned stored-product entomology laboratory. His research program "…straddles the research continuum, from the fundamental to the adaptive to the disseminative." His current research emphasizes the sampling/trapping of stored-product insects, the management of those same insects with pesticide alternatives or reduced-risk pesticides and the development and evaluation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for insects associated with stored grain and processed food products. In addition to his research, Subi teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as well as giving guest lecturers in other courses at Kansas State University. He organizes and participates in workshops and panels on various control methods for stored-product insects. He advises students in the Department of Entomology as well as the Department of Grain Science and Industry. He is the author/editor of several books on stored-product insects; the latest, Stored Product Insect Resource, was written with David W. Hagstrum and published in 2009.

We congratulate Dr. Subramanyam on his distinguished career and accomplishments and are pleased to present him with this year's Hodson Graduate Alumni Award.

Presentation Abstract

Optimizing heat treatments for management of stored-product insects in food-processing facilities

Stored-product insects associated with food-processing facilities are managed with fumigants (methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride), aerosols, residual products, and heat. Heat treatment is a safe, effective, and environmentally friendly technology for managing insects in food-processing facilities. Heat is a viable alternative to methyl bromide, a structural fumigant that was phased out in the United States in 2005, except for certain critical uses. Heat treatment involves raising the temperature of the whole structure or a portion of it to temperatures between 50 and 60oC, and maintaining these high temperatures for at least 24 hours. Optimizing heat treatments requires determining the right amount of heat energy to raise and hold the temperatures for effective disinfestation, predicting insect mortality in "real time" during a heat treatment so that corrective action can be taken to improve efficacy, and stopping the heat treatment when all insects have died. A Heat Treatment Calculator software was developed and validated to determine the heat energy required during a facility heat treatment. A novel thermal death kinetic model was developed and validated for heat tolerant stages of the red and confused flour beetles for predicting survival of insects as a function of time-dependent temperature profile collected during facility heat treatments. Specific wireless sensors and a software program, Efficacy Assessment in Real Time during Heat Treatment (EARTH), were used to predict survival of heat tolerant stages of the red flour beetle in "real time" during facility heat treatments. The use of these tools have been instrumental in improving efficacy of heat treatments, and while at the same time reducing costs to the users.