University of Wyoming Extension News

Flying Oreos and hourglasses: UW researchers name insects in Ecuador cloud forest

Meteorus oreo, named for its white middle.

There are Oreos, beans, pearls and hourglasses flying through the moist, cool and amazingly green high-elevation cloud forests in the Ecuadorian Andes.

And, some of those species on the lush slopes are named in honor of University of Wyoming (UW) students, faculty members and alumni.

About half a world away – 12,000 miles – a newly discovered wasp in Thailand was named by the researchers in honor of Scott Shaw, professor of insect biology and classification at UW and curator of the UW Insect Museum. That wasp is in the same journal article that describes the Lady Gaga wasp. The Shaw species name, not nearly so flamboyant, is Aleiodes scottshawi.

Despite what you may be thinking, entomologists take naming new insect species they’ve discovered pretty seriously. UW Ph.D. student Guinevere Jones names 10 new species of Meteorus wasps in an article published in the November issue of the journal Zootaxa. Shaw, her adviser, is coauthor of the paper.

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Albany County extension offers Master Gardener program

Kellie Chichester

Master Gardener training in Albany County starts in January.

Trainees will receive training in horticulture from University of Wyoming Extension specialists and are encouraged to share their new skills and knowledge through volunteerism.

“This is a great opportunity to meet others who enjoy horticulture and volunteering,” said Kellie Chichester, UW Extension educator in Albany County. “These classes are for anyone who enjoys volunteering, working with community groups or individually, and especially for folks who enjoy the outdoors and plants.”

An informational meeting is 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Albany County extension office at the Albany County Fairgrounds south of Laramie.

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Entomology Ph.D. student earns UW’s graduate student internationalization honor

Miranda Bryant with an image of an as-yet-unnamed parasatoid wasp.

Bits of coincidence here and there prompted a computer science master’s student to switch paths and instead work toward a Ph.D. in entomology.

The output?

Miranda Bryant is UW’s U.S. Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Internationalization recipient for 2012.

“I’m very honored,” says the second-year doctoral student, who is advised by Professor Scott Shaw in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Bryant is Shaw’s second graduate student to receive the honor.

UW’s International Board of Advisers selects recipients.

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