UC Riverside Wins 2013 Linnaean Games

Victory marks the fourth time the Department of Entomology has won the national college bowl-style competition

Photo shows 4 grad students.

From L to R: Graduate students Eric Gordon, Kim Hung, Genevieve Tauxe and Parry Kietzman participated in the finals of the 2013 Linnaean Games.Photo credit: Entomological Society of America.

RIVERSIDE, Calif.  — The University of California, Riverside has won the Linnaean Games, a national insect trivia competition held at the annual meetings of the Entomological Society of America (ESA).  UC Riverside faced Mississippi State University in the finals on Nov. 13 in Austin, Texas.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the games. The ESA meeting highlighted the games with a historical display of past winning teams.

The Linnaean Games, one of the meetings’ best-attended events, are a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams.

Named after the botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus, the games are an occasion for graduate students to show off their knowledge in entomology.  Ten university teams competed this year.  Four players make up each team.  The teams score points by answering questions correctly.

The winning team from UCR – comprised of Eric Gordon, Kim Hung, Genevieve Tauxe and Parry Kietzman (Amelia Lindsey competed in preliminary rounds instead of Kim Hung; Adena Why was the alternate) – won an inscribed trophy cup for each team member and a plaque for the Department of Entomology.  UCR won the games also in 2008, 2000 and 1998, and was runner-up in 2009 and 1996.

The graduate students were coached and quizzed by Darcy Reed, an administrative specialist in the Department of Entomology.  They studied various areas of entomology, including medical and veterinary entomology, physiology, morphology, and toxicology, taxonomy and systematics, ecology, agricultural and applied entomology as well as various aspects of cultural entomology, including poetry, literature and music. They also had to be up-to-date with current events and be well-versed with the histories of entomology and the Entomological Society of America.

“Congratulations to the UCR team!” said Rick Redak, the chair of the Department of Entomology.  “The students worked hard for several months to prepare for the games.  We in the department were thrilled that they made it to the finals and are very proud of their victory.”

Any student wishing to participate in the games is eligible to do so as long as he/she is in a degree program or has completed a degree within one year prior to the contest.

UCR has other entomology-related reasons to celebrate: At the ESA meeting, students Michael Forthman and Adena Why received first place awards for their oral presentations; John Hash, Ryan Neff, and Amy Murillo received second place awards for their oral presentations.

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