Entomology graduate students tour state locations
New entomology graduate students spent three and a half days in August on a tour to meet off-campus faculty and learn about entomological and agricultural issues in the state.
The trip was coordinated by Tim Kring and Ashley Dowling. Stops include the Jonesboro area for veterinary entomology, Stuttgart for rice insects, Rohwer for cotton and soybean insects and a visit with grower Steve Stevens, and near Mena for fire ant research.
Students also collected insects along the way for some of the courses that require collections.
Hosts at the main stops were:
Tanja McKay (Jonesboro), Arkansas Biosciences Institute, discussed forensic entomology with the
visual aid of a pig cadaver, which are used to simulate human cadavers, and also her
work on mosquitoes as related to dog heartworms.
John Bernhardt (Stuttgart) gave a tour of the USDA-ARS rice facility and his research plots where
the students waded into rice fields to collect insects associated with rice.
Scott Akin (Rohwer) discussed cotton pest management research, and students collected insects
in cotton fields. The students viewed farm equipment close-up and met grower Steve
Stephens and a consultant in the area.
Jon Zawislak, a recent Ph.D. graduate, joined the group at DeGray Lake and gave a presentation
on apiculture and the role of extension in this industry.
Kelly Loftin and John Hopkins joined the tour near Mena where a parasitic fly was released and
is established to help control the red imported fire ant.