Our monthly meetings, which have been held regularly since 1993 at Zilker Garden Center, feature an educational program. All are open to the public and most are free. The Garden Center is located in Zilker Botanical Gardens, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78746.
- Sept. 23, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Borers, Beetles, Bollworms and more: An Overview of USDA's Domestic Pest Detection Activities, presented by Xanthe A. Shirley.
- Within the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is tasked with safeguarding U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of significant pests and with facilitating the safe trade of agricultural products. Domestic surveillance of potential and introduced pest threats is one of the various programs PPQ implements to support this mission. I will give an overview of PPQ’s domestic pest detection process and will discuss my involvement with the surveys I provide support for (Exotic Wood Borer/Bark Beetle, Old World Bollworm, Silver Y moth, and more).
Xanthe attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and received a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology in 2012. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Bob Wharton’s braconid systematics lab. After working as an ANRP (Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy) intern during the 83rd Texas legislative session in Austin, Texas, she returned to Texas A&M University to pursue her Master of Science degree in entomology. She worked in Dr. Jim Woolley’s lab on Aphelinus taxonomy and systematics, and graduated in 2016. Since January 2017, she has worked for USDA APHIS PPQ as Domestic Identifier.
- Oct. 28, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Pollinators in grasslands: habitat requirements and management, presented by Dr. Elinor Lichtenberg.
- Grasslands provide habitat for diverse flower-visiting insects, but are highly threatened by human activities (e.g., urbanization, invasive grasses, disrupted fire regimes). In order to understand how various activities might affect pollinators – both negatively and positively – we need a better understanding of how pollinator communities respond to multiple aspects of grassland habitat. This talk will discuss habitat requirements of bees and other pollinators. It will also describe ongoing research on how grassland restoration impacts pollinator communities.
Dr. Elinor Lichtenberg is currently a postdoc in Shalene Jha’s lab at UT Austin, and is starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas in 2020. Her research focuses on plant-pollinator interactions, including animal behavior and community ecology. Elinor’s interest in pollinators grew out of her doctoral research on communication by tropical stingless bees (UC San Diego). She has since studied topics such as nectar robbing behavior, and how various land management practices impact pollinator communities. Elinor has become increasingly interested in how such activities affect pollinators with different life histories and resource requirements.
- Nov. 25, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Member's Show & Tell.
- This is a fun meeting that we have every year. Any member can show their favorite photos of the year or to tell about their a trip or butterfly experience. You have 5-10 minutes. There will be a projector and laptop so just bring your flash drive. Plus, the club provides pizza for this year end meeting! If you plan to participate contact .