Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tallowtree Spread Increased by Hurricanes

Tallowtree Spread Increased by Hurricanes

"U.S. Forest Service data show tallow now spreading across 10 states. Its growth nearly tripled in Texas in the last two decades, and increased 500 percent in Louisiana, where its higher tolerance for salinity enables it to crowd out moss-covered bald cypress in swamps and bayous. Populations also are up along the Atlantic coast, from Florida to the Carolinas.

“Tallows take advantage of disturbances,” said Nancy Loewenstein, an invasive plant specialist at Auburn University. “Storms, floods, construction sites, logging sites, anything that disrupts the environment will give an invasive like tallow an opportunity to take over.”

James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,
The help can’t come too soon for the keepers of America’s suffering forests. Tallows grow into fully mature trees in just three years, far outpacing native maples, oaks, cypress and elms. Their leaves are toxic to some animals, and they cast off litter that changes soil chemistry and disadvantages competitors.

“Chinese tallows are very competitive, and they have no natural predators here like in their native China,” said Karan Rawlins, an invasive species specialist at the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health. 'Very few if any insects recognize it as a food source, so it has basically become a super invader.'"

Read the full article by Stacey Plaisance in NWF Dailey News.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cooperative Extension Advisor needed in California, serving Monterey, San Benito, and San Cruz Counties

The University of California Cooperative Extension Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is looking for someone to fill the vacancy of the Cooperative Extension Advisor - Area Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Advisor - Entomology. (Cooperative Extension (CE) IPM Advisor) The position serves Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties.

"The Area Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Advisor for Entomology will conduct a multi-county extension, education and applied research program that addresses grower and industry needs, including an understanding of local agricultural crops, their farming systems, and their arthropod pests, including insect-vectored diseases in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Primary crops include cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, and spring mix, broccoli, spinach, celery, and cauliflower, as well as strawberries, caneberries, grapes, ornamental plant production and many specialty crops. The Cooperative Extension (CE) IPM Advisor holds a pivotal role in initiating, contributing to and developing management strategies for invasive invertebrate species and new or exotic insect pests. They must also be knowledgeable about insect pest-related quarantines and interstate/international marketing requirements. Key clientele includes growers, government agencies, pest control advisors, and allied industry personnel. The Area IPM Advisor will be a member of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program ( and will participate in UC IPM activities, including development and review of UC IPM online and print publications, organizational meetings, and other programmatic activities relevant to the mission and strategic plan of the Program." - taken from the position purpose section on the position vacancy announcement.

If you are interested and think you might be just what they need, contact University of California, ANR Academic HR, LeChé McGillm, (530) 750-1281,,

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Wood Boring Beetle Attacks Tree-of-heaven

First North American Records of the Eastasian Metallic Wood-
Boring Beetle Agrilus smaragdifrons Ganglbauer (Coleoptera:
Buprestidae: Agrilinae), a Specialist on Tree of Heaven
(Ailanthus altissima, Simaroubaceae)

Abstract.—The East Asian buprestid Agrilus smaragdifrons Ganglbauer is reported for the first time in the Western Hemisphere. Specimens of this species taken from emerald ash borer (A. planipennis Fairmaire) monitoring traps in New Jersey in 2015–2016 suggest establishment of this metallic wood-boring beetle in the northeastern United States. The earliest known record of A. smaragdifrons in the U.S. is based on a verifiable image found on BugGuide, from a specimen collected in Hudson County, New Jersey in June 2011. Diagnostic information and high-resolution images of the of this adventive buprestid from other North American Agrilus. A summary of information about the host plant (Ailanthus altissima), native distribution, and biology are given, and all known North American records are listed and mapped.


Taken from 
Published by: Entomological Society of Washington

Monday, October 16, 2017

Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for an Entomologist!

Image result for MN dept of ag

Vacancy for Entomologist in Plant Protection at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for an entomologist in Plant Protection. If interested in a full-time, permanent position in St. Paul all the info is below! 

"This a full-time, permanent position with the State of Minnesota located in St Paul, Minnesota. This position exists in the Pest Detection and Management Unit which is part of the Plant Protection Division at Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

This position is classified as a Research Scientist 2 and duties for this position will include:
·         Direct policy and lead multi-agency planning efforts related to prevention, early detection and rapid response to invasive pests
·         Direct project staff and budgets, and work collaboratively with scientists and other professionals within the Department of Agriculture
·         Design surveys and other activities related to target pests, as well as analyze and report resulting data
·         Lead inspections and issue state directives in the case of detections of target pests, as well as investigate violations of quarantine or other MDA directives

Candidates must meet these minimum qualifications to apply:
·         A Bachelor's in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent AND three years of professional level experience conducting survey, applied science or research of insects, plant pathogens or plant biology. (A Master's Degree in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent may substitute for one year of experience.)
·         Knowledge of scientific survey and sampling techniques, including knowledge of invasion biology
·         Leadership skills sufficient to guide activities related to survey, outreach and regulations for invasive plant insects and diseases, and explain those activities to partners and clientele.
·         The ability to operate computer software including word processing, spreadsheets and web browsers.
·         Working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), databases, statistical analysis packages.
·         The ability to plan, organize, execute and evaluate research designs and activities independently.
·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills sufficient to write reports, summarize results, interpret technical information, and prepare information for distribution and publication.
·         Possess and maintain an active/valid driver's license with an acceptable motor vehicle record subject to review.
Preferred qualifications for candidates include:
·         Master's Degree or PhD in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent.
·         Experience conducting research of insects, plant pathogens and plant biology.
·         Experience writing and managing grants.

This is a 40 hour/week position and the salary range is $52,659 - $77,590 annually

Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2017, to apply visit the job posting at the Minnesota Careers Builder Website: search JOB ID 16975

For more information contact

Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer
This information can be made available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling (651) 259.3637 or (651) 282-2699 (TTY)."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Antkey Mobile, USDA ITP's newest app

Check out this app from USDA APHIS ITP! Identifty species in the field from your smartphone or tablet. 

Cover art

"The USDA APHIS ITP team is pleased to announce the latest addition to our mobile app collection: Antkey Mobile. Developed in cooperation with the tool’s author, Eli Sarnat, and Australia’s Identic team, this app is based on ITP’s web-based tool, Antkey.

Lucid Mobile apps offer you the identification keys you’ve come to rely on from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet. Antkey Mobile (free for Android or iOS) allows you to take your Lucid key with you into the field for surveys and screening, even if your field site lacks internet access. 

This key allows both specialists and novices to easily identify invasive, introduced, and commonly intercepted ant species from across the globe. You can help confirm whether you have found the correct species by comparing your specimen with the images and descriptions on the fact sheets, which are included for each species."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Want to move to Wisconsin?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking to hire an assistant professor in the Forest and Wildlife Ecology department of the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences. You, yes you, are needed in the land of dairy to research and teach in forest ecology! Candidates need to have a PhD in forest ecology or in a closely related discipline. To apply check out the job posting here. The anticipated starting date is August 10, 2018.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Webinar on Invasive Species and Legal Challenges, Sponsored by: Agricultural and Food Law Consortium

Tackling the Challenge of Invasive Species to Reduce Impacts to Agriculture

Topic: Invasive species negatively impact agricultural operations across the country. Invasive plants reduce crop and livestock production. Invasive animals damage farmland and spread diseases. The webinar will discuss some of the major pathways for invasive species introduction and spread, the roles of federal agencies and state departments of agriculture in invasive species management, and legal challenges in the prevention and control of invasive species. The webinar will also provide an overview of the recent D.C. Circuit Court decision in U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers v. Zinke. The D.C. Circuit held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have authority under the federal Lacey Act to restrict the movement of injurious species across state lines, dealing a significant blow the Service’s invasive species program.

Time and Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 from 12:00 – 1:00 (EDT)

This webinar is offered free of charge and is limited to the first 100 registrants. It is recommended that you test your computer for software compatibility prior to the webinar by clicking here.

There is no pre-registration for this webinar. To enter the webinar, simply click here shortly before it begins.

Presenters: Stephanie Showalter Otts, Director, National Sea Grant Law Center
Stephanie is the Director of the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Stephanie received a B.A. in History from Penn State University and a joint J.D./Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Mississippi. As Director, Stephanie oversees a variety of legal education, research, and outreach activities, including providing legal research services to Sea Grant constituents on ocean and coastal law issues. Stephanie also teaches a foundational course on ocean and coastal law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Stephanie has conducted extensive research on marine aquaculture.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Using Drones to Track Dangerous Invasive Species

A very interesting article in NextGov Newsletter about tracking down wild pigs, a “dangerous, destructive, invasive species wreaking havoc on the nation's crops, pets and outdoor historical sites" using drones. Feral or wild pigs also cause damage to wetlands which often contain rare or endangered plants and other species. Pigs are omnivores which means they will eat animals as well as plants. They also pose a danger to humans who encounter them. 

Damage caused by wild hogs in a pine stand in south Georgia
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,
They often do not fear humans and have damaged yards in this neighborhood.
The Nature Conservancy,

Wild pigs digging for roots or tubers can severely danmage a wetland.
Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Privet biology and management in southeastern U.S. forests

This webinar will cover privet biology, ecology, and management as it pertains to forests in the southeastern U.S.

Chinese and Japanese privet (Ligustrum spp.) are now prevalent across much of the southeastern U.S.  Once a prized landscape shrub, privet has become extremely common in many wooded areas, impacting wildlife, native vegetation, and biodiversity.  Privet management is essential when reforesting harvested areas.  This webinar will discuss different species of privet, and their biology and ecology.  Different management tactics will be covered, including those for small and large privet-infested areas.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia Invasive Plant Control Update

Dobbins Air Reserve Base,
Georgia Invasive Plant Control Update

Management of invasive plant species has been a core part of the natural resources program at Dobbins ARB since the original Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) was established in 1996. Dobbins ARB has been treating nonnative and invasive species regularly since 1997. A total of 24 acres remain in the kudzu eradication program and roughly 20 to 40 acres of privet and wisteria are being treated annually.

Thirteen invasive plant species have been found on Dobbins ARB. Of these, 12 were identified as Category 1 and one as Category 2 (or watch list). In addition, none are identified as federal or state noxious weeds.
Summary of Nonnative and Invasive Species on Dobbins ARB
Invasive Plant Species
Current Status

Common Name
Scientific Name

Tree of heaven
Ailanthus altissima

Albizia julibrissin

Autumn olive
Elaeagnus umbellata

English ivy
Hedera helix

Cogon grass
Imperata cylindrica
Not present

Sericea lespedeza
Lespedeza cuneata

Japanese privet
Ligustrum japonicum
May not be present

Chinese privet
Ligustrum sinensis

Japanese honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica

Japanese stiltgrass
Microstegium vimineum

Princess tree
Paulownia tomentosa

Pueraria lobata
Mostly eradicated

Multiflora rose
Rosa multiflora

Chinese wisteria
Wisteria sinensis
Present, ongoing treatment

Phyllostachys aurea?
Mostly eradicated

Until the recent implementation of a base-wide eradication program, kudzu was considered the priority invasive plant species at Dobbins ARB. Kudzu control efforts have been successful, and this plant was not widely observed since 2004. Continued monitoring and treatment has been implemented for the long-term control of this species, particularly along the NW boundary, where it is still appears. Autumn olive was also targeted for treatment and has now been eradicated from Dobbins ARB. Several additional species have been targeted for treatment as well, with Chinese privet the most persistent and difficult to control.
Due to the widespread occurrence, either on-base or off-base, of many of these exotic, invasive plant species, total eradication would be extremely difficult on Dobbins ARB. Therefore, invasive plant management at Dobbins ARB focuses on control efforts to eliminate invasive plants occurring in ecologically significant areas and preventing their spread to new areas. Most of this management is completed by the USACE as part of the forestry management program.

In 2017 Dobbins ARB completed a 20 acre privet foliar treatment and 40 acres of spot treatment for wisteria, mimosa and kudzu. This is part of an annual invasive plant species control treatment program. Similar acreage is treated each year. This past and current control is having a positive impact on forest stand health at Dobbins ARB.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Request for Ash Samaras for Embryogenic Cultures

Request for Ash Samaras for Embryogenic Cultures
Drs. Scott Merkle and Kamal Gandhi, University of Georgia

Our research team would like to greatly expand our collection of embryogenic cultures from seeds collected from surviving ash trees that have remained alive for at least five years since emerald ash borer (EAB)-induced dieback has been documented in an area.  Below are collection and shipping instructions for cooperators who have identified putatively EAB-tolerant female ash trees from which samaras can be collected.

We would like to get about 50-100 immature samaras per ash tree.  They need to be collected from the tree while they are still immature.  In Athens, Georgia, the stage of green ash seed (not fruit with wing) development that worked best was when seeds were 4-8 mm long and the zygotic embryos inside were 1-3 mm long.  Below are some photos showing the stages of seed and embryo development we tested some years ago.  In the seed photo, the best stages for culture initiation are in the middle of the distribution.  In the embryo photo, the shorter embryos were the best.  The best date for getting those stages here in northeastern Georgia was the third week of August.  The best collection date for white ash seeds in Michigan was the first few weeks of August.  You could dissect some of the samaras to check if the seeds and embryos are near these stages.  Samaras should be stored in zip-lock bags, with the name or code for the tree written on the bag in Sharpie.  Please try to get them into a cooler on cold packs as soon as possible after they are collected and store them in a refrigerator until shipped.  They can be shipped in a cooler on cold packs (cheap Styrofoam cooler in a cardboard box or insulated bag is fine).  FedX or UPS next day delivery would be best (can arrive anytime the next day—it does not need to be here by 10 AM).  We can supply our UPS account number, if needed.  They should be shipped to:

Dr. Scott Merkle
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
180 E. Green Street
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

When you ship, please email the tracking number to  We have had some problems with UPS, and we don’t want the samaras to sit in some broiling warehouse for a day.  Also, please include information about the collection date(s), tree locations, and time since EAB detection/first report of dieback in the area.  Photographs of the crown of the surviving ash trees will be appreciated.

Green ash seed (left) and zygotic embryo (right) developmental stages.  Bar in each photo is 1 mm.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Data and Knowledge Preservation

Photo by: Rebekah D. Wallace
Did you know that many projects begin, have a specific purpose planned out, but do not have a long-term plan in place for the management of the data after the project ends?  This is an issue across many research fields, including natural/physical/social sciences, medicine, and other fields which collect data.  For many years, there wasn't a venue or way for data to be stored, categorized, searchable, and broadly available, so this was a problem without an easy solution.  Now, the internet and public databases have helped to provide a piece to that puzzle, however, there are still issues with adoption of technology, errors in documentation. lack of standardization, and more.  Check out our article on Data and Knowledge Preservation over at Earthzine to learn more about this topic.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Integrative Forest Management for Wildlife and Forest Health" webinar

Multi-use forests can be a problem from land managers and wildlife alike. Learn more on how you can ease this by attending the webinar for Integrative Forest Management for Wildlife and Forest Health on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 1 p.m. EST. Dr. Mark McConnell - University of Georgia, D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources will be this webinar's presenter.

The increasing emphasis on multiple-use forests can be a challenge for landowners and land managers.  This webinar will discuss strategies to increase wildlife populations and habitat while maintaining a productive, healthy forest stand.  Topics covered will include preferred tree species for wildlife, stand structure, and different management strategies for various wildlife species, especially in the southeastern U.S.

CEUs available are: 

  • Texas Dept of Ag - Pesticide Safety Continuing Ed - 1 hour IPM Credit [credits applied for] 
  • Georgia Master Timber Harvester - 1 hour CLE - Environment Credit 
  • Mississippi Professional Logging Manager - 1 hour Other Credit 
  • Society of American Foresters - 1 hour Category 1 Credit 
  • Texas Pro Logger Program - 1 hour Other Credit

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Save the Dates for the 9th International IPM Symposium!

The 9th International IPM Symposium will be held March 19-22, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. The event will allow  for the opportunity to learn about the newest research and ideas for IPM as well as networking with those working in IPM. For more information, check out

IPM 2018 logo

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The People Have Spoken: Using Forest and Firewood National Polling Data to Promote Forest Health

Do you know more about invasive species and their correlation to moving firewood? We have the webinar for you! On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST, Leigh Greenwood from The Nature Conservancy will be presenting "The People Have Spoken: Using Forest and Firewood National Polling Data to Promote Forest Health".

"Invasive species are a major forest health threat in North America, costing federal, state, and local governments billions of dollars annually for monitoring, management, and mitigation of impacts.  Landowners are often negatively affected when forest ecosystems are changed and they lose valuable trees to invasive pests.  Human-mediated movement of invasive species is a common method in which pests travel long distances.  Using data from a national survey of U.S. citizens, this webinar will discuss people's attitudes and knowledge towards invasive species and the relationship with firewood.  We will consider these data, and the common perceptions of individuals who routinely frequent the outdoors, in the broader context of forest health."

CEUs available are:
  • Texas Dept of Ag - Pesticide Safety Continuing Ed - 1 hour IPM Credit   [credits applied for]
  • Georgia Master Timber Harvester - 1 hour CLE - Environment Credit
  • Mississippi Professional Logging Manager - 1 hour Other Credit
  • Society of American Foresters - 1 hour Category 1 Credit
  • Texas Pro Logger Program - 1 hour Other Credit