Entomology professors honored by Entomological Society of America

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two professors in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been lauded for their significant contributions to the field of entomology by the Entomological Society of America.

Christina M. Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, was elected as an Entomological Society of America Fellow, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to entomology in research, teaching, extension and outreach.

Margarita López-Uribe, assistant professor of entomology and Lorenzo L. Langstroth Early Career Professor, received the Early Career Professional Research Award, which recognizes a student transition or early professional who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of entomology.

Grozinger and López-Uribe will be recognized during the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia, slated for Nov. 11-14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Grozinger is internationally recognized for her integrative studies on the mechanisms underpinning social behavior and health in bees and for her advocacy for research, education and conservation of pollinators.

She obtained a bachelor's degree from McGill University, with a dual degree in chemistry and biology and certificate of proficiency in German. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship for her studies on epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, where she earned a master's degree and doctorate.

Grozinger was awarded a Beckman Institute Fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to examine the neurogenomic basis of pheromone-mediated behavior in honey bees. In 2004, she joined the faculty at North Carolina State University as an assistant professor of insect genomics. In 2008, she joined the Department of Entomology at Penn State as an associate professor, became the director of the Center for Pollinator Research in 2009 and was named a distinguished professor of entomology in 2015.

She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles with more than 10,000 citations and served as the principal or co-principal investigator on grants totaling $16.5 million, with $7.5 million directly supporting her program. Grozinger is dedicated to supporting the next generation of scientists and actively promotes entomology to the public, stakeholders, policymakers and international scientific community.

Grozinger has held leadership roles in the Entomological Society of America and the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. Her achievements are recognized though multiple awards, including the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award, Harbaugh Faculty Scholars Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, James Hambleton Memorial Award for Excellence in Apiculture, Black Award for Excellence in Research, and Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award.

López-Uribe studies how environmental change and life-history traits affect demography, health and long-term persistence of wild bee pollinator populations. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, her master's degree in genetics and evolution from Universidade Federal de São Carlos in Brazil, and her doctoral degree in entomology from Cornell University.

López-Uribe was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at North Carolina State University before Penn State recruited her as an assistant professor of entomology. Her research integrates population genetics, comparative phylogenetics, landscape ecology and field experiments to address fundamental questions in bee ecology and evolution.

López-Uribe's research in the field of social immunity has demonstrated that different aspects of immune function — internal vs. external immunity — respond differently to evolutionary changes in group size in social insects. More recently, she has examined how beekeeping management practices impact honey bee health and host-pathogen dynamics in honey bees.

López-Uribe has published 25 peer-reviewed papers and nine Penn State Extension publications. She has received external funding of more than $1.3 million for her research and extension program at Penn State, and she has achieved international recognition as the invited keynote speaker at international conferences in Brazil, Colombia and Canada.

Heavily involved in extension and outreach, López-Uribe said she hopes to serve as a mentor to younger scientists who are passionate about pollinators. Her research group includes nine students and postdoctoral scholars with diverse backgrounds and research interests. She is the lead organizer of the Great Insect Fair, the largest entomology outreach event in Pennsylvania.

López-Uribe is strongly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. She aims to promote science that incorporates the needs and views of an increasingly pluralistic society and globalized world.

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Last Updated September 13, 2018