Today, Matt and Erin cover a wide range of topics. First, there are two entomologists interviewing for ISU president: Sonny Ramaswamy and Wendy Wintersteen. But the conversation is quickly diverted into talking about why entomologists make good leaders. Matt has another F.I.T. that includes a reference to Hogwarts. Tom Saunders named a new parasitoid wasp species after Lucius Malfoy, a character in the Harry Potter series. The new wasp was named Lusius malfoyi. Erin asks Matt about fall nuisance invaders around Ames, including multicolored Asian lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, and brown lacewings. Erin gives a shout-out to an insect-related podcast, Arthropod, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This interesting series goes in-depth on insects and closely related species (e.g., painted lady butterflies and brown recluse spiders). Lastly, they are spreading the word about a fundraiser for BugGuide - help them meet their goal of $15,000!
Today, Matt talks about a "farminar" with PFI (Practical Farmers of Iowa) he recently recorded. It was about neonic seed treatments in soybean. Watch the archived version here: http://practicalfarmers.org/farmer-knowledge/farminar-archive/neonicotinoid-seed-treatments-are-they-necessary/. Then Erin mentioned Pollinator Fest this summer is happening on Saturday, June 25 in Ames. But the majority of the time was spent interviewing an incoming post-doc, Matt Kaiser. He will start in Matt's lab this summer and work on a new parasitoid wasp that attacks soybean aphid. He reviews wasp biology and talks about how this new tool can help suppress soybean aphids in Iowa.
Today, Matt and Erin comment on a recent letter to the editor about too many "bees" on the ISU campus (see letter here: http://bit.ly/1LNbQGS). They talk about the real culprit, yellowjacket wasps, and why they may seem more abundant this year. Matt and Erin review the differences between bees and wasps, and why we probably don't have too many bees.
This record-breaking podcast is the second of the day for Erin and Matt. We interview Dr. Jen White from the University of Kentucky to better understand how endosymbionts interact and influence insects, and ultimately how it can help with pest management.