The Entomological Society of America this morning announced the 2010 Fellows. Each year the governing board can elect up to 10 members as Fellows of the 6000-member society.
The highly prestigious honor acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration.
This year...drum roll...three UC professors were among the 10 selected: Bruce Hammock and Thomas Scott of UC Davis and Thomas Miller of UC Riverside.
They will be inducted as Fellows at the ESA’s annual meeting, to be held Dec. 12-15 in San Diego.
Hammock (top photo), a distinguished professor of entomology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980 and holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Cancer Research Center.
Hammock and his laboratory are exploiting inhibitors of epoxide hydrolases as drugs to treat diabetes, inflammation, ischemia, and cardiovascular disease. Compounds from the UC Davis laboratory are in human trials.
Diabetes, arthritis and heart patients are closely following his research.
Thomas Scott (middle photo) joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology Department in 1996 and directs the UC Davis Mosquito Research Laboratory. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Scott is a past president of the Society for Vector Ecology and co-founder of the Center for Vector-Borne Research.
Scott’s research focuses on mosquito ecology, evolution of mosquito-virus interactions, epidemiology of mosquito-borne disease, and evaluation of novel products and strategies for mosquito control and disease prevention.
He's a noted authority on the mosquito-borne disease, dengue.
Thomas Miller (lower photo) received his doctorate in entomology from UC Riverside in 1967. His research has included the structure and function of the insect circulatory system; mode of action of insecticides; insect neuromuscular physiology; physiology, toxicology and behavior of pink bollworm in cotton fields; transgenic insects; and applied symbiosis for crop protection and biopesticides for crop protection.
Current projects include control of bush cricket pests of oil palm trees in Papua New Guinea, oversight of field trials of transgenic grapevines with resistance to Pierce's disease, biotechnology for control of desert locust, and regulatory control of insect transgenic technologies.
These three entomologists have published widely--Hammock alone has 763 peer-reviewed publications.
Indeed, their accomplishments could fill several books.
Every year the Entomological Society of America (ESA) invites its members and other interested persons to enter the Insect Salon juried photo competition.
It's a highly competitive event, drawing photographs from around the world. The non-profit Peoria (Ill.) Camera Club coordinates it.
The macro images are amazing. You'll see, on the Insect Salon Web site, insects in the act of being themselves: feeding, flying, crawling, taking off, resting, hanging around, mating--and yes, even a honey bee cleaning her tongue. (That would be one I took of a cooperative bee in Tomales, Calif.)
The winning images include bumble bees, carpenter bees, damsel flies, dragonflies, katydids, grasshoppers, monarchs, moths, scorpion flies, skippers, swallowtails, robber flies, and assorted beetles.
ESA members viewed the winning images on screen at their recent meeting in Indianapolis.
Bigger than life!
The Mafia has its Good Fellas.
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) has its Fellows, too.
And they're not just "good"--they're excellent.
Every year ESA singles out up to 10 members from the 6000-member organization for the Fellow Award, paying tribute to their outstanding contributions in research, teaching, extension or administration.
This year one of the 10 selected is chemical ecologist Walter Leal, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering and innovative work in insect olfaction, or how insects detect smells.
He'll receive the Fellow award on Sunday at the ESA's meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.Leal is one of 11 UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty to receive the award since 1947:
1947: Richard M. Bohart (for whom the Bohart Museum of Entomology is named)
1990: Donald McLean
1991: Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. (for whom the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility is named)
1994: John Edman
1996: Robert Washino
2001: Bruce Eldridge
2004: William Reisen
2007: Harry Kaya
2008: Michael Parella and Frank Zalom
This year's list of ESA Fellows not only includes Leal from UC Davis, but Brian Federici and Alexander Raikhel of UC Riverside.
Three from the UC system--that's a three insect-net salute!
Congratulations are in order.
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, has just been selected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, a prestigious honor granted to only 10 or few members of the 6000-member organization each year.
Leal is internationally known for his pioneering and innovative work on insect communication.
“This is a highly prestigious honor and richly deserved,” said Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and one of 10 other UC Davis entomologists named ESA Fellows since 1947.
May Berenbaum, professor and head of the Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, one of the scientists who supported his nomination, praised him as a "trail blazer" and lauded his leadership.
Leal and his lab discovered the secret mode of DEET, the insect repellent. For some 50 years, scientists figured it worked by either jamming the insect's senses or masking the smell of the host. Not so. In groundbreaking research, the Leal lab showed that mosquitoes can indeed smell DEET, but they avoid it because they don't like the smell.
In other words, it smells bad. That's why they avoid it.
The groundbreaking research, published Aug. 18, 2008 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is among the most widely downloaded and cited PNAS documents.
Leal's pheromone work has graced the cover of several journals, including Structure, and has been showcased in the popular press, including the BBC, New York Times, and National Public Radio.
Leal has identified and synthesized complex pheromones from such insects as scarab beetles, true bugs, longhorn beetles, moths, and the naval orangeworm.
Entomologist Bruce Hammock, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, said Leal’s research has “practical implications in explaining how insects communicate within species, how they detect host and non-host plants, and how insect parasites detect their prey.”
Leal's navel orangeworm work alone is certain to result in a multi-million dollar beneficial impact on crops ranging from almonds to citrus, Hammock said. Leal's research on mosquito behavior is crucial to controlling vectorborne diseases like West Nile virus and malaria.
And now, an honor to match.
Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun compared the butterfly to a flying flower:
The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.
At the recent Entomological Society of America meeting in Reno, a blue butterfly drew the attention of lepidopterists and photographers alike. It was one of dozens showcased in the live butterfly display at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
And if you took a few steps inside the nearby exhibit hall, where vendors sold their wares, you saw butterfly-shaped jewelry. Was life imitating art or was art imitating life?