4 October 2010
For most of us the field season is winding down and we’re turning our attention to other activities, including lab studies and preparation for meetings. Autumn is definitely in the air here – temperatures are perfect but October, our wettest month, was ushered in right on cue by rain showers over the weekend. As most of you know, Dan has returned to Beltsville so I will serve as Acting Director until Kim Hoelmer arrives next week. In the meantime, I will do my best not to run the ship aground.
Last Monday we had a farewell luncheon for Dan. It was a very pleasant occasion, with lots of great cheese and homemade dishes. Most importantly, it gave us at EBCL the chance to express our gratitude for his leadership, guidance, and friendship these past five months. We hope he enjoyed his time at EBCL as much as we enjoyed having him.
On Thursday, 30 September, we finished our fiscal year. Xavier Leprieur, our chief Administrative Officer, is responsible for balancing the EBCL budget – a challenging task given the constant and unpredictable fluctuations in exchange rate. This is always a nerve-wracking day for Xavier, but in the end he worked his magic and we came out in the black.
Marie Roche shipped egg parasitoids reared from a European species of the stink bug, Piezodorus, to Walker Jones at Stoneville. The wasps arrived happy and in good condition, and Walker is now in the process of rearing them up. Livy Williams, Javid Kashefi (EBCL Thessaloniki, Greece), and Arnaud Blanchet submitted a proposal to USAID to initiate studies of olive fruit fly and its parasitoids in Albania.
Travel news. Dominique Coutinot has returned safely from Brazil where he was invited to participate in the Brazilian Congress of Entomology, and tour EMBRAPA’s quarantine facility. René Sforza left on Saturday for Bulgaria, where he has on-going studies with scientists at Plovdiv University.
Last Thursday was Julie Ripoll’s last day at EBCL. Julie was a Master’s student at the University of Montpellier and worked with Marie-Claude Bon. Julie studied the genetic diversity and life history traits of Solanum elaeagnifolium in relation to its invasiveness. We all wish Julie the best of luck in her future endeavors, i.e., finding gainful employment.
Till next time, Livy
Livy Williams, III
USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory