The 2017 MEA Annual Conference: Recap and Award Winners

The 64th Annual MEA Conference (held in conjunction with MAPPAN) was held this week from 16–17 October 2017 at the Bost Center on the Mississippi State University Campus. The meeting basically started at 9 AM for some of us with an MEA committee meeting where we gave reports on the year’s activities, discussed strategies to increase membership, and nominated new officers with Don Cook being the incoming President and Blair Sampson the incoming vice president. Officially, the conference started with registration at noon. After welcoming remarks by MEA President Katherine Parys, the afternoon got started with the Masters and PhD Student presentations competition in the main auditorium. Concurrently, posters were set up in the dining area with students also competing for prize money there.

That evening, attendees feasted on baked potatoes, salad, grilled steaks, and desserts prepared by “Mr. Charlie”. As always, the food was great. Just prior to our dinner, awards and the checks were given out to the first and second place winners in PhD and Masters categories for both paper and poster presentations! (winners listed below).

The conference was back in full sway the next morning with a riveting talk about about the use of transgenic insects by Dr. Jonas King. His talk was followed by those of other researchers. Our meeting culminated with the awards luncheon at 12 pm, which featured chicken, ribs, beans, potato salad, pies and cakes, and iced tea! Numerous awards were given out including four “Pat and Linda Harris” scholarship awards and several MEA Merit and Distinguished Service Awards (see award winners below). The meeting ended with President Kat Parys relinquishing her position to incoming President Don Cook.

Look for published abstracts of the Conference in an upcoming issue of the Midsouth Entomologist.


MS Paper Competition
1st-John Cameron Corbin
2nd-Read Kelly

PhD Paper Competition
1st-John North
2nd-Cori Speights

MS Poster Competition
1st-Ryan Whitehouse

 PhD Poster Competition
1st-Whitney Crow
2nd-Adam Whalen

Pat and Linda Harris Scholarship Winners
Ben Thrash
Ellie Moen
Ryan Whitehouse
Whitney Crow

Katherine Parys-Outgoing President
Randy Luttrell-Distinguished Service Award
Jerome Goddard-Merit Award in the area of Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Whitney Crow-Merit Award in the area of Extension
Beverly Catchot-Merit Award in the area of Research and Support (not pictured)
Katherine Parys-Merit Award in the area of Ecology, Behavior, and Bionomics
Steve Winters-Distinguished Service Award
Jonas King-Merit Award in the area of Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology
Sherry McMullin-Merit Award in the area of Organization and Support (not pictured) 

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2017 MEA Conference paper and poster Submissions due 15 September 2017!!!

Dear MEA Members,


Paper and Poster submissions are due by September 15!

 The call for papers and call for posters forms are provided below and also available on the 2017 Conference page on the MEA website. Please pay close attention on these forms and make sure they are filled out correctly. We will also have an undergraduate poster competition, so be sure to correctly classify yourself on the form.

Call for Papers [PDF]

Call for Posters [PDF]


We have online pre-registration available for the 2017 MEA Meeting; the form is below. The link below will take you to the website where you can find the online checkout. This link also has the registration form available too if you prefer to pay by check.

Pre-registration [PDF

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Two New Research Articles Uploaded to the Midsouth Entomologist


See the MEA’s  Midsouth Entomologist for the latest research articles (2017 Table of Contents)! Two new papers were recently uploaded.  The first paper, A Role for Intercept Traps in the Ambrosia Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) IPM Strategy at Ornamental Nurseries, authored by Werle, C. T., B. J. Sampson,  and M. E. Reding is an interesting article about the role of intercept trapping for ambrosia beetles in nurseries.

The second article uploaded, Preliminary Study of Pan Trapping in Longleaf Pine Flatwoods in Central Florida, USAauthored by Orfinger, A. B., T. B. Cogen, G. R. Irons, K. V. Kabilan, B. Molligoda, A. L. Moody, J. F. Wisdo, and K. F. Phillips, is a wonderful little study conducted by a researcher at the University of Central Florida with high school students! It is wonderful to see young people doing research like this.

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2017 MEA Award Nominations

2017 MEA Award Nominations
(deadline for submission is October 6, 2017)

Submission form:…/2017_forms/MEA_Awards_nominati…

The Mississippi Entomological Society seeks award nominations for all deserving members of the organization, and perhaps even some people who are not members. This latter group may receive a Letter of Citation for outstanding contribution to a specialty area of entomology. Please nominate your deserving colleagues from an entomology-related discipline (and if they are an MEA member) for a Merit Award. The Merit Awards are assigned across 9 or so disciplines (please see nomination form  for a list of Specialty Areas).

The highest honor bestowed by MEA is the Distinguished Service Award. These nominations are reserved for exceptional recipients who have made truly outstanding contributions to their specialty area.

Please email your nomination form to Jeff Harris or mail nomination form to:
Jeff Harris, Chair, MEA Awards Committee, P.O. Box 9775, MIssissippi State, MS 39762.



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64th Annual MEA Conference Paper & Poster submission now open

64th Annual Conference of the Mississippi Entomological Association and Mississippi Association of Plant Pathologists and Nematologists (October 16-17, 2017)

Dear MEA Members,

The Mississippi Entomological Association Annual meeting will be held October 16-17, 2017. This will be a joint meeting with MAPPAN in the Bost Building in Starkville. As always, we will have an industry sponsored steak supper Monday night. Student presentations will be on Monday, and other presentations will be given on Tuesday. The awards banquet will be held at noon on Tuesday. We encourage everyone to do their best to attend and participate in this year’s meeting.

For more information about the meeting including registration, poster and paper submissions, and donations visit:  


2016 MEA Award Winners. Back row, left to right: Outgoing MEA president Jeff Harris, Ben Thrash (1st place, PhD paper), Chelsea Darnell (1st place, Masters Paper Sec 1), Nick Bateman (2nd, PhD Paper), Whitney Crow (2nd, PhD Poster), Tyler Towles (1st, Masters Paper, Sec 2); Front row, left to right: Ty Smith (2nd, Masters Paper, Sec 1), Matthew Thorn (2nd, Masters Poster), James Clements (1st, Undergraduate Poster), Santos Portugal (1st, PhD Poster), Sara McGinnis (2nd, Masters Paper, Sec 2), and Ellie Moen (1st, Masters Poster). (photo by Kat Lawrence)

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Midsouth Entomologist Volume 9 (2) now online

Volume 9, issue 2 of the Midsouth Entomologist is now available online at

For citations, please note this is the November 2016 issue, even though it was uploaded in 2017.

This issue features an interesting paper on genetic diversity, pathogens and parasites of feral honey bees in Mississippi; a note describing a case of purpura resulting from chigger bites; the abstracts of the 63rd MEA conference; and a special feature by J. MacGown detailing the 2016 William H. Cross Expedition (read more about other expeditions here:

Thanks to Editor Kristine Edwards for her work, and to the various authors for their submissions. For any  questions about viewing these papers online, contact Joe MacGown, web editor (, and for questions about formatting, etc. contact Kristine Edwards (kt20@msstate).

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Christmas Lunch 2016- Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State


We just finished up our annual luncheon for the Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Entomology, and Plant Pathology Department (MSU) held in the lobby of the Clay Lyle Building. We had a huge crowd this year!  Little Dooey’s BBQ catered the lunch, and other folks brought a wide assortment of desserts.

Following the lunch, the Entomology and Plant Pathology student group gave out awards for outstanding graduate students with Tyler Towles winning the Masters division and Santos Portugal winning the PhD division! Congrats.

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