UC Researchers Targeting Grapevine Red Blotch Virus
The four-year grant, "Ecobiology, Impact, and Management of Grapevine Red Blotch Virus and Its Vector(s) in California and Oregon Vineyards," from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), continues through August 2023.
“Red blotch is a huge new problem for the grape industry, and this is the first large government grant to study it,” said project director Anita Oberholster, Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. “We will be working in partnership to take the first steps to understand the disease and develop sustainable management practices to support the grape industry.”
Oberholster said the virus affects both white and red grape varieties and can have a "significant impact on wine quality." Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and Rachael Goodhue, professor and chair, UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics, serve as co-directors. -more-
Elvira de Lange: Importance of Drones in Sustainable Agricultural PracticesElvira de Lange, in a newly published article in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
The review paper, “Drones: Innovative Technology for Use in Precision Pest Management,” is one of the first of its kind to summarize scientific literature on the use of agricultural drones for pest management.
In advocating the need for more research, the authors said that drones are becoming an important part of precision pest management, from detecting pests to controlling them.
“We propose extensive communication and collaboration between scientists from various disciplines, extension agents, industry professionals, and commercial growers to reach drones' optimal potential to help with pest management and control,” said De Lange, the corresponding author and a postdoctoral fellow in the Christian Nansen lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology who assembled the team of authors. -more-
Rachel Vannette: Unlocking the Mysteries of Flower MicrobesRachel Vannette of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seeks to unlock the mysteries of flower microbes: how do plants protect against them, and can bees benefit from them?
“I am interested in understanding and predicting how microbial communities influence interactions between plants and insects,” she says. The Vannette lab “uses tools and concepts from microbial ecology, chemical ecology, and community ecology to better understand the ecology and evolution of interactions among plants, microbes and insects."
Now the UC Davis assistant professor has two more opportunities that will enable her to pursue her research: she recently received two National Science Federation (NSF) grants.
One is a five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award, titled “Nectar Chemistry and Ecological and Evolutionary Tradeoffs in Plant Adaptation to Microbes and Pollinators.” NSF grants CAREER awards to early career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” a NSF spokesman said.
The other is a three-year collaborative grant, “The Brood Cell Microbiome of Solitary Bees: Origin, Diversity, Function, and Vulnerability. -more-
Walter Leal Selected Fellow of National Academy of InventorsWalter Leal has been selected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, as announced today (Dec. 3). He was nominated by UC Davis chancellor emerita Linda Katehi, now of Texas A&M University.
Leal, a distinguished professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a former chair of the Department of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) is one of 168 distinguished academic inventors who will be inducted April 10 at NAI’s ninth annual meeting in Phoenix.
Leal is the second faculty member affiliated with the Department of Entomology to be selected an NIA fellow. Distinguished professor Bruce Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the Department of Entomology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the honor in 2014.
Said Hammock: “When Walter Leal reached UC Davis, he came with the reputation of being a 'one man army in research.' This reputation was well deserved. I know of no one at UC Davis who matches Walter in taking his remarkable fundamental advances in science and translating them to increase the safety and magnitude of world food production.” -more-
Emily Bick Receives Denmark Postdoc Grant
Bick, who received her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis in June and then headed to Denmark in August for a postdoctoral position at the University of Copenhagen, just received word that she's the recipient of a $244,000 postdoc grant from the Innovations Fund in Denmark.
Bick, who specializes in integrated pest management (IPM), received the funding for her proposal, "Optimization of Agricultural Pest Management Strategies by Combining Modeling and Digital Insect Monitoring."
"I'm excited to be working at the University of Copenhagen and partnering with digital agriculture company FaunaPhotonics integrating modeling and LIDAR detection of insects for the next two years!" she said. -more-
EicOsis: Innovator of the YearEicOsis LLC, a company founded by UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock to develop a non-opiate drug to relieve inflammatory pain in companion animals and target chronic neuropathic pain in humans and horses, can now add “Sacramento Region Innovator of the Year” to its list of accomplishments.
EicOsis won the award in the medical health/biopharmaceutical category of the annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards Program. The program “recognizes the area's vibrant innovation community—from emerging to established companies—and their breakthrough creations,” according to sponsors Stoel Rives LLP, Moss Adams LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal.
“This project is an illustration of how fundamental science leads to real world applications, in this case addressing severe pain of humans and companion animals,” said Hammock, chief executive officer of EicOsis and a UC Davis faculty member who holds a joint appointment with the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our success in translation has been due largely to support from a number of institutes of the National Institutes of Health and a small team of hard-working scientists.” -more-
Brendon Boudinot Edits Special Collection of Articles on Morphology for ISD JournalBrendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, edited a special collection of articles published today (Nov. 12) on “Current Techniques in Morphology” for the Entomological Society of America journal, Insect Systematics and Diversity (ISD). The work is publicized on EurekAlert! and the entire project can be accessed free online.
Boudinot co-led the development of the collection with István Mikó, collections manager at the University of New Hampshire Department of Biological Sciences.
For the year-long project. Boudinot and Mikó gathered articles illustrating cutting-edge research techniques in insect morphology and phylogenetics, including videos, interactive 3D images, and augmented reality. -more-
Water Bear Sculpture to Grace Bohart Museum Entrance
A water bear or tardigrade sculpture may soon grace the entrance to the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
"I've been in touch with the sculptor Solomon Bassoff (Faducciart) in Roseville," said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. "He did the caterpillar in the Davis Central Park. I'm thinking of a concrete sculpture roughly 4 feet by eight feet."
"The reason for this is that we have one of the world's largest tardigrade collections, which was compiled by Steve Heydon's predecessor, Bob Schuster," she said. "Tardigrades are really popular with kids in part because of their representation in the movies Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Star Trek and Family Guy." -more-
UC Davis Entomology Ranked Among Best in the WorldTimes Higher Education World University Rankings.
The rankings show UC Davis as No. 7 globally, scoring 89.88 of a possible 100. Of the top 10, two are in California. UC Riverside is ranked as No. 2.
Performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff students and research) and industry outcome (knowledge transfer). -more-
In the Spotlight
- Department News
- Department Fall Seminars
- UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day
- UC Davis Museum Biodiversity Day video on YouTube.
- UC Davis Storer Lectures, 2019-2020
- Why War on Cancer Is Winnable: Jay Rosenheim
- Bohart Museum Open Houses
- UC Davis Entomology Seminars Posted on UCTV
- Order a EGSA T-Shirt!
- Watch UC Davis Bee Symposium Presentations on YouTube
- Eric Grissell: Giving Back
- History of Our Bee Garden
- 'I Wanna Be an Entomologist' by Heather Wilson
Blogs, Books, and Other Connections
- Rick Karban's Plant Communication Book
- Alex Wild's Compound Eye Blog: Some of Best Nature/Science Photographs
- UC Davis Department of Entomology (Facebook)
- Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility (Facebook)
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (Facebook)
- E.L. Niño Bee Lab (Facebook)
- Bug Squad blog, updated Monday through Friday (Kathy Keatley Garvey)
- Robbin Thorp Co-Author of California Bees and Blooms
- Robbin Thorp Co-Author of Bumble Bees of North America
- Apiary newsletter, from the UC apiaries (Elina L. Niño)
- Apiary newsletter, from the UC apiaries (archived, Eric Mussen)
- New Ant Book (free): Photos by Alex Wild
- Insect Note Cards, Benefitting UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center
Apiary Newsletters (archived copies, Eric Mussen)
How to Write Like a Professor (James R. Carey)
What's This Bug? (CDFA)