James Nieh: The Role of Negative Signaling in a Superorganism: the Honey Bee Stop Signal
May 3, 2012
James Nieh will discuss the honey bees ' stop signal at his talk on May 16 in 122 Briggs. (Photo courtesy James Nieh)
DAVIS--James C. Nieh, the biologist at UC San Diego who discovered the “stop signal” in honey bee colonies, will speak at the UC Davis Department of Entomology seminar on Wednesday, May 16 in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Nieh will discuss “The Role of Negative Signaling in a Superorganism: the Honey Bee Stop Signal" at his seminar from 12:10 to 1 p.m. It is scheduled to be webcast and then posted on UCTV within a two-week period. Host is Brian Johnson, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Nieh’s discovery, published in the Feb. 23, 2010 edition of the journal Current Biology, found that bees “head butt” to stop the waggle dancers from trying to recruit others to forage at a dangerous location. Earlier, bees may have been attacked by competitors or prey.
Nieh, who researches bee communication and cognition, studies many types of social bees, including honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees. Currently, his lab is interested in exploring the evolution of bee language, how bees communicate and recruit nestmates to food, and in how pesticides and disease affect bee behavior, navigation, and communication.
Born in Taiwan, Nieh grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor's degree at Harvard in 1991 and his Ph.D from Cornell University in 1997. He subsequently received a National Science Foundation-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Following his studies in Germany, he received the prestigious Harvard Junior Fellowship.
In 2000 Nieh joined the faculty in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego where he is currently a professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.
Related story: Biologist (James Nieh) Discovers Stop Signal
Coordinators of the spring seminars are Louie Yang and Joanna Chiu, assistant professors. All lectures will take place on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. The series, launched April 4, will continue through May 23.
In a webcast project coordinated by professor James R. Carey, the seminars will be videotaped and can be accessed at a later date on UCTV.
The complete list of speakers for the April 4-June 6 seminars:
April 4: Ian Pearse, who just finished his doctorate, working with major professor Rick Karban lab, UC Davis, will speak on "The Use of Non-Native Plants by Native Herbivores."
Host: Rick Karban, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 11: James Harwood, graduate student, James R. Carey lab, UC Davis,"Biodemography of Reproductive Senescence in Fruit Flies (Tephritidae): The Influence of External Conditions on Age Specific Reproduction and Lifespan"
Host: James R. Carey, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 18: Bryony C. Bonning, professor, Iowa State University, "Novel Toxin Delivery Strategies for Management of Pestiferous Aphids"
Host: Bruce Hammock, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 25: Vince Jones, professor, Washington State University. "How a 'Perfect Storm' of Technology, Legislation, and Applied Ecology Is Finally Leading to IPM in Western Orchards"
Host: Michael Parrella, professor and chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 2: Susan Cobey, bee breeder-geneticist at UC Davis and Washington State University, "Importation of Honey Bee Germplasm to Increase Genetic Diversity in Domestic Breeding Stocks"
Host: Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 9: Cancelled. Sonia Altizer's talk will now be June 6
May 16: James C. Nieh, professor of biology, University of California, San Diego, "Role of Negative Signaling in a Superorganism: the Honey Bee Stop Signal"
Host: Brian Johnson, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 23: Tara Thiemann, postdoctoral Scholar at UC Davis, William Reisen lab, "Survey of Culex Bloodfeeding Patterns in California"
Host: William Reisen, research entomologist, Center for Vectorborne Diseases, and adjunct professor, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology (PMI), School of Veterinary Medicine
June 6: Sonia Altizer, professor, University of Georgia, "Infection and Immunity in Migratory Species: Monarchs as a Global Case Study" (Rescheduled from May 9)
Host: Louie Yang, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology