- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Zalom will be presiding over the 2014 meeting in Portland, Ore. His theme is "Grand Challenges Beyond Our Horizons." He will become the second UC Davis entomologist to head the international organization, which is comprised of members in educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. The first was Donald McLean, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who was elected ESA president in 1984. The department is now the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Some 3000 researchers, professors, graduate and undergraduate students, extension service personnel, administrators, research technicians, consultants, and others from around the globe gathered for four days of science, networking and fun, according to ESA spokesman Richard Levine. "This is the most important annual conference anywhere in the world for the science of entomology," he said, prior to the conference. The 2013 theme was “Science Impacting a Connected World."
Zalom has been heavily involved in research and leadership in integrated pest management (IPM) activities at the state, national and international levels. He directed the UC Statewide IPM Program for 16 years (1988-2001) and is currently experiment station co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) National IPM Committee.
The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom has developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls and use of less toxic pesticides, which have become standard in practice and part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.
In his three decades with the UC Davis entomology department, Zalom has published more than 300 refereed papers and book chapters, and more than 360 technical and extension articles. The articles span a wide range of topics related to IPM, including introduction and management of newer, soft insecticides, development of economic thresholds and sampling methods, management of invasive species, biological control, insect population dynamics, pesticide runoff mitigation, and determination of host feeding and oviposition preferences of pests.
The Zalom lab has responded to six important pest invasions in the last decade, with research projects on glassy-winged sharpshooter, olive fruit fly, a new biotype of greenhouse whitefly, invasive saltcedar, light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila.
Zalom is a fellow of ESA, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the California Academy of Sciences.
Highly honored for his work, Zalom received the Entomological Foundation’s 2010 “Award for Excellence in IPM,” an award sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and given for “the most outstanding contributions to IPM.” In 2008 he was was part of a team receiving an International IPM “Excellence Award” at the sixth International IPM Symposium. Also in 2008, Zalom was part of the seven-member UC Almond Pest Management Alliance IPM Team that received the Entomological Foundation’s "Award for Excellence in IPM.” Zalom was awarded the C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the ESA in 2011.
Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, served as the Pacific Branch’s representative to the ESA governing board for the past six years and will be succeeded on the board in 2014 by Douglas Walsh, professor at Washington State University who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis. Walsh received the "Excellence in IPM" award at 2013 meeting.
Zalom, Parrella and McLean are among 15 UC Davis entomologists elected as ESA fellows, an honor bestowed to a maximum of 10 persons per year. Richard Bohart (1913-2007), for whom the Bohart Museum of Entomology is named, received the honor in 1947, followed by Donald McLean, 1990; Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. (1907-2003), 1991; John Edman, 1994; Robert Washino, 1996; Bruce Eldridge, 2001; William Reisen, 2003; Harry Kaya, 2007; Michael Parrella and Frank Zalom, 2008; Walter Leal, 2009, Bruce Hammock and Thomas Scott, 2010; and James Carey and Diane Ullman, 2012.
At the Austin conference, Byrony Bonning, a former doctoral research associate at UC Davis in the Bruce Hammock lab who went on to become a noted professor in Iowa State University’s Department of Entomology and director of the National Science Foundation's Center for Arthropod Management Technologies, was inducted as an ESA Fellow.
Another UC Davis affiliate honored at the ESA meeting was Cornell University professor Anurag Agrawal, who received his doctorate in population biology from UC Davis while studying with major professor Rick Karban. He is the recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s 2013 Founders’ Memorial Award.
In addition, many UC Davis entomologists and graduate attended and presented their researech. See ESA schedule.
UC Davis doctoral candidate Matan Shelomi, who studies with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, received the John Henry Comstock award (Pacific Branch). (See archived news story.) Shelomi captained the UC Davis Linnaean Team, which went to the finals, and also served on the UC Davis Debate Team. The Debate Team won the national championship.
The Debate Team, captained by Mohammad-Amir Aghaee and advised by Michael Parrella, also included graduate students Matan Shelomi, Danny Klittich and Irina Shapiro. The Linnaean Team, captained by Matan Shelomi and coached by Larry Godfrey, included Rei Scampavia, Jenny Carlson and Danica Maxwell.
For his 10-minute talk, Mohammad-Amir Aghaee received a first-place award in the President's Prize competition and Rosanna Kwok, a second-place prize. See news story.