ESA 2023 Award Winners

Congratulations to Maria Fiorta for placing 1st in the Undergraduate MUVE, PBT and P-IE: Biocontrol, Genetics, and Ecology at the 2023 Entomological Society of America Student Competition for her oral presentation titled “Investigating how light pollution disrupts the molecular regulation of diapause in mosquitoes.”

Congratulations to Lydia Fyie for placing 2nd in the Graduate P-IE: Ecology at the 2023 Entomological Society of America Student Competition for her oral presentation on “Does light pollution interfere with seasonal responses in mosquitoes?”Maria receiving her award at the 2023 Entomological Society of America awards ceremony

Congratulations Matt!

Congratulations to Matt Wolkoff for earning 1st place in the Autumn 2023 Delong Award for his oral presentation titled “The cycle gene is essential ​for both circadian rhythmicity and seasonal responses in ​Culex pipiens.

Congratulations to the new Dr. Siperstein!

Alden (left) and his advisory committee from left to right, Drs. Megan Meuti, Sarah Short, Mary Gardiner, and Laura Pomeroy.Congratulations to Alden Siperstein for defending his thesis on “Studies on biting in Culex mosquitoes.” Alden studied the molecular basis of biting in mosquitoes, when mosquitoes initiate and terminate their overwintering dormancy and seasonal changes in host use.

Spring Awards 2023 Awards

Congratulations to Lydia Fyie and Matt Wolkoff for their accomplishments in the OSU Department of Entomology’s 2023 Spring Awards. Lydia Fyie was awarded the Susan W. Fisher Teaching Award for her excellent work as a Teaching Assistant. Lydia has been instrumental in redesigning the laboratory portion of the Insect Physiology course at OSU, taught by Dr. Megan Meuti. She spent many hours designing, integrating, and preparing complicated laboratory experiments, demonstrating her love of and talent for teaching. Matt Wolkoff was awarded the Lowell R. “Skip” Nault Research Award for his exceptional work in designing a research system to determine the activity levels of diapausing and non-diapausing mosquitoes using the “Fly Box system.” His paper in this field has already been heavily cited, a testament to the value of his research.

Lydia Fyie (left) holding her Susan W. Fisher Teaching Award   Matt Wolkoff (left) holding the Lowell R. "Skip" Nault Research Award

Congratulations Sydney!!!

Sydney by her award-winning posterCongratulations to Sydney Robare for earning 1st place in the CFAES Research Forum Poster Competition for her work in “Evaluating Geospatial, Human Behavioral, and Social Drivers of Mosquito Abundance and West Nile Virus Disease Risk.” Additionally, Sydney also earned the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Award for her work in “Uncovering the relationship between sociological factors, mosquito abundance and West Nile virus risk in Franklin County, Ohio.” Great work!!!

Congratulations Maria!

Maria (left) received 3rd place at the Denman in Animal Science for her work on light pollution

Congratulations to Maria Fiorta for receiving 3rd place at the Denman in Animal Sciences for her work in “Understanding how light pollution affects mosquito blood-feeding and molecular biology.”

Congratulations Olivia!!!

Congratulations to Olivia Bianco on successfully defending her honors thesis and graduating with research distinction! Olivia’s thesis focuses on characterizing whether and how royal jelly, a substance produced by honey bees, might affect seasonal responses in mosquitoes. Olivia was co-advised by Dr. Matthias Klein in Food Science and Technology and used molecular (qRT-PCR and RNA interference), phenotypic measures (egg follicle size, macronutrient stores) and metabolomics. Her dataset is truly impressive and surprising; she found that consuming royal jelly completely reversed the seasonal responses of mosquitoes (e.g. caused mosquitoes reared in summer-like conditions to show winter-like characteristics and caused mosquitoes reared in winter-like conditions to display summer-like characteristics). Olivia is currently preparing her thesis to be submitted soon as first author manuscript to the Journal of Experimental Biology. In the fall she will attend OSU Vet School! Way to go Olivia!!!!

Alden’s first paper!!!

Congratulations to Alden Siperstein on publishing his first paper as a first author in Evolutionary Applications! This study summarizes our findings on mRNA abundance differs between biting and non-biting Culex pipiens mosquitoes. The work was supported by an NIH R21 awarded to Peter Armbruster at Georgetown University, Christine Holzapfel at the University of Oregon and PI Megan. Check out the article here!

Congratulations Hannah Tronetti!

Congratulations to Hannah Tronetti, an undergraduate student who successfully defended her research thesis. Hannah will graduate with her B.S. in Animal Sciences and will return home to Pittsburgh before starting Veterinary School (hopefully at OSU!) in the fall of 2022. Hannah’s thesis is entitled “Attempt to Establish Field Colony of Culex restuans to Assess the Urban Heat Island Effect” and can be accessed here.