Graduate Students in Entomology Bios
Xianhui Liu (Nitrol)
I am a first year PhD student in Chiu lab and interested in the molecular mechanism of circadian rhythm in Drosophila. Since the transcription-translation feedback loop plays vital role in the regulation of circadian rhythm, I mainly focus on the glycosylation of circadian protein in this loop.
M. Rei Scampavia
Lewis Lab, Williams Lab
Rei is a PhD student who studies how farming practices such as tillage, irrigation, and pesticide application affect the nesting behavior of native bees. She is also currently investigating how pesticide application on leaf material affects nest substrate selection and offspring survival of the alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata. Rei mentors several undergraduate research assistants in independent projects on diverse topics, such as pollinator nesting in serpentine mosaic landscapes, and how soil properties affect olive fruit fly pupal survival and population dynamics.
Lynn Kimsey Lab
Matan is graduating in 2014. His dissertation studies the digestive physiology of the stick insects (Phasmatodea), including their enzymes and comparative anatomy.
Maribel A. Portilla, MPH
Mimi Portilla is pursuing a PhD with a focus on disease ecology and medical entomology. Her research is centered on Borrelia miyamotoi, a recently-discovered tick-borne pathogen. She is investigating vector diversity, pathogen life cycle, and identifying environmental correlates of protection and risk for infection. Drawing on her experiences as a master's student in public health, Mimi is very interested in interdisciplinary work, bridging scientists, professionals, public health departments, and local communities to create a healthier California.
Danny Klittich is a doctoral candidate in the Parrella Laboratory. His research focuses on increasing plant resistance to herbivorous and improving IPM programs in horticulture and floriculture. He is currently analyzing the effects of silicate fertilizers on leafmining pests in chrysanthemum and gerbera production systems.
Lewis Lab, Parrella Lab
My research involves exploring plant nutrition, its effect on plant defenses, and subsequent effect on insect populations.
I study how and why patterns of host plant adaptation in Florida soapberry bugs (Jadera haematoloma) have changed during the last 25 years.
Stacy M. Hishinuma
Mary Louise Flint lab (co-advised by Steven J. Seybold, USFS)
I study the walnut twig beetle (WTB), Pityophthorus juglandis, a small bark beetle that vectors the fungal pathogen, Geosmithia morbida, the causal agent of thousand cankers disease (TCD) of walnuts. I seek to quantify the frequency and progression of TCD in various walnut species and regions in California; to quantify the number of spores of Geosmithia morbida on individual WTB and the frequency of beetles with spores from various populations within California; and to compare colonization behavior of WTB on various species of walnuts. I am interested in a research and outreach oriented job in forest Entomology. In my spare time I'm also a dedicated freshwater aquarium
Bruce Hammock Lab
My research of interest is: Epoxide hydrolase activities in the mosquitoes and how they are involved in the interactions between mosquitoes and their hosts.
After my career as a supermodel was tragically cut short by genetics I decided to pursue my passion for applied research in entomology. Focusing on sustainable pest management and IPM strategies in rice and horticultural crops.
Erin Donley Marineau
Erin Donley Marineau is a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Sharon Lawler 's laboratory. She studies the aquatic food web ecology of spring-fed rivers in northern California and focuses on Baetid mayfly populations, endemic snail populations and the ecological implications of trematode parasite infections. Erin is also working with the USDA Agricultural Research Service to investigate the role of invasive aquatic plants on invertebrate communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Sandy Olkowski is a PhD candidate conducting dengue fever research in the Peruvian Amazon. Her research integrates entomology, epidemiology and economics to address knowledge gaps in dengue outbreak detection and trend monitoring. She is interested in bringing together scientists, public health officials, and community members to design and implement effective, sustainable methods for controlling dengue.
Brendon E. Boudinot
I am a second year PhD student focusing on the taxonomy and systematics of ants. I am a specialist on male ant morphology, and anticipate utilizing genomic data to reconstruct evolutionary histories over the course of my time at UC Davis. Overall I am a biophile and maximally enjoy spending time with any group of organisms, especially in nature (although you may have a hard time ungluing me from the microscope).
I'm a second year graduate student with an emphasis in forensic entomology. My research focuses on successional variation of insects in carrion.
Mohammad is a 5th year PhD student working on the integrated pest management of rice water weevil. His main focus is on winter flooding as a management tool and exploration of possible Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies as an alternative to synthetic pesticides. He is also working on a project on Brown Marmorated Stinkbug to determine its potential threat level against California rice. He has formerly done work with Lygus hesperus in lima beans and amphibian limb malformations caused by trematode infections. His secondary interests are in European history from 1400-1850, modern Middle Eastern History, and language acquisition.