Stephanie Calloway: UC Davis Outstanding Senior in Entomology
June 1, 2012
|Stephanie Calloway is the recipient of the UC Davis Outstanding Senior in Entomology.|
DAVIS--Stephanie Calloway, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in entomology June 17 from UC Davis, has been named the UC Davis Outstanding Senior in Entomology. She was nominated for the Cal Aggie Alumni Association award by her master advisor Sharon Lawler, professor of entomology.
Calloway was honored at the recent UC Davis Department of Entomology barbecue.
“Stephanie has distinguished herself not only by her academic excellence, but also by her extensive research achievements and outreach to the public,” Lawler wrote in her letter of nomination.
Calloway, who researches the diversity and abundance of tardigrades or “water bears,” transferred to UC Davis from Fresno City College (FCC), where she won a Bruce and Merry Johnston Endowed Scholarship for the Sciences. While at FCC, she began independent research on a National Science Foundation-funded project on tardigrades.
Tardigrades, eight-legged animals in the phylum, Tardigrada (the word means “slow walker” referring to its bearlike gait) are found all over the world. They can survive at extreme temperatures, from nearly absolute zero to 304 degrees F.
“These tiny animals live in moist habitats, but they have fascinating adaptations to extremes of heat and cold,” Lawler explained. “Stephanie’s first papers emerged from this work after she transferred to UC Davis.” Calloway is the first author of a publication in which she described a new species of tardigrade from Alaska, and she is the second author of a paper comparing urban and rural tardigrade communities.
|Scanning electron micrograph of tardigrade (water bear) by Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)|
Lawler described her as “an outgoing and engaged young scientist who has continued to impress her faculty mentors at both UC Davis and UC Merced. “She has performed studies of the aquatic invertebrates of Yosemite, curation of the UC Davis ant collection with Professor Phil Ward, and she is now working with Professor Alan Hastings, UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Her current independent research project focuses on how maternal effects influence the population dynamics of flour beetles.”
In addition, Calloway shares her great love of natural ecosystems with others, Lawler noted. Calloway held a volunteer outreach and education position with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, leading educational nature hikes for schoolchildren and other members of the public. She also volunteered with Adventure Risk Challenge, a literary/environmental study program for high school students who speak English as a second language.
“Those of us who were privileged to have taught Stephanie Calloway in the classroom found her to be talented, perceptive and very helpful to her peers--in short, the kind of student we look forward to teaching,” Lawler said. “She will be an alumna who brings great credit to UC Davis for her community spirit, service activities and research achievements.”
Calloway, who plans to pursue graduate studies in the fall of 2013, described her time at UC Davis as “amazing.”
“The professors I have had here have been no less than fantastic, and I appreciate them all so much.”
Calloway, a graduate of Clovis High School, east of Fresno, recalls that an introductory biology course at FCC was all it took to “fall in love with the life sciences." Then, after taking a zoology class, "I was sold on insects." While at FCC, she received the award for “Best Undergraduate Presentation” at the Central California Research Symposium for her work on urban and rural tardigrades.
“I was very lucky to work on the NSF tardigrade grant during my years at FCC and UC Davis,” Calloway said.
Interested in a variety of science projects, she's worked on high-elevation stream insects, including caddisflies "I fell in love iwth the little guys); collected mangrove gastropods in Malayasia and Brunei, Southeast Asia; and this summer will be working with Dave Rizzo, UC Davis Plant Pathology, on pest-host interactions in old-growth forests in the Teakettle Wilderness, Sierra Nevada.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology