By Dr. John Wallace
On November 3, 2018, Millersville University hosted the 95th Annual Meeting of the Entomology Society of Pennsylvania (ESP), an organization that was founded in 1842. The ESP is a professional society that includes people from all sorts of backgrounds and interests in insects. It is one of the oldest societies of its kind and continues to play a major role in educating the public, conducting field collecting trips and hosting an annual conference about insects. The club president, Virginia Tilden was in charge of the meeting and Dr. John Wallace (Biology) was Local Arrangements chair.
Approximately 60 people including undergraduate students, graduate students, state agency professionals, university professors, non-government organizations and interested insect enthusiasts attended the conference. This year marked the first year in which students competed for awards in the oral platform and poster presentation categories by both undergraduate and graduate students. Student presentations addressed threats to Monarch butterflies, microplastics in aquatic systems, lab validation of a mosquito oviposition trap, cost-effective predictive modeling techniques in mitigating vector-borne disease risks, review of pyroentomology, habitat ecology of native pollinator communities in central Appalachian mountains, assessing canopy cover in benthic pond communities, ground beetle responses to fire severities, heat shock protein expression in response to thermal stress in bumblebees and host choice in Spotted Lanternfly.
As in previous years, professional entomologists rounded out the afternoon list of speakers, led off by the keynote speaker, Dr. Daniel Duran of Rowan University discussing cryptic diversity in North American Tiger Beetles and other talks in the afternoon included the taxonomy of crane flies, powder post beetles and forensic science, updates on the Spotted Lanternfly and controlling a nuisance caddisfly on the Colorado River. The conference was capped off by a presentation by the Outstanding Student Awardee, JJ Smith who discussed his research on high intensity sampling of plant-pollinator communities and the impact on intra-annual turnover of species.
Dr. Wallace would like to acknowledge all who assisted in the planning and execution o this conference but would especially like to thank several MU employees who were instrumental in the success of this conference including: Dr. Mike Jackson, Dean of the College of Science & Technology, Marianne Frantz, administrative assistant to Dr. Mike Jackson, MU IT Department as well as several MU students who not only attended the conference but also played important roles in the assisting with the tasks to hold the conference at Millersville University and were part of the Local Arrangements committee. Those MU students included: Entomology Club members and Biology majors: Jacob Hershberger, Emily Ritter and Kevin Faccenda as well as Carter Farmer, Kayli Tomas’17, Marisa Macchia and Austin Harrison.