Your Coffee May Be Grounds for Concern: Christian Nansen
And that's grounds for concern, researchers say.
Agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and four colleagues analyzed 15 brands of roasted coffee beans, purchased at an area supermarket on two dates about six months apart, and using hyperspectral imaging technology, found “they were all over the board.”
“There was no consistency in the protein/sugar content and within the roasting classes of light, medium, medium dark, and dark or between sampling dates,” said Nansen, who specializes in insect ecology and remote sensing and uses imaging technology to quantify variability and identify trends and patterns in biological systems. “I thought this would be interesting to apply my hyperspectral imaging technology to a commercial system rather than a biological system.” -more-
Neonics: UC Davis Championship Debate Team Summary in American Entomologist
The UC Davis team, captained by Mohammad-Amir Aghaee of the Larry Godfrey lab, included members Danny Klittich of the Michael Parrella lab; Jenny Carlson, Anthony Cornel lab; Margaret "Rei" Scampavia, Neal Williams/Edwin Lewis lab; and Ralph Washington Jr., Steve Nadler lab. They defeated Auburn University in the neonics debate and then went on to win the national championship trophy, signifying the best debate team of the six competing. -more-
California Dogface Butterfly in the News
Bohart Museum of Entomology associate Greg Kareofelas is featured in the Capital Public Radio program on California’s state insect, the dogface butterfly. See http://www.capradio.org/articles/2016/06/19/placer-county-popular-hideout-for-rarely-seen-dogface-butterfly/
The piece is titled “Placer County — A Popular Hideout For Rarely Seen Dogface Butterfly.” The main breeding ground in the state appears to be in Auburn on the Placer Land Trust. Note the Bohart Museum’s role in spotlighting this butterfly. The children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” by Fran Keller, Greg Kareofelas and Laine Bauer, is available at the Bohart Museum. A Keller/Kareofelas poster on the butterfly is also available for sale at the Bohart. See Bug Squad for more information.
UC Davis Mosquito Researchers Featured in KQED/NPR
Several UC Davis mosquito researchers are featured in the KQED science article on “How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood,” which includes an embedded video of mosquito bites. The National Public Radio's health blog, “Shots,” includes a shorter version.
Spotlighted are parasitologist and entomologist Shirley Luckhart, professor in the UC Davis School of Medicine's Department of Medical Microbiology and immunology and the Department of Entomology and Nematology; medical entomologist Gregory Lanzaro, professor, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology (PMI), UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and an associate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; chemical ecologist Walter Leal, professor in the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology; virologist Lark Coffey of PMI; and UC Davis post-doctoral researcher Young-Moo Choo of the Leal's lab who discovered a receptor by dissecting mosquitoes' mouthparts and genetically.
The KQED piece, drawing widespread interest, is the work of Gabriela Quirós, coordinator producer of Deep Look, KQED Science. -more-
Joanna Chiu Lab: Three Young STEM Scientists Who Excel
STEM is not just a fantasy word--or world--for three young women in Joanna Chiu's molecular genetics lab at the University of California, Davis. It's a reality.
Undergraduate student Jessica West, Ph.D. candidate Rosanna Kwok, and research specialist Katherine “Katie” Murphy all excel in STEM, an acronym that stands for the academic disciplines of “science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
“Undergraduates who learn cutting-edge research skills in laboratories like Dr. Chiu's set themselves apart from students who only pursue coursework for their degree,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “Undergraduate research opportunities are what turn science students into young scientists.”
Early in their undergraduate studies, West and Murphy were accepted into the UC Davis Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology, a vigorous, multi-discipline, research and mentoring program administered by UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty members Jay Rosenheim, Louie Yang and Chiu. -more-
Karl Kjer: 2016 Hodson Alumni Award
Molecular phylogeneticist Karl Kjer, the Schlinger Chair of Insect Systematics in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the recipient of the 2016 Hodson Alumni Award, awarded annually by the University of Minnesota's Department of Entomology to a distinguished alumnus.
Kjer, who received two degrees from the University of Minnesota—his master's in 1988 and his doctorate in 1992--accepted the award from Stephen Kells, associate professor and chair of the department, and his close collaborator, professor Ralph Holzenthal, director of the Insect Museum. The award, established in 1998, memorializes Alexander Hodson, a former department chair.
Kjer delivered the University of Minnesota presentation on “Integrating Large Datasets, from Transcriptomes to Barcodes in Today's Phylogenetics" on May 18.
Kjer, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology last July following an 18-year career at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., is a co-founder of an international insect phylogentics team known as the 1000 Insect Transcription Evolution Project (1KITE). -more-
A Lesson in Plant Communication Gone Viral Through TED-Ed
And now UC Davis ecologist Richard “Rick” Karban's research is “talking” in TED-Ed Original Lessons and drawing international attention from thousands of teachers, their students and other Internet viewers.
Karban's work on plant communication is featured in an interactive lesson plan where "words and ideas of educators are brought to life by professional animators.” Teachers can customize the lesson plan to engage their students. As of May 13, nearly 130,000 have accessed the lesson plan.
Plants can eavesdrop, sense danger in the environment, and can distinguish friend from foe, says Karban, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who recently published a 250-page comprehensive book, Plant Sensing and Communication (University of Chicago Press), hailed as a landmark in its field. -more-
UC Davis Medical Entomologist: Novel Way to Render Female Mosquitoes InfertileAnthony Cornel, Ph.D. is targeting the potential spread of the Zika virus mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, using a novel control strategy that renders the female mosquitoes sterile.
Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with a bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis, are being released in Clovis, Fresno County, where this mosquito was discovered in June 2013. Although this mosquito is now found in California, there has been no locally transmitted case of the Zika virus in the state.
The project, to determine dispersal and survival, began Monday, May 10.
“The daytime-biting mosquito, which feeds predominantly on humans, has spread to at least seven counties since its discovery in Clovis,” said Cornel, a mosquito researcher and faculty member with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier.
“The biting nuisance and potential of the mosquito Aedes aegypti to transmit Zika, Chikungunya and dengue viruses in California is cause for concern,” he said. “Efforts to curb its spread and reduce populations have not been very effective. Control efforts have included educating the public to remove standing water (source reduction) insecticide barrier sprays and bacterial larviciding.” -more-
In the Spotlight
- Department News
- Walter Leal: Distinguished Professor
- Ed Lewis: IPM Award from PBESA
- Rick Karban's Plant Communication Book
- Watch UC Davis Bee Symposium Presentations on YouTube
- Bohart Museum's Schedule of Open Houses
- Eric Grissell: Giving Back
- History of Our Bee Garden
Blogs, Books, and Other Connections
- 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 (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
|Conference on Pollinator Biology- Health and Policy||7/18/2016|
|14th Annual Bruce Hammock Balloon Battle||7/22/2016|
|International Congress of Entomology (ICE)||9/25/2016|
Bee Biology (Website, the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility is under construction. See history of bee garden)
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Also see Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Annual Report
Apiary Newsletters (archived copies, Eric Mussen)
How to Write Like a Professor (James R. Carey)
What's This Bug? (CDFA)