Apr 25, 2023
MSU entomologists recognized for achievements

Three Michigan State University (MSU) entomologists have been recognized by the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America for their achievements.

Rufus Isaacs, Amanda Lorenz and Zsofia Szendrei will serve as the north central branch nominee; the national award will be announced at the Entomological Society of America’s National Meeting in November.

Distinguished Achievement in Extension Award — Rufus Isaacs

“My Extension program is primarily in berry crop pest management, and it has emphasized development of decision tools, conservation practices, and research-based recommendation for various controls to support IPM programs in these crops,” Isaacs said in a news release.

Rufus Isaacs

The work has been dominated in recent years by information transfer and coordination in response to the arrival of spotted wing Drosophila in Michigan, he said. MSU Entomologists have provided statewide and regional leadership on the pest and how to respond.

“Our findings are extended to grower, Extension, and industry stakeholders by talks, printed and online publications, websites, webinars and through on-farm evaluation and demonstration trials providing real-world experience with new practices,” Isaacs said in the release. “I include students and postdocs in planning and delivering extension activities, helping to ensure the availability of the next generation of entomologists with experience interacting with farming communities.”

Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award — Amanda Lorenz


Lorenz, an academic specialist in teaching in the Entomology Department, teaches classes in entomology and environmental science, and advises undergrads in entomology programs and directs the MSU Bug House.

“My favorite thing about teaching is opening people’s awareness to the marvelous aspects of our world,” Lorenz said in the release. “A lot of what I teach about are insects, and a lot of folks either dislike insects, or they don’t notice them very much. And there’s not a lot of attention that goes into the fact that they are super beneficial.

“They are worth conserving, they’re important to our ecosystems,” she said in the release. “And so the more that I can convey that to people, the more excited I get.”

Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award — Zsofia Szendrei

Zsofia Szendrei
Zsofia Szendrei

Chemical ecology and biological control offer sustainable approaches for suppressing insect pests, said Szendrei, whose research focuses on those themes. In particular, she is interested in developing pest management systems where they can be used in combination and as part of an integrated approach to manage pest populations.

“My program has gained acceptance and recognition among peers for our work on local (field-scale) habitat management and biological control,” Szendrei said in the release. “We have contributed to our understanding of the interactions of habitat traits and arthropods in agroecosystems. In our investigations we use novel techniques that allows the growth of a field called ‘molecular detection of trophic interactions.’”

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