From the desk of Kris Braman

Welcome back students to the start of a new semester! Our UGA Entomology Department is excited to welcome new faculty and staff to the team.

Dr. Shayla Saltzman joined the faculty as Assistant Professor this month on the Athens Campus. She is a chemical ecologist interested in the evolution and molecular mechanisms that underly plant-insect interactions. Her research integrates across scientific disciplines to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of biodiversity and conservation biology.

Dr. Erich Schoeller joined the faculty on our Griffin Campus as an Assistant Professor of controlled environment entomology. His research area of expertise is integrated pest management within protected agriculture, focusing on biological control. His research attempts to better understand how various factors contribute to the success or failure of biological control programs against arthropod pests.

Dr. Lewis Bartlett joined our tenure track faculty this month as an Assistant Professor on the Athens campus in a joint hire with the Odum School of Ecology. He works in the area of honey bee health.

Ms. Liz Duclos also joined our team this month as Business Manager located in the main Entomology office on our Athens Campus.

Our UGA Entomology Department is delighted to congratulate Dr. Glen Rains as PI on a multidisciplinary (NIFA) grant to develop a climate-smart “4-D Farm” and Dr. Dan Suiter on being selected as the Orkin Professor of Urban Entomology.

On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tyler Harper announced the first detection of the yellow-legged hornet (YLH), Vespa velutina, in North America. The specimen was reported by a beekeeper near the port of Savannah. This hornet is not to be confused with the Asian (now “Northern”) giant hornet discovered in the Northwestern USA in 2020 and which has so far not been found outside that region. YLH is primarily a threat to Georgia’s beekeeping industry and is not considered a major health threat to Georgians. As information becomes available, Georgians can report suspect specimens to websites maintained by GDA and the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at UGA Tifton Campus.

Identifying Characteristics of the Yellow-legged Hornet