- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Shelomi, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will speak on "Anatomy of the Phasmid Digestive Tract and the Function of the Midgut Appendices” on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
He received $1000 from the Graduate Student Travel Award from the UC Davis Office of Graduates Studies to help fund the trip.
At the conference, Shelomi will present the results from his four-year research, including research he did at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Japan; Academia Sinica in Taiwan; and some of his most recent findings at UC Davis.
“I have focused on the appendices of the midgut, which are a series of tubes found only
in the walking sticks whose function is unknown,” Shelomi said. This is the same project that resulted in him being named a finalist in PhD Comics' Two-Minute thesis competition.” (See video.)
“I have since almost solved the puzzle of what the appendices of the midgut actually do, and the presentation in China will be the first time I reveal my findings to the scientific community,” he said.
Shelomi recently was named the recipient of the coveted John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (PBESA). He will be one of six John Henry Comstock Award recipients, one from each ESA branch, to be honored at the ESA annual meeting, Nov. 10-13 in Austin, Texas. Each winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to the annual meeting, a $100 cash prize, and a certificate. Shelomi is a member of the UC Davis Linnaean Team and the UC Davis Debate Team team that will compete at the ESA meeting.
He is also known for a humorous paper on Pokémon phylogenetics in the Annals of Improbable Research.
In 2012, he won a Shorty Award, the social-media equivalent of an Oscar, for his answer to an insect question. The Huffington Post recently spotlighted one response. Another was printed in the "Best of Quora 2010-2012" book. His Quora posts have also appeared on Slate.
A native of New York, Shelomi graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 2009.