Welcome to unitsci. This site is an electronic repository for Nicholas C. Manoukis. This means that it is an elecronic filing cabinet, showcase and distibution center for my professional work.
28 October 2021A trio of papers have just been published that are all related to use of TrapGrid, a simulation model for quantifying capture probability of insects in a network of traps, first published in 2014 and which I released in an updated implementation late last year. The first paper is a pre-print arising from the work of M. Hill and P. Caley of CSIRO with TrapGrid. They were interested in an endemic, low-prevalence situation, so the pre-print details an alternate capture probability calculation that might be useful in those situations. The other pair of papers (one and two) arises from work with B. Caton, G. Pallipparambil, and H. Fang from USDA-APHIS and NCSU CIPM on improving delimitation trapping. I am delighted to see TrapGrid being useful!
03 October 2021Long time, no update! This year has been extremely busy, and made more interesting by the ongoing pandemic. Still, managing to get work done, for which I am very grateful. Unit had grown very quickly, four scientists brought on this year, in addition to the two from last year. Exciting times. Also, happy fiscal year 2022!
24 January 2021My percpective on a recent paper on mosquito mating was published last week in Science. Revisiting my past scientific life over the holidays was fun.
27 October 2020Delighted to see our study on non-target effects of the biocontrol agent Fopius arisanus published in BioControl. This is the result of a long collaboration with Brazilian collagues, who did an amazing job executing the work after we tranferred the wasp to them starting in 2012. I am hopeful that this will help authorities evaluate whether to release this braconid to help control Bactrocera carambolae in the north of the country.
29 September 2020New paper published in J. Insect Science, titled Flight burst duration as an indicator of flight ability and physical fitness in two species of Tephritid fruit flies. It describes a new method for phenotyping the flight ability of fruit flies. While the method is laborious, it is also simple and can provide highly detailed data for research on new strains or other related questions.
07 July 2020I was honored to give an "Applied Biosciences" talk (virtually) at MacQuarie University in Australia yesterday. Seminar announcement here. Though not my most recent work, I was asked to speak on trap modeling, and received interest from those tackling problems that could benefit from TrapGrid. It was great to see/hear from my many Australian friends and colleagues.
22 June 2020New paper based on research led by Dr. Melissa Johnson in my lab. using exclusion netting to protect against Coffee Berry Borer. This sort of solution might work well in the small farms in Hawaii & Puerto Rico, even if it would not scale to large operations around the world.
06 May 2020Happy to announce that a dataset I have worked on with colleagues in ARS Texas A&M, and APHIS has been published in the Ag Data Commons of the National Agriculture Library. This will be a citeable reference in our upcoming paper describing the relationship between hurricanes and Cattle Fever Tick abundance in the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Stay tuned.
20 March 2020Along with the rest of the world, my life is currently very much changed due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (causes COVID-19). On the work side, my employer has responded well and we are now as prepared as we can be to weather this storm. I expect to be teleworking for the next weeks/months, and that life will be different after this is all over.
14 February 2020Been a long time since I posted any update, Valentine's day seems like as good an opportunity as any. New paper published that combines climatic suitability modeling (CLIMEX) with MED-FOES. This is part of Special Collection: Geospatial Analysis of Invasive Insects in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Interesting take-home for me was thet removing irrigation from suburban areas in S. Califronia would do a lot to making that area inhospitable for invading Medfly.
13 October 2019Back in Hilo after my sabbatical at EBCL- had a wonderful time, made excellent progress on our goals with the team there. Interestingly, just a few weeks before my return B. oleae was detected for the first time in the State of Hawaii. It is on two islands (Hawaii and Maui). More information on the HDOA bulletin. Bad that we have a fifth invasive fruit fly of economic concern in the islands, but it does seem like my time at EBCL has given me skills I will be able to apply for Hawaii sooner than I could have imagined.
01 July 2019Today was my first day at the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) in Montpellier, France, where I will be spending the next three months as part of an ARS-sponsored sabbatical. I am very pleased to be working with Dr. Gaylord Desurmont on biocontrol projects relating to the Olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae. This species is a serious pest of olives globally, and I am looking forward to learning more about it and ways to control it.
09 March 2019New paper on Male Annihilation/Attraction Technique This study supports the findings of two previous experiments suggesting that less is more when it comes to using attract-and-kill with strong lures.
01 February 2019We are wrapping up our first week back at work after 35d of our department being shut down due to lapsed funding. There is a lot to spin back up. On other news, PHES has published our tribute to Roger Vargas. This text will also appear in American Entomologist this spring.
10 January 2019Happy 2019! The USDA has been shut down for almost 20d now. This is already significantly impacting my research and all other aspects of work in my unit. I hope we are open again soon.
17 December 2018Just returned from an excellent trip to Puerto Rico to meet with our collaborators on the CBB project. Dr. Jose Carlos Verle Rodrigues of the UPR. We were able to tour a farm and complete significant work with the team there. Thank you to all who hosted us, esp JCVR!
03 September 2018Today is labor day, and in honor of past labors (and because I received an inquiry), here is a link enabling those interested to reach Formatomatic. Its been just over a decade since the last release for this project, and the site on taylor0 is no longer available. I hope it lives on (usefully) for a while longer on Sourceforge, which has been a very reliable partner for me.
04 August 2018Today I am going to Waimea to attend the funeral of my good friend and colleague Roger Vargas who passed away as the result of a traffic accident on 10 July. Roger was many things, including an excellent scientist, generous mentor and collaborator, a resilliant human being, and a humanitarian. He will be missed.
21 March 2018Our paper on the effect of larval host fruit on emerging adult response to lures has been accepted by JEE. We found that when oriental fruit fly larvae are raised in Terminalia fruit, the resulting adults seem to have a lowered response to methyl eugenol, the most important lure for detection and control of this species. We also had a video-article on our CBB monitoring method published this week.
22 January 2018My second partial US Government shutdown as a Federal Employee. This time only results in 5 hours of furlough, but still no fun.