Four professors from Biology Department represented Georgetown University at the XXV International Congress

At the end of September, three Biology Professors: Martha Weiss, Peter Armbruster, and Edward Barrows, traveled to Orlando Florida to present their research at the International Congress of Entomology. 

The International Congress of Entomology meets every four years to bring together the largest delegation of scientists and experts in the study of insects. The theme of this year’s conference was Entomology without Borders and the conference hosted 6,600 participants from 102 countries.

Professor Armbruster presented his research on photoperiodic diapause in the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. His research focuses on the metabolic underpinnings that cause the Asian tiger mosquito to undergo diapause, a developmental arrest that allows the mosquito to survive harsh winter conditions. Dr. Armbruster presented his work on transcriptome sequencing, wherein he analyzed the RNA present in various stages of diapause in order to gain insight into the transcriptional basis of the metabolic pathways that contributes to the diapause response.

Professor Barrows observed the U.S. native carpenter bees, Xylocopa varipuncta and X. virginica virginica and their tendency to pierce the bases of tubular flowers in order to obtain nectar through the puncture. He observed X. varipuncta in Sacramento, California and X. virginica virginica in Bethesda, Maryland in order to gain insight into this process.

Professor Weiss’s research focuses on the ecological factors promoting host shifts in the silver-spotted skipper, a widespread North American legume-feeder. She investigated various ecological factors including nutrition and natural enemy pressure and determined their relative importance in mediating observed host shifts. 

Overall, the Georgetown presenters spoke about a wide-range of biological organisms as well as genetics topics. Their speeches reflected their dedication to their fields of study and their interests that go along with their academic work. The Department of Biology is grateful and honored to have been represented by such intelligent, driven, and well-spoken professors. We are looking forward to their future endeavors!