Leal, a chemical ecologist and professor of entomology, recently organized and moderated a symposium with professor John Hildebrand of the University of Arizona on "The Diversity in Olfaction and Taste" at the 58th annual Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting.
Among the nine speakers at the San Diego conference: Bert Hoelldobler of Arizona State University who discussed "Communication and Social Organization Among Insects Via Chemical Cues"; Kristin Scott of UC Berkeley, "Taste Recognition in Drosophila (Flies)"; Julien Pelletier of UC Davis, "Conserved and Diverse Mosquito Odorant Receptors"; Hildebrand, "Olfactory Mechanisms Underlying Moth-Host Plant Interactions"; and Leal, who covered "Odorant Receptors from Moths, Flies and Mosquitoes." (Note the communication between a male and female silkworm moth in the accompanying photo by Samuel Woo of UC Davis.)
It's an exciting field--the field of olfaction and taste. And now the Leal lab has an opening for a postdoc trained in biochemistry/molecular biology to join a group of scholars (http://chemecol.ucdavis.edu/) investigating at the molecular level how insect perceive the world true small chemical molecules like pheromones, oviposition attractants, repellents, etc.
Leal, a fellow of the ESA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former president of the International Society for Chemical Ecology, is focusing his current research on the molecular basis of insect olfaction, with particular emphasis on odorant binding, release, and inactivation in the peripheral nervous system and chemical ecology.
Leal has published more than 150 papers in peer reviewed journals, 16 invited chapters and review articles, 28 Japanese patents and 2 US patents. Some of the recent publications:
Postdoc scholars who want to apply can email their CV and a letter of application to email@example.com.
Three University of California entomology professors were among the 10 newly elected Fellows of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) honored at the organization's 58th annual meeting, held Dec. 12-15 in San Diego.
Their selection speaks highly of the caliber of UC professors. No more than 10 Fellows are selected for the honor every year from the 6000-member organization, and this year the UC system has three.
They are Bruce Hammock and Thomas Scott of UC Davis and Thomas A. Miller of UC Riverside.
Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology, studies "inhibitors of epoxide hydrolases as drugs to treat diabetes, inflammation, ischemia and cardiovascular disease," the ESA statement of his work reads. "Compounds from the UC Davis laboratory are in human trials."
That in itself--from bench to bedside--is unique in the annals of entomology.
Hammock, a member of the UC Davis Medical Center's Cancer Center and the National Academy of Sciences, is not only a distinguished professor but a highly sought-after mentor who draws students to his lab from all over the world.
Scott, who directs the UC Mosquito Research Laboratory at Davis, is one of the key "go-to" researchers studying dengue. When he's not in his UC Davis lab, you can usually find him doing research in Peru, Thailand or Mexico. Scott is especially known for his research 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.
Scott is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a past president of the Society for Vector Ecology. He serves as a subject editor for the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (More on Hammock and Scott on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website.)
ESA officials pointed out that Miller's research "has included 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. "
Miller's university teaching includes insect physiology, insect toxicology and first year biology. 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.
In 2003 Miller was awarded the Gregor J. Mendel Medal for Research in Biological Sciences by the Czech Academy of Sciences. That's just one of his many honors.
Indeed, the list of honors and accomplishments for these three UC entomologists could easily fill a book!
Whether it's spotted-wing Drosophila, codling moth or light brown apple moth--or myriads of other invasives--integrated pest management (IPM) specialist Frank Zalom knows his pests and how to manage them.
Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, directed the statewide UC IPM program for 16 years. His name is well known in state, national and international IPM circles.
Last week: another well-deserved honor for his stellar work. Zalom received the Entomological Foundation's "Award for Excellence in IPM" at the 58th annual Entomological Society of America meeting in San Diego. Some 3000 of the ESA's 6000-member organization attended the four-day conference.
The IPM award is given for "outstanding contributions to iPM," according to foundation president S. Bradleigh Vinson, professor of entomology at Texas A&M University.
Zalom was described as "a professor of entomology, an extension agronomist, and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of California, Davis."
Zalom's current research focuses primarily on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries) and fruiting vegetable (tomatoes).
Here's what the foundation had to say about him:
"The IPM strategies and tactics he 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. His 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.
"The results of these studies are reflected in Dr. Zalom's 290 authored/co-authored/refereed journal articles or book chapters and 140 extension publications."
One of the highlights of the 58th annual Entomological Society of America meeting in San Diego, Dec. 12-15 is the Linnaean Games.
ESA describes the Linnaean Games as "a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams."
Indeed, the games are fun, entertaining and educational. Videos of last year's games are posted here.
This year 10 teams will compete in the preliminaries, set from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12. The finals will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
The teams include our UC Davis Department of Entomology team, coached by faculty member and Extension specialist Larry Godfrey. The bug team members are Meredith Cenzer, Matan Shelomi and Emily Symmes, all in the doctorate program, Andrew Merwin, who is in the master’s program; and alternate Ralph Washington, an undergraduate entomology major.
The list of teams:
University of California, Davis
Washington State University
University of Georgia
University of Florida
Penn State University
University of Maryland
North Central Branch:
Ohio State University
University of Nebraska
New Mexico State
Stay tuned for the winners!
Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom (right), professor of entomology at UC Davis, is the 2010 recipient of the "Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management” from the Entomological Society of America (ESA), a 6000-member worldwide organization.
This is a highly esteemed award and well deserved. Zalom will receive the award at the ESA’s 58th annual meeting, set Dec. 12-15 in San Diego.
Colleague Jocelyn Millar, an entomology professor at UC Riverside who nominated Zalom for the award, described him as “one of the most influential scientists in the development and implementation of IPM policy and practices in the United States and the world, through his numerous and continuing contributions as a leader, director, and organizer.”
Millar applauded Zalom for “truly extraordinary record of achievement and service to IPM extending over several decades.”
In addition to his professorial duties, Zalom is an extension agronomist, and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station. He is a former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
His current research focuses primarily on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as international IPM programs.
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.His 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 (at left), light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila.
Zalom has been heavily involved in research and leadership in IPM activities at the state, national and international levels. He is experiment station co-chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) National IPM Committee and directed the UC IPM Statewide IPM Program for 16 years.
A fellow of ESA and the California Academy of Sciences, Zalom has received numerous other honors for his work. Earlier this year, the Pacific Branch of ESA presented him with its “Excellence in IPM Award.” In 2008, Zalom was part of a team receiving an International IPM Excellence Award at the sixth International IPM Symposium, held in Portland, Ore. Also in 2008, he was part of the seven-member University of California Almond Pest Management Alliance IPM Team that received the Entomological Foundation’s "Award for Excellence in IPM" at the ESA's meeting in Reno.
In nearly three decades with the UC Davis Department of Entomology, Zalom has published almost 300 refereed papers and book chapters, and 340 technical and extension articles. These 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, and determination of host feeding and oviposition preferences of pests.
During his 16-year tenure as director of the statewide UC IPM Program, Zalom supported transitioning the program from a paper-based source of publications and information to one that has universally accessible Web-based information.
“The position and influence of the UC IPM and its publications and resources that are used by growers, IPM professionals, regulatory personnel, and homeowners worldwide, cannot be underestimated,” Millar said, “and this is in large part due to Dr. Zalom’s excellent stewardship of the program through rapidly changing times.”
While director of the program, Zalom also obtained the USDA grant that provided the first funding base for the new UC Exotic Pests and Diseases Research Program, and another multimillion dollar USDA grant (with Rick Melnicoe and Michael Stimmann) to fund the Western Pest Management Center.