Mike Breed has stepped down as Chair of the IUSSI-NAS Nominations Committee, and S. Hollis Woodard has now assumed that position. Mike Goodisman is part of the committee and joining them this year is Sarah Kocher. They will be busy this month identifying nominees for the upcoming elections.
It is that time of year to recognize our outstanding student members. A call has just gone out from our Awards Committee for nominations for both the Jeffery P. La Fage Student Award for Research on Social Insect Pests (recipient will receive a plaque and a US$500 honorarium) and the George C. Eickwort Award for distinguished research and scholarly activity in any area of social insect biology (recipient shall receive a certificate, and a $1000 honorarium). Respective details for each nomination process can be found here and here.
For those of you unable to attend the IUSSI Congress in Cairns, there is available a copy of the International Committee meeting minutes. In addition there is a new NAS newsletter that includes minutes from our section meeting and the General Assembly meeting at the congress.
The IUSSI-NAS has been fortunate enough to receive a USDA-AFRI conference grant which provided matching support specifically for students who will be presenting talks on pollinators. This has allowed us to fund additional student/postdoc travel awards to the XVII Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, to be held in Cairns, Australia, during July 13-18, 2014. Many thanks to Sean O’Donnell and the rest of the NAS/IUSSI Awards Committee for their work in selecting these worthy students, and to Christina Grozinger and Karen Kapheim for securing the USDA funding.
Below you will find a final listing of all the travel awardees recipients, their affiliations, funding source, and presentation title. Each of the following individuals will receive a $2000 travel grant.
Daniel Charbonneau, University of Arizona, IUSSI, “Why are there ‘lazy’ ants? How worker inactivity can arise.”
Chelsea Cook, University of Colorado, USDA-IUSSI, “Stay cool: social cues influence honey bee thermoregulatory behavior.”
Ingrid Fetter Pruneda, Rockefeller University, IUSSI, “Causes and consequences of thelytoky in the ant Cerapachys biroi.”
Colin Funaro, North Carolina State University, IUSSI, “Chemical mediation of queen and king recognition in subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes).”
David Galbraith, Pennsylvania State University, USDA-IUSSI, “Genomic imprinting mediates social interactions within honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies.”
Francis Kamhi, Boston University, IUSSI, “The neuroecology of social organization in the Australian weaver ant.”
Waldan Kwong, University of Texas - Austin, USDA-IUSSI, “Genome sequencing reveals host specialization in bee gut symbionts.”
Sarah Lawson, Vanderbilt University, IUSSI, “A comparative approach to understand social evolution.”
Natalie Lemanski, Rutgers University, USDA-IUSSI, “A decision theory approach to explaining aging in honey bee workers.”
Kevin Loope, Cornell University, IUSSI, “Kin structure and cuticular hydrocarbon complexity in social wasps.”
Rong Ma, University of Texas - Austin, USDA-IUSSI, “The larval pheromone beta-ocimene regulates foraging in honey bees.”
Kate Mathis, University of California – Berkeley, IUSSI, “Defensive strategies of Azteca ants against phorid fly parasitism.”
Katelyn Miller, University North Carolina – Greensboro, USDA-IUSSI, “Analysis of a complete high-density recombination map of Apis mellifera.”
Nick Naeger, University of Illinois, USDA-IUSSI, “The effect of cocaine on the social behavior of bees.”
Claire Narraway, University of California – Berkeley, USDA-IUSSI, “Altruistic worker policing in honey bees: a multi-level approach.”
Michael Rivera, University of Arizona, USDA-IUSSI, “How do foraging honeybees decide to quit in natural conditions?”
Pedro Rodrigues, University of Arizona, IUSSI, “The compartmentalized microbiota of a herbivore ant gut.”
Jess Vickruck, Brock University, IUSSI, “Kin selection and reproductive strategies in a facultatively social bee.”
Alex Walton, Iowa State University, USDA-IUSSI, “Individual personalities in the insect colony: from molecules to societies.”
Bill Wills, University of Illinois, IUSSI, “Nutrition and colony investment in Solenopsis invicta workers.”
The Awards Committee has announced the recipient of the 2014 William L. and Ruth D. Nutting Research Grant in support of termite research. Karl Glastad will receive US$2500 to fund his work on “DNA methylation and alternative splicing in termites,” research on phenotypic plasticity mechanisms that the committee felt had broad importance and great novelty. Karl is a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, working under the advisement of Dr. Michael Goodisman. The full award announcement can be found here.