Something Unexpected Happened After Tour of Bohart Museum and Press Conference
That these students were, even after a four-hour, 226-mile bus trip from Tulare County to Yolo County.
Destination: the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, campus.
The 11 students, all children of California migrant workers, filed into the Bohart Museum to learn about the diversity of insects, and polish their journalism skills by participating in a press conference.
And then something unexpected happened. -more-
Rachel Vannette Research: Surprising Find in Nectar MicrobesRachel Vannette.
In newly published research in Ecology Letters, "Dispersal Enchances Beta Diversity in Nectar Microbes," Vannette and colleague Tadashi Fukami of Stanford University's Department of Biology, examined microbial communities inhabiting the nectar of the sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus auranticus, at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in California's Santa Cruz Mountains.
The flower, in the family Phrymacease, is a native shrub common in chaparral and coastal scrub habitats of California and Oregon. It is primarily pollinated by Anna's hummingbird. Other common pollinators include bumble bees, carpenter bees, and thrips.
Dispersal is considered a key driver of beta diversity, which is “the variation in species composition among local communities,” Vannette said.
They are the first to publish work showing that increased dispersal can increase biodiversity. In their experiment, they reduced natural rates of dispersal by eliminating multiple modes of microbial dispersal. “Specifically we focused in nectar-inhabiting bacteria and yeasts that are dispersed among flowers by wind, insects and birds,” they said. “We imposed dispersal limitation on individual flowers and quantified microbial abundance, species composition and microbial effects on nectar chemistry. -more-
Proposed Insect-Collecting Permit Rules: Onerous, Obtrusive, Obstructive
(Editor's Note: The rules are being changed as the result of entomologists' concerns)
The new insect-collecting permit rules proposed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are not only “onerous and obtrusive” but will “obstruct the scientific work of researchers and teachers.”
So says entomologist Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis. “They amount to a mind-boggling, data-clogging nightmare.”
“This is a major deal for scientific teaching and research,” Kimsey emphasized. “Teachers who assign their students to make insect collections will now have to apply for a permit, and only eight persons are allowed on any one permit. Plus, they have to notify California Fish and Wildlife 48 hours in advance before they collect, and inform them what exactly they will be collecting. It doesn't matter what they're studying—cockroaches, wasps or corn earworms.” -more-
Innovative Research: How Elvira de Lange Is Targeting Spider Mites in Strawberry Fields
Chemical ecologist Elvira Simone de Lange, a postdoctoral researcher in the Christian Nansen lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, has received a three-year $249,878 federal grant that involves using drones to detect the early infestation of spider mites, and then targeting the pests with biocontrol agents.
The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Her research project, "Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)-Guided Releases of Predatory Mites for Management of Spider Mites in Strawberry," aims to identify “very subtle differences in reflectance of the strawberry canopy, indicating spider mite-induced stress,” she said. “Releasing predatory mites in these spider mite hotspots will increase their efficacy as biocontrol agents, enhancing sustainability of spider mite management practices in strawberry.” -more-
James R. Carey Honored for Teaching, Receives Global RecognitionJames R. Carey, distinguished professor of entomology, is one of the award recipients in the 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching Program, a global prize given every two years by Baylor University, Waco, Texas, to a professor demonstrating academic excellence.
Carey, described as “a truly outstanding teacher,” was named a semifinalist and received a $1000 honorarium. Approximately 100 applicants began the initial process.
“Dr. James Carey epitomizes the scholar-teacher,” said Cherry Award committee member Kevin Dougherty, associate professor of sociology. “He is a prodigious author with multiple books and hundreds of research articles. Millions of dollars in grants have funded his research. Yet, Dr. Carey has done more than produce knowledge. He is an innovative, international leader in interdisciplinary teaching and learning. He is an entomologist who teaches courses on aging, crime, and war to classes ranging in size from 20 to 200 plus. Over a thousand instructional videos also feature Dr. Carey. Dr. James Carey is the type of exemplary scholar-teacher for which Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching exists.” -more-
Hammock Lab Research: Potential to Block Cancer Growth and Target Other Diseases
Earlier research by the Judah Folkman laboratory of Harvard Medical School showed that cutting off blood vessels that feed a cancerous tumor can stop its growth.
The seven-member research team—five from the Bruce Hammock laboratory of UC Davis—“characterized a novel lipid signaling molecule that can change fundamental biological processes involved in our health and disease,” said lead author and researcher Amy Rand. “We've found that a novel product derived from the metabolism of omega-6 fatty acids stimulates angiogenesis, which may contribute to enhanced tumor growth by providing tumors with oxygen and nutrients.” -more-
UC Davis Entomology Ranked Among Best in the World: No. 7Times 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-
Who Won the Grad Student Poster Competition at Bee Symposium?
Phillipp Brand, a graduate student in the Santiago Ramirez lab, UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology. and a member of the Population Biology Graduate Group, won the first-place award of $1000 for his research on "The Evolution of Sex Pheromone Communication in a Pair of Sibling Species of Orchid Bees" at the third annual UC Davis Bee Symposium.
The poster competition, open to graduate students throughout the country, drew 14 posters that focused on bees and/or pollination. It is a traditional part of the symposium, hosted by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The event took place in the UC Davis Conference Center.
Brand, who joined the Ramirez lab in 2013, received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, and then went on to pursue his master's degree there, studying the evolutionary history and the patterns of selection of olfactory receptor genes in a pair of sister lineages of euglossine bees. -more-
In the Spotlight
- Department News
- Christian Nansen: Drone Program
- Shirley Gee: 40 Years of Service
- Anthony Cornel: Novel Way to Render Female Mosquitoes Infertile
- Rick Karban's Plant Communication Book
- 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
- Ecology 180 Blog; class led by Louie Yang
- 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
|Western Apicultural Society 40th Anniversary Conference||9/5/2017|
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)