Graduate Scholar Insect Biology, Bayer

Your tasks and responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of this role, (Graduate Scholar), are to:

Alternatives for the control of white grubs in lawns and turf grass areas are needed to replace current synthetic insecticides Bayer wishes to meet the desire for increasingly environmentally-friendly / biologically based solutions and continue to provide a solution in these markets. The grad scholar scientist will be a highly motivated, self-starter with knowledge in entomology and the turf grass ecosystem. The successful candidate will be charged with the objective of developing novel grub control solutions and delivering effective control of grubs in turf which meet the regulatory standards for non-chemical products. Specifically, the candidate will identify within Bayer Biologics novel and differentiated target sites and solutions for pest control. Support and increase Bayer Biologics understanding of insect physiology/pathology with an emphasis on coleoptera. Disruption of insect gut function is a promising target for chewing insects that are indirect pests of crop plants.

Additionally, the candidate should complement and synergize the new-target discovery activities of Biologics. Continue reading

Common bacterium may help control disease-bearing mosquitoes

 

Genes from a common bacterium can be harnessed to sterilize male insects, a tool that can potentially control populations of both disease-bearing mosquitoes and agricultural pests, researchers at Yale University and Vanderbilt University report in related studies published Feb. 27 in two Nature journals.

The studies highlight the peculiar reproductive role of Wolbachia bacteria, which are found in the testes and ovaries of most insect species. Eggs fail to develop when fertilized by infected males, a process called cytoplasmic incompatibility. However, when females are also infected with Wolbachia, healthy embryos can develop. Continue reading

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

Waterhemp has been locked in an arms race with farmers for decades. Nearly every time farmers attack the weed with a new herbicide, waterhemp becomes resistant to it, reducing or eliminating the efficacy of the chemical. Some waterhemp populations have evolved resistance to multiple herbicides, making them incredibly difficult to kill.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that waterhemp can evolve resistance in at least two ways. In target-site resistance, a gene mutation changes the protein that the herbicide is designed to attack. With an ill-fitting protein binding site, the herbicide becomes ineffective. The plus side of target-site resistance is that it is relatively easy to identify using standard lab procedures. Continue reading

Join the National March Madness Citizen Science Project to find the BMSB

University and USDA Entomologists are teaming up to map the location and population density of a newly invasive insect, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys. You can help us track and the insect in urban environments by joining the project to put BMSB on the map.

  • Representative elementary and middle schools in each of the 48 States are receiving this invitation to participate in the

 ‘March Madness Citizen Science Project to Find Stinky’ .

  • Students and parents interested in participating in the project will begin
    by taking an image of your BMSB.  Then send your image to EDDMaps
    . Once confirmed, report your findings daily.
  • Follow the guidelines on the BMSB Project website to get started.

Let the March Madness Citizen Science Project Begin! Continue reading

Cover crops can be beneficial with informed decisions

In Southwest Farm Press

A cover crop used in conjunction with a conservation tillage system may help conserve soil and improve soil health, fertility, water quality, weed/disease/pest control, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.

But it requires “educated management decisions,” says Paul DeLaune, Texas AgriLife Research agronomist at Vernon, Texas. He discussed ongoing cover crop research on the Texas Rolling Plains during the Red River Crops Conference. Continue reading

Program educates youth on the importance of pollinators to agriculture, daily life

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

St. John Berchmans Catholic School students in San Antonio learned about the importance of pollinators at the Feed a Bee Planting Event presented Feb. 27 by Bayer in collaboration with National 4-H and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County.

The event kicked off Bayer’s 12th annual AgVocacy Forum, which this year takes place from Feb. 28 through March 1 in San Antonio. Continue reading

Fever ticks slipping across quarantine zone into Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

If you mention fever ticks to a Texas beef producer, chances are he knows what you’re talking about. But animal health activists say a reduction in outbreaks in recent years has made the risks posed by the ticks seem less dangerous and threatening.

But Texas Animal Health Commission Communications and Emergency Management Specialist Thomas Swafford warns that when it comes to fever ticks, not fully understanding the risks involved in an outbreak is a terrible mistake. Continue reading