LANHAM, Md. -- The Entomological Foundation announces Mary Margaret Gardiner of Michigan State University as the recipient of the inaugural Pioneer Hi-Bred International Graduate Student Fellowship.

The Fellowship recognizes outstanding leadership skills in students pursuing a career in research and management of insects impacting production of commodity crops. Following a rigorous nomination process, five judges screened nominees from across the country and selected a fellowship winner.

Funded by Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., a DuPont subsidiary, the fellowship program encourages an appreciation of the need for and the importance of the development and delivery of science-based solutions that make a difference in people's lives. The fellowship's stipend is designed to help ease the financial burdens associated with higher education, permitting the winner to dedicate more time to pursuing their academic goals.

Mary Margaret Gardiner, a Ph.D. student in entomology at Michigan State University, is researching the effects of landscape complexity and intraguild interactions on the soybean aphid Aphis glycines predator community. Her goal is to contribute to the adoption of integrated pest management practices in major crops.

Throughout her academic career, she has received many awards and honors, including the H.C. Manis Memorial Award for Excellence in Entomological Research and the Entomological Society of America's President's Prize for the Student Competition. Since 2002, Gardiner has presented at Extension meetings and workshops on topics including lethal and sub-lethal effects of pesticides on the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, effects of crop management practices on pollinators and pollination in alfalfa seed, and arthropod fauna of feral and cultivated hop in southern Idaho.

Mary is currently involved with the Aldrich Entomology Club and the Graduate and Undergraduate Entomological Student Society at Michigan State University. Ms. Gardiner received her M.S. in entomology from the University of Idaho and her B.S. in resource ecology and management from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The award was presented to Gardiner by Pioneer Hi-Bred International at the Entomological Foundation's award ceremony, held in conjunction with the Entomological Society of America's annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Convention Center, Dec. 17, 2005.

The Entomological Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization that uses private and public resources to ensure that young people and young adults have an interest in and an appreciation for science and entomology.

SOURCE: The Entomological Foundation.