In the Media

Anthony Auletta[1/26/16]In this episode we'll explain how spiders weave those amazing webs and stick to walls. We'll also hear how spider venom is being used to find new medicines for humans. Plus, did you know some spiders can fly and others can live underwater? Entomology graduate student Anthony Auletta is interviewed. 
Brains On 

Bob Koch[1/12/2016] MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Neonicotinoid seed treatments are used on a large percentage of soybean acres. However, the value of these treatments was questioned in a 2015 EPA report. In response, field crops entomologists from 12 northern states, including Robert Koch and Bruce Potter from the University of Minnesota, collaborated to create a new multipage extension publication, entitled "The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean", which explains the role of neonicotinoid seed treatments in northern soybean.

Neonicotinoid seed treatments can be a useful tool for management of some early-season soybean pests in targeted high-risk situations. However, the current widespread use of these treatments exceeds the risk posed by pests and may cause adverse consequences, such as impacts to beneficial organisms, such as predatory insects, and lead to development of pest resistance. For the full discussion, see The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean (.pdf).

Marla Spivak [1/12/16]University of Minnesota bee researcher Marla Spivak studies how bees defend themselves and their colonies from threats like illness. And right now, she says, they're having a hard time staying healthy."Breaks my heart, really," Spivak says....Some of the American Beekeeping Federation’s conference's panels are focused on finding a safe way to rid bees of the parasites without using pesticides. WJCT-TV

Dr. Ken Ostlie[12/21/15]  More aggressive rootworm management has recently helped manage this pest, says Dr. Ken Ostlie, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist. "We now have corn hybrids with the pyramid Bt traits with multiple modes of action," Ostlie says. "We've used more soil insecticides and more crop rotation. We even had some aerial spraying for rootworm beetles in 2014, which we haven't used much in Minnesota before. Plus, more fields are being scouted now. We have some areas where up to a third of all cornfields were regularly scouted by farmers and their consultants. See full story at:

Dr. Karen Mesce[12/21/15]  Spectral confocal microscopy has been used to visualize neurons with the help of silver- and gold-based cell labeling. The development enables imaging of archived tissue samples, which could aid long-term clinical research efforts and diagnostics for cancer and neurological disorders... "With the prediction that superior-resolution microscopic techniques will continue to evolve, older archived samples could be reimagined with newer technologies and with the confidence that the signal in question was preserved," said University of Minnesota professor Karen Mesce (Entomology). "The progression or stability of a cancer or other disease could therefore be charted with accuracy over long periods of time."  Full story at: 

Luis Ràzuri Gonzales

[10/22/15] Congratulations to Ernesto Ràzuri Gonzales (M.S. Holzenthal), recipient of a Judd Fellowship, a $2,500 award which funds academic work abroad. This fellowship supported his work surveying the caddisfly fauna of aquatic habitats on the Andes in central Ecuador, and visits to museums and universities in Quito to examine their Trichoptera collections and establish contact with researchers. Well done, Ernie!

Steve Kells Koch [10/13/2015] You likely notice the influx of Asian lady beetles over this past unseasonably warm weekend. The Star Tribune spoke with Val Cervenka and Steve Kells regarding the massive numbers of beetles they witnessed this weekend, and MPR spoke with Bob Koch about the damage the little pests are capable of inflicting. Read the Star Trib articleand listen to the MPR story for more information, but it sounds like the beetles are looking for a warm place to spend the winter, and they're here to stay.

Steve Kells[10/12/15Last week, Dr. Stephen Kells was honored at the Annual Extension Conference, by receiving the "Dean's Award for Outstanding Campus-based Faculty". Steve is an Extension Entomologist whose innovative bed bug program has had regional, national and international reach and success. For more information about his bed bug program, check out "5 Questions with Steve Kells."

Anh Tran[10/5/2015] Congratulations are in order for Anh Tran, M.S. student under Bob Koch, who was recently selected as the recipient of this year's Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló Scholarship. This scholarship is intended to assist women students with financial need in completing their education at the University, with a special focus on women of color, new immigrants, and first generation college students. Anh was recognized at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program.

Koch [10/2/2015] "It was a crazy year for soybean aphids," said Robert Koch, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist - which is one of the reasons that more than 50 people attended the Crop Production Field Day in Clarks Grove, MN on September 15, 2015. The day presents a chance for area farmers to see how hybrids compare side-by-side and to hear firsthand from agricultural professionals. Read the full article.