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NMSU Linnaean team wins first at regional competition

The New Mexico State University Linnaean Team One placed first at the regional Linnaean Games Competition held in Fort Worth, Texas, in February.

The team members of the New Mexico State University Linnaean team are, from left to right, Joni Blount, Sam Lowry, Jessica Perez, Eric Knutson, Joyce Parker, Ik-Ju Park, Bryan Fontes, Jorge Achata and coach Scott Bundy. (NMSU photo by David Thompson)

The contest was held during the meeting of the southwestern branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and is named in honor of taxonomist Karl Linnaeus. Each team must answer questions related to entomology, including questions about taxonomy, ecology and biological control.

"We definitely had a strong presence at the meeting. It says a lot about our students who are undergraduates and master's students who compete against doctoral or post-doctoral students from other universities," said Scott Bundy, associate professor and Linnaean team coach.

NMSU took two teams to the competition. Team One consisted of Jorge Achata, of Lima, Peru; Bryan Fontes, of Douglas, Ariz.; Eric Knutsen, of Brooten, Minn.; and Joyce Parker, of McAllen, Texas.

Joni Blount, of Glenwood, N.M.; Sam Lowry, of Mesilla, N.M.; Ik-Ju Park, of Suwon, South Korea; and Jessica Perez, of Dexter, N.M., rounded out Team Two.

In addition, two team members won first place in research competitions. Park received first in the master's poster competition and Parker received first in the master's oral competition.

The NMSU teams competed against teams from Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, West Texas A&M University and Tarleton State University.

The Linnaean Team One will go on to compete at the national meeting of the ESA held Nov. 16-19 in Reno, Nev.