The Aggie Women in Entomology coordinated an outreach event led by Dr. Christina Brock during the second annual Science Night at Pebble Creek Elementary. The event hosted 300 students and their families to enjoy a range of scientific activities contributed by researchers at TAMU and from local companies. This was an excellent opportunity for us to get kids excited about bugs and to represent Aggie Women in Entomology in the community. We’ve already heard from some of the teachers that there is a lot of buzz about our AWEsome table!!
The 2018 WISE annual conference focused on the theme “Transitions: Building Bridges" which looks at critical connections essential to successfully navigating, mastering, and maximizing the many facets and phases of life”.
Dr. Cecilia Tamborindeguy was invited to participate as both a speaker and panelist during the conference. She is the first speaker ever to be invited from the Department of Entomology and her talk was well incredibly well received by all STEM field attendees. Her talk entitled “Transitions: Building Bridges for a Migratory Life in Entomology” gave the audience the story of her journey from graduate student to a post doctoral researcher to facility. Her story focused on the transitions she made both geographically and academically.
The event featured a day of common ground, conversation and inspiration among friends in a series of interactive workshops featuring speakers who are examples of diversified bridge-builders across academia and industry who shared their insights gained along the journey from diploma to career and all points in between. Topics include collaboration, leadership, transitioning into new sectors and careers, making choices and many other areas of interest to women as they move out into the technological workforce. AWE were proud to have high attendance representing our organization and department (including the highest attendance of male allies!!). Two graduate students were also involved in coordinating the conference, Chloe Hawkings and Jocelyn Holt were both involved in the hosting of speakers.
AWE would like to thank the Department of Entomology’s head, Dr. David Ragsdale who financially supported the registration of every attending postdoctoral researcher, faculty member and graduate students.
Aggie women in Entomology hosted Dr. Gro Amdam for the Department of Entomology’s Spring semester. Dr. Amdam has a joint position at Arizona State University and at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Dr. Gro Amdam is known internationally for her research on behavior and aging in honey bees. Her lab uses the honey bee to investigate social structure and how social behavior has evolved. She has expended her research to include gerontology, neurobiology and immunology. Her talk entitled “Vaccinating Honey Bees: Concept, Data, Feasibility” focused on her research. The AWE had the opportunity to talk more about women in academia over breakfast. Thank you Dr. Amdam for your excellent visit!
To learn more about Dr. Gro Amdam’s research you can visit her website: http://amdamlab.asu.edu/
Congratulations to Postdoctoral research associate Dr. Christina Brock who received an honorarium from the Department of Entomology for her presentation entitled "Questing” for knowledge: A microbiologist’s path to the field of Entomology” at the first Mentorship in Entomology Symposium hosted by the Entomology Graduate student organization at Texas A&M University. Dr. Brock’s talk highlighted the importance of good mentorship in her transition from different fields throughout her career while also representing the work-life balance she has created on this journey.
Congratulations to graduate student Chloe Hawkings receives the 2018 Ethel Ashworth-Tsutsui memorial award for mentoring presented by the Women in Science at Texas A&M University. Chloe is the first student in the Department of Entomology that received this high honor, which recognizes the research and mentoring efforts of women on the Texas A&M campus. She was recognized for her efforts in mentoring both undergraduate and graduate women students into the field of entomology. Chloe was recognized on the Department of Entomology’s website for this honor:
The Aggie Women took part in the expand your horizons (EYH) conference for sixth grade girls. This program is designed to encourage young girls to pursue careers in science and math, make young women aware of career opportunities in math and science related fields and provide young women a chance to meet female role models in math, science and engineering careers. Graduate student AWE members, Alex Payne, Chloe Hawkings, Jocelyn Holt, Joanie King, Karen Poh and Samantha Sawyer worked to conduct a workshop that highlighted the importance of studying insects. They showed the young women different pest and beneficial insect species, gave them some insight into careers in entomology and why it is important to study them. The workshop was well received and was one of the most popular workshops during the day, we were particularly impressed with how the young women interacted with our live specimens! We are excited to host more outreach opportunities like this one!! More information about the event can be found on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences website where the graduate students gained recognition for their efforts:
1st Place: The Linnaean Games, our own Joanie King and Fabian List were team members on the Texas A&M Linnaean Game Squad!
Our own Vice President Jocelyn R. Holt, who is also the current Southwestern Branch Student Representative of ESA, was elected the 2018 vice Chair of the Student Affairs Committee of ESA! What a way to start 2018, Jocelyn. The Aggie Women in Entomology do not waste much time. Make sure you congratulate Jocelyn next time you see her !!!
A BELATED CONGRATS TO OUR OWN ESTELLE MARTIN ON WINNING PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED POSTDOCTORAL FLASH TALK PRESENTATION AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY’S POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM IN SEPTEMBER!!
Estelle’s talk was entitled “Surveillance of indoor and outdoor Aedes aegypti population during Zika Virus transmission in South Texas”. In her words… “Our team is interested in understanding mosquito populations in different socioeconomic communities in South Texas. We want to understand the factors that influence variation in mosquito abundance and also propose a vector control intervention to reduce mosquito density and thus the risk of disease emergence.”
Estelle and her team’s data illustrate that variation in A. aegypti female abundance is correlated to temperature with lower abundance of outdoor mosquitos during the winter months and income level with more females found indoors in low income neighborhoods. Their next step is to better understand these climatic and social factors. Next time you see Estelle wish her a belated congratulations!
To read more about the symposium visit: http://today.tamu.edu/2017/10/02/research-symposium-honors-six-postdoctoral-scholars/
Dr. Sarah Sander Lower was this semesters Aggie Women in Entomology invited guest speaker. Sarah has had an extraordinary early career. She began, working on her undergraduate degree at Amherst College, she then completed her PhD at the University of Georgia under Dr. David Hall focusing on the evolution of firefly visual pigments. Here she was awarded the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She was also awarded the University of Georgia Interdisciplinary LIfe Sciences Assistantship, which brought 5 years of research funding. In 2013 was awarded the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and as a result of this research.
Since finishing her PhD, she has been working at Cornell University as a postdoctoral researcher in the labs of Andy Clark and Dan Barbash, leaders in studies of repetitive DNA and evolutionary genetics. While working on repetitive DNA in Drosophila species at Cornell, she has continued to work with fireflies, being a project co-leader in the Firefly Genome Project and working on the Photinus pyralis Demography and Selection Project.
She has since been awarded the first ever James F. Crow Early Career Researcher award from the Genetics Society of America as well as the Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award
In her short career, she has been an author on seven peer reviewed articles as well as giving near 20 presentations, 6 of which were invited talks. She has recently collaborated with our department on papers with Dr. Spencer Johnston and Dr. Carl Hjelmen.
Thank you Sarah for the inspiration and the fireflies, it was a pleasure to host you!
.Photo (from left to right): Dr. Estelle Martin, Alex Payne, Dr. Sarah Sander Lower, Jocelyn Holt, Chloe Hawkings and Leah Buchman.