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Young entomologists: Apply for $500 prize

Hoping to help bridge the gap for younger scientists between the lab and applied research, the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation is part of a group offering a $500 annual award to an entomology student whose pest-oriented, peer-reviewed research is deemed to the most interesting by a panel of judges.The panel is looking for discoveries of previously unknown biological features of pest insects, to help raise awareness of and inspire interest in them. The award, called the Student Award for the Appreciation for the Natural History of Insect Pests, is sponsored by the TREE Foundation of Sarasota, UF’s SFRC and collaborators from UF’s entomology and nematology department as well as North Carolina State University and Michigan State University.

The award is meant to promote the study of unexplored aspects of insect pests, which are often condemned as harmful, while their remarkable qualities and peculiarities go unnoticed — and frequently unstudied by scientists.

To win the award, the student’s work may address any aspect of insect pest systematics, diversity, ecology or other areas – but its main focus must not be consequences of such species to humans or pest management. And the study must be published by a scientific, peer-reviewed journal by the contest deadline.

At UF, Jiri Hulcr, an assistant professor in forest entomology, is the award’s administrator.

Students can begin submitting applications for the award now through Oct. 1, 2013.

To find out more about the award, please see: http://www.ambrosiasymbiosis.org/2012/03/award-opportunity/

To apply, send a brief email to hulcr@ufl.edu with a short biography, contact information for a faculty member or other university official who can confirm your status as a student, a one-sentence summary of your research discovery and a copy of the scientific paper in its published form.