Hodson Alumni Award Recipients

2014 Hodson Graduate Alumni Recipient - Dr. Deborah McCullough

Dr. Deborah G. McCullough holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the U of MN under Dr. Herb Kulman (1990). She is a professor with a joint appointment in Entomology and Forestry at Michigan State University (MSU), where her responsibilities include research, extension, and teaching. Her research focuses on forest insect ecology, impacts, and management, with the goal of developing long-term, sustainable strategies to protect forest health.

Dr. McCullough's recent research includes invasive forest pests, such as emerald ash borer (EAB). Results are delivered to many different groups, including foresters, arborists, regulatory officials, property owners, members of Native American tribes and conservation groups. McCullough has given over 650 presentations since 1992. She regularly provides information to a variety of media, directs the national EAB website, has published 60+ manuals and extension bulletins, and has written 50+ articles for trade publications. McCullough has also published 95+ papers about forest insect ecology and management in scientific journals. McCullough teaches Insects and Diseases of Forest Shade Trees annually to Forestry and Horticulture students.

She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University in 2006, was recognized by the MI Department of Agriculture for Outstanding Contributions to Michigan Natural Resources in 2005, and received MSU awards for the Outstanding Extension Specialist (2002, 2000), and NCB-ESA Extension Award (2014).

2013 Hodson Alumni Award Recipient - Dr. Eric Mussen

Dr. Eric Mussen received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Entomology from our department in 1969, and 1975, respectively. He earned his B.S. degree in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts (after turning down an offer to play football at Harvard). His graduate work was conducted under the supervision ofProfessors H.C. Chiang and Basil Furgala. While here, he was an active member of the department's Bowling Team, known as the "Bowl Weevil's" (we may need to bring this back).

Eric's PhD research focused on the impact of Nosema spp. on honey bee health -- a topic that continues to be of keen interest today. Given this foundation, he was confronted with many new challenges regarding honey bee health and pollination concerns when he arrived at UC-Davis in 1976. Some 37 years later, he is still actively "tackling" these new challenges (mites, diseases, and Africanized honey bees, to name a few) to enhance the pollination success of California's diverse agricultural cropping systems, with considerable emphasis on almonds.

Bill Hutchison, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota, presented Mussen with the award at the spring award's event, May 28, 2013. The award memorializes Alexander C. Hodson, Department Head from 1960-1974 who died in 1996. The Hodson Graduate Alumni Award was established in 1998 to recognize and honor outstanding alumni of the Department of Entomology.

Mussen was nominated by Dr. Marla Spivak, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Apiculture and 2010 MacArthur Fellow, and Gary Reuter, apiculture technician, both with the University of Minnesota. Faculty and staff from UC Davis contributed to the nomination package.

A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Mussen received his bachelor's degree in entomology from the University of Massachusetts (after turning down an offer to play football at Harvard) and then received his master's degree and doctorate in entomology from the University of Minnesota.

His doctoral research focused on the epidemiology of a viral disease of larval honey bees, sacbrood virus. "During those studies I also was involved in studies concerning sunflower pollination and control of a microsporidian parasite of honey bees, Nosema apis," Mussen recalled. "Now a new species of Nosema has displaced N. apis and is even more difficult to keep subdued."

Considered by his peers as one of the most respected and influential professional apiculturists in the nation, Mussen was named the California Beekeeper of the Year in 2006, won the American Association of Professional Apiculturists' Award of Excellence in Extension Apiculture in 2007, and in 2008 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. He received the statewide Pedro Ilic Outstanding Agricultural Educator Award in 2010. This year he and four other colleagues ("The Bee Team"--Neal Williams, Robbin Thorp, Brian Johnson and Lynn Kimsey) won the team award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America.

In brief he is in demand, and he continues to be the primary source for objective information on honey bee health, and pollination in California. Congrats Eric, and thanks again for a stimulating seminar at the Hodson event in May!

2012 Hodson Alumni Award Recipient - Dr. Abdelaziz Lagnaoui

Dr. Abdelaziz ("Aziz") Lagnaoui is a distinguished alumnus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), University of Minnesota. He received his M.S. in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1991 from the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Edward (Ted) B. Radcliffeserved as his Major Professor for both degrees. As a graduate student, Aziz was a Linnaean Games Team Member representing the department at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) conferences from 1986 through 1989. The team won in both 1986 and 1988.

In 1991, Dr. Lagnaoui went to work for the International Potato Center (CIP) Regional Office for North Africa and the Middle East, based in Tunis. In this capacity he worked to develop collaboration between national programs in the region and took the lead in coordinating research activities. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Lagnaoui was project leader for integrated pest management (IPM) for root and tuber crops at the CIP, based in Lima, Peru. In this position he directed IPM research and training programs worldwide, and has now worked in more than 30 countries.

Dr. Lagnaoui has been widely published and acknowledged throughout his distinguished career for his ability to work across cultures and disciplines. Since his first position with the international Potato Center (CIP) in Tunisia and Peru, to his current position, Aziz has taken on increasingly challenging agricultural and community development mandates. He is currently the Senior Pest Management Policy Adviser for the Quality Assurance and Compliance Unit of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Group (ESSD) with the World Bank, Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Dr. Lagnaoui works with some of the world's poorest countries on sustainable development by creating partnerships among public, private, and non-governmental sectors.

In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious University of Minnesota Distinguished Leadership Award for outstanding achievements. On May 14th, the Department of Entomology was proud to honor Dr. Lagnaoui with the 2012 Hodson Graduate Alumni Award, University of Minnesota.

He presented a talk titled, "IPM: CHallenges and Opportunities in Developing Countries - A World Bank Perspective".

2011 Hodson Alumni Award Recipient - Dr. Dale Clayton

Dr. Dale Clayton is currently a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah. He is also Adjunct Curator, Utah Museum of Natural History, and Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Larada Sciences Inc., UT.

Dr. Clayton received his B.A. in Biology, Hartwick College (NY), his M.S. in Entomology, Univ. of Minnesota (1983) with Dr. Roger Price (Professor Emeritus), and his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Chicago in 1989. Dale received a prestigious NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship and has won numerous awards since, including the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal (Am. Soc. of Parasitologists) and Fellow of the Am. Ornithologists' Union. In brief, Dale is a world authority on the systematics of bird (chewing) lice, and reciprocal effects of hosts and parasites on one another in both ecological and evolutionary time; he is currently summarizing his life's work (to date) in a book entitled: "The Ecological Basis of Co-evolutionary History: Lessons from Lice."

Dale has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in over 40 different journals, including PNAS, Proc. Royal Soc., PLoS, with two papers featured in Science. He has mentored 12 Graduate students and 6 postdocs and numerous undergraduate students, in addition to his formal teaching responsibilities. Much of his funding is from NSF, with grants totaling over $2.6 million.

In addition to his many research accomplishments, Dale fostered a unique and practical outcome of his research on human lice. In 2004, with funding from the Utah Centers of Excellence program, Dale established the Center for Alternate Strategies of Parasite Removal (CASPeR). The sole purpose of the center was to develop a device capable of controlling head lice with carefully controlled and directed warm air. This machine, named the "LouseBuster" has proven to be a major success. It is currently being marketed by Larada Sciences Inc., a University of Utah spinoff company based in Salt Lake City. This work was published in the journal Pediatrics in 2006 and generated worldwide attention (especially from school kids and teachers).

Dale gave one of the most fascinating seminars since the inception of the Hodson Award. The Department also acknowledges the hospitality of Drs. Susan Weller and Bob Zink for hosting a grand reception for Dale during his visit.

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.

2009 Hodson Alumni Award Recipient - Dr. Sujaya Rao

Dr. Sujaya Rao
Associate Professor
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Oregon State University

Dr. Sujaya Rao was named Hodson Award recipient for 2009 and presented her lecture on Integrating Native Bee Research with 'Outside the Box' Learning Opportunities

Dr. Rao is an entomologist of many talents. She is an outspoken advocate of the Entomology Program at Oregon State University. Her research is centered on agricultural entomology with a strong emphasis on the grass seed industry in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Rao has deposited a number of voucher specimens in OSAC and is currently working on a large project with W.P. Stephen on local bumblebee populations; a study that made use of the historical material housed at OSAC.

In addition to her research, Dr. Rao is a tireless supporter of entomology outreach - working with the NSF K-12 program, OSU's SMILE program and serving as the Faculty advisor for the undergraduate organization: BugZoo.