Winners of Friends of Southern IPM Award Announced

Winners from four Southern states will be recognized this year as Friends of Southern Integrated Pest Management. For the first time this year, we will award two Ph.D. students.

Lindsy Iglesias and Zachary DeVries tied for the Ph.D. student award. Iglesias, in her final semester at the University of Florida, has been studying the distribution of spotted wing drosophila in the field and testing various tools to help organic growers manage the pest. Her research on distribution led to the discovery that SWD populated mostly around the edges of the field. Subsequent trials have indicated that border sprays in the beginning of the season can reduce SWD populations.

Zachary DeVries

Zachary DeVries, a Ph.D. from NC State University who is just beginning a postdoc position, has been working on integrated control of cockroaches in low-income homes. A 2018 IPM Symposium award recipient as well, DeVries has been examining how the placement of cockroach baits in a home affects control and allergens. He also analyzed the effectiveness of do-it-yourself foggers and is currently continuing work on a possible bed bug bait.

Louisiana State University student James Villegas won the Masters student award. Currently in his first semester of his doctoral studies, Villegas has been exploring the effectiveness of silicon soil amendments on rice resistance to rice water weevil. Initial results in silicon-laden fields have been promising but inconclusive, so Villegas and advisor Dr. Michael Stout plan to start new trials in locations with no previous silicon amendments.

Adam Dale

Past student winners have often continued their leadership in their first faculty appointment. Previous Ph.D. award winner Adam Dale is a prime example. Dale, who received the Ph.D. award in 2015 when he was a student at NC State University, won Future Leader award this year as an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. At NC State, Dale studied under this year’s Bright Idea winner Steven Frank, researching the effects of urban heat on scale insects. He has continued his urban tree focus at the University of Florida, along with adding studies on insect pests of landscapes and turf. He built a lab that supports several students by securing over $475,000 in funding in his first two years.

Steve Frank

NC State University entomologist Steve Frank, Future Leader award winner in 2013, won the Bright Idea award this year. For the past several years, Frank has been studying how impervious surfaces such as asphalt affect scale insect infestations of urban trees. Based on the results, he developed a formula called the Pace to Plant method to predict areas in urban landscapes where trees would have a better chance of surviving. His innovative technique is now also being used internationally to study the effects of climate change on other insects and bees.

David Riley

IPM Educator winner and University of Georgia professor David Riley has made significant contributions to international IPM through mentoring students. According to Georgia IPM Coordinator and nominator Ashfaq Sial, Riley has served as major professor for 19 graduate student programs, served on 14 other graduate student committees and advised 46 MPPPM students. Many of his students have gone on to continue their contribution to IPM across the border in Mexico, Thailand, India and companies within the US. In addition, Riley has developed IPM courses for the Masters in Pest Protection and Pest Management Program.

The IPM Implementer award goes to a team of area managers from Glades Crop Care. The three consultants who comprise the team—Felicia Parks, Steve Hoak and Leon Lucas—cover eight states plus Puerto Rico, providing scouting and management advice for whitefly, thrips and other insects. Working with Glades IPM practitioners, the team is responsible for nearly 50,000 acres of production. Because of the large amount of ground they have to cover, they have developed effective communication and reporting methods that use a variety of different technologies.

Jim Cuda

Lifetime Achievement award winner Jim Cuda has been a stalwart proponent for biological control throughout his career. An entomologist at the University of Florida, he has used his knowledge of insects to find new predators to control…weeds. In fact, one of his most successful projects involved the biological control of tropical soda apple in pastures. Through the release of a leaf beetle, ranches in two major Florida counties have reduced or eliminated herbicide applications, and herbicide control of the plant in general has significantly decreased.

As in the past, winners will be recognized at various meetings or conferences throughout the year.

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