- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Research entomologist William Meikle of the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Agricultural Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) will speak on "Using Continuous Monitoring to Measure Colony-Level Behavior in Social Insects: A Case Study with Honey Bees" when he visits the University of California, Davis, on Wednesday, March 15.
His seminar, open to all interested persons, will take place from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Meikle, who joined the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in 2012, conducts research on continuous monitoring of weight, temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, and other parameters in honey bee colonies, linking those data with bee colony growth and activity. "I am currently involved in investigating how various stressors, including disease incidence, nutritional stress and agrochemical exposure manifest themselves at the colony level," he says.
"Individuals are the fundamental units of the social insect colony and are thus logical subjects for the study of those colonies," Meikle explains in his abstract. "However, such colonies also exhibit emergent properties or behaviors, such as forager traffic and brood nest temperature control in this case honey bee colonies, that can only be measured using colonies or groups of bees."
"Honey bee colonies offer singular opportunities for study because they can be taken apart with little or no adverse effects, and because they are typically stationary and so can easily be fitted with sensors or placed permanently on electronic scales. The resulting continuous sensor data, such as the weight and temperature data we have focused on, provides information on colony behavior and on how colonies respond to changes in the environment. The idea is that once we know how to interpret continuous data, we can then collect continuous data as response variables in manipulative experiments."
Meikle says much of the work "has focused on collecting such data to monitor behavior of honey bee colonies subjected to sublethal concentrations of pesticides. Because colony behaviors depend on the proper functioning and coordination of many individuals, changes in those behaviors may emerge at lower pesticide concentrations than have been found to affect individual biology. Indeed, field and cage studies showed significant effects at pesticide concentrations as low as 5 ppb in sugar syrup."
Meikle received his bachelor's degree in biology from Pomona College, Claremont, in 1982, and his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley in 1992. His career took him from UC Berkeley to the West African country of Benin, then to France, then back to the United States--Texas and Arizona.
After earning his doctorate at UC Berkeley, Meikle served as a scientist and postdoctoral fellow from 1992 to 2001 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Calavi, Benin, where he developed an ecological and economic framework of stored product systems in West Africa, including population models of important pests (larger grain beetle and maize weevil), natural enemies (including insects and insect pathogens), sequential sampling plans and scouting programs for farmers, and links of pest population dynamics to weather and to local commodity prices.
Two other positions followed:
- 2001-2009: European Biological Control Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Montferrier-sur-Lez, France, where he researched the use of entomopathogens, such as fungi and nematodes, as biological control agents against different pests, including locusts, termites and Varroa mites of honey bees. "We collected naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi of Varroa mites, including a new species, and evaluated biopesticide formulations," he related.
- 2009-2012: Honey Bee Research Unit, Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center, USDA-ARS, Weslaco, Texas, where he explored the ecology and population dynamics of small hive beetles, a recently introduced pest of honey bees in the U.S. "I collaborated with other researchers in investigating the biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid and the larger black flour beetle."
Meikle's seminar, hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomoogy and Nematology, is the last seminar of the winter quarter. Agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen (firstname.lastname@example.org), assistant professor in the department, coordinates the seminars. They are recorded for later viewing on UCTV.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
From a beneficial insect to pests...
It's good to see the wide diversity of topics in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's winter seminar schedule.
Seminar coordinator Christian Nansen, agricultaral entomologist and an assistant professor, has just announced the list of speakers.
The seminars, open to all interested persons, are scheduled on Wednesdays from 4:10 to 5 p.m. beginning Jan. 11 and continuing through March 15 in Room 122 of Briggs Hall, located on Kleiber Hall Drive, UC Davis campus. Plans are to record all the seminars for later viewing on UCTV.
Some seminars are quite technical but all look interesting--especially the one on honey bees. William Meikle, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Agricultural Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will speak March 15 on "Using Continuous Monitoring to Measure Colony-Level Behavior in Social Insects: A Case Study with Honey Bees." Meikle received his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley.
A familiar name and face is Kelli Hoover, who received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1997. Now a professor of entomology at Pennsylvania State University, she'll speak on "Mechanisms of Resistance in Poplar Against the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Its Gut Symbionts" on March 8.
While a grad student at UC Davis, Hoover studied with major professors Bruce Hammock and Sean Duffey (1943-1997). After a one-year postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley, she joined the faculty of the Penn State University Department of Entomology in 1998.
Her research program at Penn State focuses on invasive species, including development of trapping techniques for the Asian longhorned beetle; gut microbial symbionts of the Asian longhorned beetle and hemlock woolly adelgid; functions of key viral genes in transmission of the gypsy moth baculovirus and anti-viral defenses; and biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid.
UC Davis professor Diane Ullman, an expert on flower thrips, will speak Jan. 18 on "Journey into the Microcosm: A Closer Look at the Western Flower Thrips." She describes thrips as tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans. The pests cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops as direct pests and in transmitting plant viruses in the genus Tospovirus, such as Tomato spotted wilt virus. “There are 23 additional approved and emerging tospovirus genotypes transmitted by at least 14 thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae),” said Ullman, who has been researching thrips and tospoviruses since 1987.
The seminar schedule:
Wednesday, Jan. 11
Marco Gebiola, postdoctoral fellow, University of Arizona, Tucson
Topic: ""From Embroys to Hybrids: How the Symbiont Cardinium Shapes the Ecology and Evolution of Encarsia Parasitoids"
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Diane Ullman, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Journey into the Microcosm: A Closer Look at the Western Flower Thrips"
Wednesday, Jan. 25
Sharon Lawler, professor of entomology, and Ph.D candidate Erin Donley, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Effects of Aquatic Vegetation and Its Management on Aquatic Invertebrates"
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Greg Sword, professor and Charles R. Parencia Chair in Cotton Entomology, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M, College Station
Topic: "Fungal Endophytes Can Mediate Resistance to Insects, Nematodes and Drought in Cotton Agroecosytems"
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Jennifer Thaler, professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Topic: "Tritrophic Interactions and the Ecology of Fear"
Wednesday, Feb. 15
Pedro Miura, assistant professor, Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Topic: "Age Accumulation of CircRNAs"
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Jared Ali, assistant professor of entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Topic: "Multi-Trophic Interactions and the Chemical Ecology of Plant Defenses in Above and Below Ground Contexts"
Wednesday, March 1
Christian Nansen, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Reflectance Profiling as a Tool to Study Insects and Other Objects"
Wednesday, March 8
Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Topic: "Mechanisms of Resistance in Poplar Against the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Its Gut Symbionts"
Wednesday, March 15
William Meikle, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Agricultural Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Topic: "Using Continuous Monitoring to Measure Colony-Level Behavior in Social Insects: A Case Study with Honey Bees"