Department News


The UW Entomology Department is sad to announce the recent passing of friend and colleague, Dr. Jeff Wyman.  Jeff was a long-time member of the department and served as department chair from 1984-1988. His research and Extension activities focused on vegetable crop entomology, and Jeff had a love for gardening, family, and friends.  A memorial service has been set for October 4th from 4 – 7 PM at the UW-Arboretum Visitor’s Center:


With pollinators in decline, many folks are becoming interested in beekeeping as a hobby. PJ Liesch of the Insect Diagnostic Lab was quoted in this recent article about beekeeping and pollinator declines in the Stevens Point Journal:


While Wisconsin has seen a recent boom of mosquitoes, cooler temperatures in the near future should help bring an end to mosquito season according to Dr. Susan Paskwitz in this recent article:


While Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland”, that wasn’t always the case.  Insect Diagnostician, PJ Liesch, recently published an article with Wiscontext telling the story of how the tiny chinch bug played a role in Wisconsin’s journey to become the Dairy State:


Recent heavy rains have resulted in an explosion of “floodwater” mosquitoes in many parts of Wisconsin, as Mosquito expert Susan Paskewitz describes in this recent story by the Janesville GazetteXtra:


The University of Wisconsin Arboretum has a strong legacy of research, including many projects conducted by past and present members of the entomology department, including Dr. Karen Oberhauser and Dr. Susan Paskewitz as described in this recent piece from the Wisconsin State Farmer:


Graduate student Audrey Simard’s research on gutstion fluid and the potential impacts on pollinators was recently featured in this article from The Country Today


In a surprise for the state’s farmers, armyworms have been popping up in damaging numbers in crop fields around Wisconsin according to Integrated Pest Management specialist Bryan Jensen:


The Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus) is a rarely encountered spider in Wisconsin according to extension entomologist PJ Liesch in this column for Wisconsin Public Radio:


Researchers at UW-Madison have teamed up with colleagues at Columbia University to create and launch The Tick App to collect data on ticks encountered by the general public.  Efforts at UW-Madison are being led by Dr. Bieneke Bron and Professor Susan pskewitz, who were both interviewed about the new app by the Associated Press:


No two years are the same when it comes to outdoor pests like ticks.  Ticks are not only abundant this year, btu they’re showing up in more and more in residential areas, such as backyards according to Medical Entomologist Susan paskewitz in this interview with the Journal Sentinel:


Each year, residents near Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers can experience large emergences of aquatic insects.  Recently, Janesville residents have been experiencing an influx of caddisflies as discribed by Extension entomologist PJ Liesch in this interview with the Janesville GazetteXtra:


Professor Claudio Gratton discusses bumble bees and the recently-launched Wisconsin Bumble Bee Brigade citizen science project with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Michelle Johnson:


With the heavy rains this spring, mosquitoes are out in full force and more are on their way.  Mosquito expert Susan Paskewitz discusses the unusual mosquito abundance this season with WISC-TV News 3:


A proposal in Dane County is looking to create prairie habitat on the site of the Rodefeld Landfill in Westport.  Professor Claudio Gratton was interviewed by NBC15 to discuss the benefits of the proposed pollinator habitat:


Madison Magazine recently interviewed PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab to learn about the insects that may be bugging you this Memorial Day weekend and what you can do about them:


Recent work by graduate student Amy Wray, Professor Claudio Gratton, and others found that bats can eat a surprisingly wide variety of mosquitoes.  Wray and gratton were featured in this recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal:


In this video from Blue Sky Science, Dr. Johanne Brunet discusses nectar production in plants and the roles of insect pollinators


Professor Susan Paskewitz discusses the new Wisconsin Tick ID service to help Wisconsin residents identify ticks and make informed decisions about ticks of medical importance in this recent article:


Extension entomologist PJ Liesch discusses 2017’s top arthropod trends in this column for the Wiscontext website:


With the explosion of reports of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, many Wisconsin residents are starting to meet this malodorous menace.  Tune in to this recent UW-CALS podcast to learn the basics of BMSB:


Professor Susan Paskewitz will be the keynote speaker for the 14th annual Global Health Symposium: Advancing Health in Uncertain Times at UW-Madison on Tuesday, April 10th.  Susan will be speaking on the importance of mosquitoes and ticks in the field of global health:


The UW-Madison Entomology Department was well-represented at the recent Entomological Society of America’s North Central Branch Meeting held in Middleton, WI March 18-21, 2018.  In addition to the department’s efforts in helping coordinate the meeting and fielding two teams for the Linnaean Games Competition, several students were recognized with awards at the meeting:

Olivia Cope (2nd Place—PhD Paper: P-IE Session 2)
Paul Airs (3rd Place—PhD Paper: SysEB-MUVE-PBT Session)
Bailey Lubinski (1st Place—BS Paper Session)
Jackie Whisenant (2nd Place—Triplehorn Curation Challenge)

UW-Madison graduate students compete in the Linnaean Games Competition. Photo Credit: ESA.  Click the image to see additional images from the recent ESA-NCB meeting.


Outreach entomologist PJ Liesch will host future dairy farmers on campus as part of the “Discover Dairy Youth Leadership Derby” on Saturday, April 7th.  Students will explore the important roles that insects play in agriculture, including dairy production:


Entomologist Bryan Jensen and other IPM specialists from UW-Madison and UW-Extension will be participating in an upcoming seminar geared towards the growing hops industry in Wisconsin:


Notorious crop pests like the Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) can cause major headaches for agricultural producers.  Of particular concern with CPB is insecticide resistance and to better understand this Dr. Sean Schoville recently led a project to sequence the genome of this insect to help unlock its secrets:


PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab discussed how insects survive the cold on a recent episode of The Larry Meiller Show on Wisconsin Public Radio:


With the frigid temperatures, many have wondered about the impacts on ticks.  As Dr. Susan Paskewitz explains, ticks can survive surprisingly low temperatures and come back quickly to seek out a blood meal:


Does all this cold weather mean there will be fewer mosquitoes next summer?  Dr. Susan Paskewitz provides insight on that topic in a recent article in Popular Science


PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab was recently featured in a podcast discussing the many insects like like to sneak indoors in the fall:


The invasive emerald ash borer has attacking ash trees in the Midwest for over a decade, with devastating results.  Dr. Chris Williamson was featured on the Big Ten Network’s show Forward Motion discussing EAB rise and impact n the US:


Emeritus Professor Dr. Dan Mahr served as an outreach and Extension specialist in the entomology department for many years before his retirement in 2011.  Mahr is continuing his outreach efforts in retirement with an event in Dodge County later this month:


PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab was recently quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the activity of stinging yellowjackets and other insects this time of the year:


In the aftermath of Hurricane harvey, two students from the Upper Midwestern Regional Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease, Melissa Farquhar and Erin McGlynn, have been helping trap and identify mosquitoes during the post-hurricane cleanup in Texas. Farquhar and McGlynn are helping monitor for mosquito species of medical concern and evaluating the effectiveness of control efforts.


Entomologist Bryan Jensen and other IPM specialists from UW-Madison and UW-Extension will be participating in the upcoming annual Pest Management Updates for agricultural producers.  These sessions are scheduled for Nov. 6-10 at various locations around Wisconsin.  A full schedule can be found here:


UW-Entomology alumna Nino Ridgway was mentioned in this recent article regarding Integrated pest Management and biological control on Barthel Fruit Farm in Mequon, WI:


Many students get their first hand-on research experience as undergraduates.  Dr. Rick Lindroth discusses the importance of hands-on research experiences for undergraduates in this article:


Pollinator gardens are a great way to attract and help pollinators and other beneficial insects as described by Dr. Claudio GRatton in this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:


Fruit crop entomologist Christelle Guedot and her team are studying the invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila to help develop better management approaches for fruit growers of the state:


The CDC’s Upper Midwestern Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases directed by Drs. Lyric Bartholomay and Susan Paskewitz played a key role in the recent detection of the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Wisconsin:


With the recent detection of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in Wisconsin, attention has shifted to the potential threat from the Zika Virus. As Dr. Susan Paskewitz describes, the Zika Virus is not likely to be an issue in the Upper Midwest:


Larvae of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) were recently confirmed in Wisconsin for the first time. Medical entomologist Susan Paskewitz provides context for this finding in an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio:


Dr. Dan Young was recently interviewed about this year’s abundance of fireflies:


Sometimes described as “nature’s fireworks”, fireflies offer amazing displays on summer evenings.  PJ Liesch chats about fireflies in this podcast:


As spring winds down and summer begins many Wisconsin residents are thinking of ticks and mosquitoes.  PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab describes some simple precautions to help prevent run ins to Morning Ag Clips:


The invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila first showed up in Wisconsin in 2010 and has posed significant problems for berry and other fruit growers in the state.  Fruit crop entomologist Christelle Guedot was interviewed about this destructive fruit pest by Wisconsin Public Radio:


With over 700 million ash trees in Wisconsin, the invasive emerald ash borer is drastically affecting wooded and urban areas alike.  PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab details the outlook in this article on the Wiscontext website:


Ever wondered about those moving “clouds of smoke” over a lake?  There’s a good chance they’re a species of midge or other small fly as discussed by PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab in this recent article:


Memorial Day Weekend typically means lots of outdoor activities for Wisconsinites, which can increase the chances of encountering ticks.  PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab describes the ABCs of tick prevention in this article from Wiscontext:


Although rare, the Powassan Virus is known from Wisconsin and can be carried by deer ticks.  Dr. Susan Paskewitz discusses the potential impacts of Powassan virus in this recent news story:


The UW Entomology Department’s final seminar of the spring semester will be this Friday (5/12). Friday’s seminars will highlight the Master’s research of two graduate students: Michael Falk and Stephanie Jagemann. Join us at 12 noon on Friday for this special event:


Dr. Susan Paskewitz was recently interviewed about Lyme disease and some of the other tick-borne diseases popping up in Wisconsin:


Regardless of the tick populations this year, ticks pose significant health threats to Wisconsinites.  In this article from the Wiscontext website, PJ Liesch describes some of the medical concerns associated with ticks in the Midwest:


Honey bees across the country are facing declines due to a variety of reasons.  Dr. Claudio Gratton was quoted in this recent article regarding some efforts in Wisconsin to assist beekeepers:


PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab recently toured the northern part of the state to speak to several groups about the many beneficial insects of the state:


The UW-Entomology Department recently celebrated the long and successful career of Dr. Dave Hogg.  To learn more about Dave’s career and the retirement celebration, visit this page.


With tick season nearly around the corner, some portions of the country are forecasting high levels of tick activity and Lyme disease.  Dr. Susan Paskewtiz describes what we might be expecting in WIsconsin this year and the importance of ticks and tick-borne illnesses in this recent article:


Don’t forget about the excellent lineup of spring seminar speakers.  Seminars are held on Fridays at 12 noon in Russell Labs 150.  A full list of the spring 201 seminars can be found here.


Drs. Lyric Bartholomay and Susan Paskewitz were recently awarded a $10 Million from the CDC to establish the Upper Midwestern Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases.  This project helps address issues of critical importance related to the management of vector-borne disease spread by mosquitoes and ticks in the upper Midwest.


In this video from Blue Sky Science, Dr. Johanne Brunet explains some of the finer details of how bees produce honey.


Dr. Dan Young was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about insect populations in the state in this story titled, “Making a place for insects in our world.”


The first departmental seminar of 2017 will be next Friday (January, 20th).  The speaker will be Dr. Phil Townsend of UW-Madison who will be giving a talk titled: “Light, Cameras, Action!  — Spectral Measurements, Plants and Ecosystems”.  Visit the seminar page for more information.


Zachary Cohen of the Schoville lab was featured in this story from Blue Sky Science about how organisms evolve and get new traits.


While winter typically isn’t known for its insect activity in Wisconsin, insects can be brought indoors on Christmas trees and firewood.  PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab recently published this article on the Wiscontext website about some of these unexpected winter insects and where to find them:

Distinguished Emeritus Phil Pellitteri also spoke about Christmas tree insects on a recent episode of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller show:


This Friday’s (12/9) noon colloquium lecture has been cancelled.  The next seminar is scheduled on january 20th, 2017 after the start of the spring semester.


Dr. Sean Schoville was recently featured in this article for his work with local schools to develop science curriculum:


The research of Dr. Ken Raffa was recently featured in an article by the Entomological Society of America’s “Entomology Today” blog:


Besides the common insects, the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab sees a number of unusual creatures show up each year.  PJ Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab recently shared stories about some of these unusual cases, ranging from fire ants to brown recluse spiders on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller Show:


The department is proud to announce that Dr. Rick Lindroth has recently been awarded the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship.


Dr. Shawn Steffan was recently featured in this video discussing the complexities of fungicides and their potential effects on bumble bees:


This years’ Doane Lecture will be present by Dr. Angela Douglas on Friday, October 21st at 12 noon in Russell Labs 150.  Dr. Douglas’s  talk is titled, “The Multi-Organismal Animal: Insights from gut microbes of Drosophila fruit”.


Graduate student Jeremy Hemberger talks about butterflies and cocoons in this video from Blue Sky Science:


As Christelle Guedot and Janet van Zoeren explain in this article from, the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is currently quite active in Wisconsin and is searching for overwintering spots, including homes:


Entomologist Bryan Jensen and other IPM specialists from UW-Madison and UW-Extension will be participating in the upcoming annual Pest Management Updates for agricultural producers.  These sessions are scheduled for Nov. 7-11 at various locations around Wisconsin:


Vegetable entomologist Dr. Russ Groves will be participating in and answering questions about organic vegetable production at the annual Organic Vegetable Field Day the the West Madison Agricultural Research Station on Sunday, September 11th:


Ice crawler (Grylloblattodea) expert Dr. Sean Schoville was recently featured in this story about solving an entomological mystery in the Canadian Rockies:


Eugene Woller, a beekeeper and UW-Entomology department alum, is a well-known local entrepreneur who developed “Gentle Breeze Honey”.  This successful business was recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal:


Dr. Chris Williamson recently coordinated the National Turfgrass Entomology Workshop in Sheboygan, WI.  The workshop was attended by over 75 turfgrass entomologists, turfgrass managers, and industry members.  A featured theme of the workshop was the protection of pollinators in the urban landscape and national Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being developed as a result of the workshop:


Dr. Christelle Guedot recently gave a public lecture about pollinators in the Northwoods at a workshop in Three Lakes, Wisconsin:


Justin Clements in the lab of Dr. Russ Groves was recently awarded a scholarship from the National Potato Council for his work on investigating insecticide resistance in the Colorado potato beetle:


With the recent rains, mosquito populations are up in the Madison. Extension entomologist PJ Liesch was recently featured in this interview from Madison’s WKOW 27:


With the summer rains, mosquitoes can certainly be likely in some portions of the state.  Extension Entomologist PJ Liesch was recently interviewed by Michelle Richards of WTMJ:


Several Entomology department members will be on hand to answer insect questions at the annual Farm Technology Days event in Walworth County.  This year’s Farm Technology Days is on July 19th, 20th, and 21st.


Emeritus Entomology Professor Jeff Wyman discusses the interesting future of agriculture in this recent article:


With the 4th of July quickly approaching, many people are wondering if mosquitoes will be present to ruin the fireworks.  Professor Suan Paskewitz and Entomology Department alum Patrick Irwin were mentioned in this article on mosquitoes from the Racine Journal Times:


Dr. Claudio Gratton was recently featured in this National Geographic article about the rare rusty-patched bumble bee:


The University of Wisconsin-Extension offices of Chippewa and Barron County will be hosting a Crop Management Field Day at two locations on June 27.  Entomology Department member Bryan Jensen, UW-Madison Integrated Pest Management Program coordinator, will be presenting at this program:


Ants are one of the commonest indoor insect pests.  Like many insects pests, there’s a long list of home remedies which may or may not work.  Pj Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab shines some light on these home remedies in this recent article in Food and Wine Magazine:


With the news coverage about the Zika Virus, it’s not to hear about mosquitoes from the media.  Luckily, as Susan Paskewitz describes in this interview, the Asian Tiger Mosquito associated with the Zika Virus and other diseases is unliekly to be an issue in the state:


Susan Paskewitz and her lab were recently featured in series of news articles describing the tick situation in Madison:


Mosquito expert Susan Paskewitz was quoted in this article from Readers Digest about things mosquitoes hate:


In some parts of the state, spring is “black fly” season.  In the Northwoods, black flies can have significant impacts on birds, including loons.  Extension Entomologist PJ Liesch discusses black flies in this piece from Wausau’s WJFW 12:


Members of the UW-madison Entomology Department have teamed up with the UW-Horticulture Department to launch the Wisconsin Fruit Crop Newsletter, which will offer growers notice and advice on fruit growing issues in the state every other week during the growing season:


Several members of the UW-Madison Entomology Department have been instrumental in the development and release of Wisconsin’s first Pollinator Protection Plan.  The details of the plan can be found on the website of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture:


Dr. Claudio Gratton was recently quoted in this story about the rare rusty-patched bumble bee.  The rusty-patched bumble bee has become exceeding rare, but happens to be known from the UW-Madison Arboretum:


Dr. Sean Schoville was recently interviewed about his research on the genetics of “Ice Crawlers” (Grylloblattodea) and a potential new species from Washington’s Mt. Spokane:


Tick-borne diseases can pose significant risks for humans and animals alike.  Medical Entomologist Susan Paskewitz describes how the incidence of these diseases has increased in Wisconsin over time in this article with Madison’s Channel 3000:


PJ Liesch of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab recently sat down with Michele Hollow to discuss how the humble dung beetle may be helping to mitigate certain aspects of climate change: