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Welcome to the Department of Entomology

For more than 125 years, our faculty members, staff and students have been working to advance the field of insect biology and apply that knowledge to solve problems and improve lives.

As one of the top-ranked entomology programs in the country, our work spans the globe and impacts human lives on many levels, influencing a broad range of disciplines including human and veterinary medicine, farming, biodiversity and genomics.

Entomology News

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Insecticide resistance monitoring of House flies

Jul 9, 2019

House flies have evolved resistance to most insecticides, and as insecticide use continues over seasons it is expected that levels of resistance will rise. Freeman et al. recently investigated (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048357519301282?via%3Dihub) flies collected from livestock facilities in five states to check levels of resistance against three commonly used insecticides. A population collected from Kansas had previously unseen high levels of resistance to permethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, that could mean this type of insecticide will be of limited use for house fly control in the United States in the near future.
 

Insecticide resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and sour rot

Jul 9, 2019

Control of sour rot in grapes is commonly achieved using insecticide to control D. melanogaster.  2018 was one of the worst years for sour rot in grapes in New York in decades. Sun et al. report that the outbreak of sour rot at one NY vineyard was associated with an inability to control D. melanogaster due to the evolution of resistance. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz039

Conservation of the Sodium Channel between Different Insects is Explored

Jul 9, 2019

The voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC) is essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials. The VSSC can change sodium kinetics by producing different splice variants (optional and mutually exclusive exons). The VSSC is the target site of pyrethroid insecticides as well as DDT and oxadiazines, which are used for control of crop pests and vectors of human diseases. Unfortunately, knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations in Vssc confer resistance to these insecticides. Recently, Silva and Scott 2019 investigated the conservation of VSSC by three approaches: (1) across insect Orders, (2) codon constraints of kdr mutations between populations of Aedes aegypti and (3) within a population of Drosophila melanogaster. Overall, VSSC is highly conserved across insects and within a population of an insect but important differences do exist. 

 

Pollinator Network

Pollinators are essential for maintaining floral diversity and for producing many important agricultural crops that feed residents of New York and other areas of the world. 

Cornell University has a robust network of pollinator research and extension program related to all aspects of pollinator life: Ecology, Evolution, Biodiversity, Behavior, Pesticides, Pests, parasites, and disease, Pollinator management.  Explore the Cornell Pollinator website for information on bee research taking place at Cornell, news and upcoming events, and for a variety of extension materials related to pollinators and beekeeping.

Engaged Entomology

EOA students Mike Wolfin and Zach Cohen have been visiting local schools educating students about different insects and arthropods while Joanna Fisher has been visiting with groups like 4H, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, Master Forest Owners, EAB First Detectors trying to teach the public how to identify invasive species like emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and Asian longhorned beetle.

The Naturalist Outreach group has been visiting local classrooms and community groups to talk about the natural history, ecology, and behavior of animals and plants.  They have also created a series of videos teaching the public about an array of issues from pollination to bats to aquatic insects and more.  This group is not only teaching but trying to inspire and engage more people into science.

Insectapalooza is a one day insect fair held annually by the department bringing in families from as far as Michigan each year.  This event reaches thousands of visitors who get hands on experience learning about many different arthropods, their importance and benefits to our community.

Emprire Farm Days and the New York State Fair are two other annual events attended by the Department of Entomology where large groups of people are reached.  

Fruit Fly Trap

Ever wonder how to get rid of those pesky fruit flies in your home?
 

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Do ladybugs help your garden grow? Depends on surroundings

Jul 15, 2019

A new study of cabbage crops in New York – a state industry worth close to $60 million in 2017, according to the USDA – reports for the first time that the effectiveness of releasing natural enemies to combat pests depends on the landscape surrounding the field.

Nice catch: Cornell scientists net 139-pound Oneida Lake sturgeon

Jul 15, 2019

Researchers from the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point on Oneida Lake, in Bridgeport, New York, caught, tagged and released a 139-pound lake sturgeon – a threatened species – possibly the largest fish ever caught on that lake.

CALS signs new admissions agreement with Binghamton University

Jul 10, 2019

The Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has entered into an articulation agreement with the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that will allow students in the plant sciences major to transfer into Binghamton’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program after three years of undergraduate study.

Farmworker initiatives earn community engagement honor

Jul 5, 2019

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has named Cornell University the winner of the 2019 Northeast Region Community Engagement Scholarship Award. Given by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the award recognizes extraordinary community outreach initiatives by its member universities. Cornell was recognized for its interdisciplinary farmworker research and collaboration initiatives, which collectively benefit thousands of farmworkers in 40 counties across New York state and beyond.
 

Four on faculty receive Carpenter Advising Awards

Jun 20, 2019

Four faculty members have received Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Awards, which recognize contributions of professorial faculty and senior lecturers to undergraduate advising.

Program expands to help Latin American growers

Jun 19, 2019

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Produce Safety Alliance has recently expanded its efforts in order to help Latin American growers adhere to U.S. federal safety regulations.

Do more for birds, not less, Rodewald tells Congress

Jun 17, 2019

Amanda Rodewald, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s senior director of conservation science, testified to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources on the importance of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Awards fund innovations in digital agriculture

Jun 14, 2019

Projects ranging from a soil-swimming robot that can sense conditions in the root zone in real time to computational models that can predict produce spoilage received seed funds from the Cornell Initiative for Digital Agriculture’s new Research Innovation Fund.

Wolfe offers ag fixes to ‘complex, severe’ climate change

Jun 14, 2019

David Wolfe, professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, told a congressional committee in a hearing on agricultural resiliency that climate change impacts have been more complex and severe than scientists had forecast three decades ago.

Lab of Ornithology debuts its first feature film

Jun 14, 2019

“Bird of Prey,” the first feature documentary produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, was released to the public June 13. It tells the story of the great Philippine eagle, the largest and rarest bird of prey in the world.

Empire apple breeder Roger Way dies at 100

Jun 12, 2019

Roger Way, Ph.D. ’53, professor emeritus of pomology and world-renowned apple breeder, died June 2 in State College, Pennsylvania. He was 100 years old.

Grant writing course for female faculty tackles funding gap

Jun 11, 2019

To address a funding imbalance, the Cornell Women’s Grant Fellows Workshop aims to familiarize female assistant professors with the landscape of federal funders, program officers and grant applications, and to teach tips for writing a winning proposal.

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