UC Davis Faculty Honored at Entomological Society of America Meeting
UC Davis entomologist Diane Ullman receives her ESA Fellow Award from 2011 president Ernest Delfosse. At right is Grayson Brown, the 2011 vice president and incoming president. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, professor of entomology, was inducted as vice president-elect of the 6000-member organization. Over the next four years, he will move up to the offices of vice president, president and then will serve as past president.
Professors James R. Carey and Diane E. Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology were inducted as Fellows, a prestigious honor awarded annually to no more than 10 outstanding entomologists. They were singled out for their outstanding contributions in one or more of the following categories: research, teaching, extension, or administration.
Michael Parrella (right), professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, receives the Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology from ESA president Ernest Delfosse. ESA president Ernest Delfosse presents the Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology to Walter Leal of UC Davis. UC Davis entomologist Frank Zalom (far right), vice president-elect of the ESA, with ESA members Norman Leppla (center) of the University of Florida and Brad Mullen, UC Riverside.
Carey, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980, is considered the world’s foremost authority on arthropod demography. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and three books on this or closely related topics, including the monograph Longevity (Princeton, 2003) and the “go-to” book on insect demography, Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993).
Carey is also considered one of the world’s authorities on the demography and invasion biology of tephritid fruit flies, particularly the Mediterranean fruit fly. He published one of the first papers on the formal demography of any insect species (medfly) and discovered what has been termed by demographers as “Carey’s Equality”—a unique property of the life table that connects it to a stationary population. His research on the invasion status of the medfly in California has generated much-needed discussion within the entomological community about definitions of eradication, the concept of subdetectable levels of invasive pests, and the need for a paradigm shift in invasion biology of economically and medically important arthropod pests.
Ullman, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is the associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. A member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1995, she co-founded and co-directs the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, a pioneering program in the use of an art-science fusion paradigm in undergraduate education and community outreach.
Ullman's research revolves around insects that transmit plant pathogens, in particular plant viruses. She is best known for advancing international knowledge of interactions between thrips and tospoviruses and aphids and citrus tristeza virus. She also made important discoveries regarding host plant resistance to aphids and thrips and regarding the biology and vector competence of mealybugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies. Her contributions played a fundamental role in developing novel strategies for management of insects and plant viruses, ranging from use of induced resistance to RNA interference.
Professor James R. Carey is a newly inducted Fellow of the ESA and also led a seminar.
Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology, received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology and professor Walter Leal, the Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology.
The horticultural award, sponsored by Gowan Company, singles out an entomologist who has contributed greatly to the American horticulture industry.
In his 30-year career, Parrella has developed an internationally recognized program focused on advancing integrated pest management and biological control for the floriculture and nursery industry. He served as an associate dean in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for 10 years.
A Fellow of ESA and past president of the Pacific Branch, Parrella represents the Branch on the ESA Governing Board. Among his many awards: the ESA’s Recognition Award.
The Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology is given to an ESA member who is able to demonstrate, through his/her projects or accomplishments, an ability to identify problems and develop creative, alternative solutions that significantly impact entomology.
Leal is a pioneer in the field of insect communication and on the cutting edge of research, he employs innovative approaches to insect olfaction problems. His work examines how insects detect smells, communicate with their species, detect host and non-host plants, and detect prey.
Leal has designed and synthesized complex pheromones from many insects, including scarab beetles, true bugs, longhorn beetles and the citrus leafminer. He and his lab discovered the secret mode of the insect repellent DEET.
Leal is a Fellow of the ESA and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as president of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) and of ESA’s Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect System Section. Among his many awards: ESA’s 2008 Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology.
Harry Kaya, emeritus professor of entomology and nematology, was honored at an all-afternoon seminar, "Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Their Biology, Ecology, and Application. A Tribute to the Dynamic Career of Harry K. Kaya." A reception followed. (Note: See more information and photos on the Harry Kaya seminar and reception.)
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology