From Solar Design to Psychology of Music, to Language and Sociopolitical Dynamics
Faculty presentations on solar design, psychology of music, and language and sociopolitical dynamics will highlight the Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) event, set from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 in Room 115 of the UC Davis Music Building.
The event, free and open to the public, begins with networking at 6; and speaker presentations at 6:30. At 7:15, the program includes conversations and rapid fire community sharing.
The speakers are Beth Ferguson, UC Davis assistant professor of design, who will discuss "The Electric Driver Solar Kiosk"; Petr Janata, professor, UC Davis Department of Psychology and Center for Mind and Brain, who will cover "Musical Neurobiographies"; and Michael Arcega, assistant professor, San Francisco State University Department of Art, whose topic is "WORDSWORDS."
Janata, in his research on how the human brain engages with music, has examined expectation, imagery, sensorimotor coupling, memory, and emotion in relation to tonality, rhythm, and timbre. His work also emphasizes the use of models of musical structure to analyze behavioral and brain data. "I am particularly interested in musical situations that elicit strong emotional experiences, such as music-evoked remembering or being in the groove," he says. Janata, who holds a doctorate from the University of Oregon, received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2010 to do research in Prague, and in the same year, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to further his investigations of what music-evoked autobiographical memories can tell us about the functional organization of the human brain.
Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. His research-based work revolves around language and sociopolitical dynamics. His subject matter, embedded with historic narratives, material significance, and geography, deals with circumstances where power relations are unbalanced. A naturalized American, he says he "investigates cultural markers that are embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages." His work has been exhibited at the Asian Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York, among others.
Although the LASER event is open to the public, reservations are encouraged at http://ucdlaser04.eventbrite.com. The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/laser.ucd
LASER is sponsored by the Humanities, Art and Cultural Studies, College of Letters and Sciences; the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and LASER/ISAST (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology). Entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, UC Davis professor of entomology, is a co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, which spearheaded the formation of LASER events at UC Davis.
The entry deadline is 5 p.m., Dec. 15, announced entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, UC Davis professor of entomology and co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. Artists selected will show their work in the Pence Gallery from Jan. 26-March 2.
The goals of the exhibition are three-fold: to show creative work that explores the intersection between art and science; to foster communication between the arts and sciences, and to spark new ways of viewing the world and ourselves, according to Ullman and Pence Gallery director Natalie Nelson. The organizers encourage "creative work that transcends pure scientific illustration to explore the conceptional realm where art and science both reside."
All artists and scientists, regardless of residence, can exhibit up to three works. This refers to original 2D and 3D work in any medium, related to the intersection between art and science. It encompasses photography, drawing, textiles, painting, sculpture, video and mixed media. Dimension restriction is at the discretion of the jurors.
Artists will upload their submissions online at http://www.pencegallery.org. A vital part of the submission is the artist's statement--not to exceed 100 words--which should clearly explain how the work relates to the art/science connection. The statement may be displayed with the accepted work. Work must be available for the entire run of the exhibit.
To enter, access http://www.pencegallery.org and click on "Call to Artists" to apply directly to the site. Entry fees are $35 and $40, respectively, for Pence and non-Pence members. Fees will be used for expenses and awards related to the exhibition. No hand-delivered art work will be accepted. Accepted work may be hand-delivered or shipped and insured by the artist to the Pence Gallery, 212 D St., Davis, CA 95616.
Jurors are Jiayi Young, a UC Davis assistant professor of design, and Helen Donis-Keller, Ph.D., the Michael E. Moody Professor of Biology and Art at Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass. Both Young and Keller have exhibited nationally and internationally, fusing art with science.
Young holds a master's degree in fine arts (multimedia and painting) from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.; a master of science in atomic physics from Kansas State University, Manhattan; and a bachelor's degree in fine arts and physics, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisc. She works in the field of digital media with an emphasis on the cross-disciplinary areas of design, integrating art and science with cutting edge technology.
Keller who integrates the fields of art and biology, holds a master of fine arts in Studio Art from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University, and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University.
The Consilience exhibit will be displayed in the Pence's Main Gallery's glass tower lit space, measuring 1000 square feet with 12-foot ceilings. The Pence, established in 1975, is a non-profit art gallery. Its mission is to educate and inspire the community by exhibiting high caliber art by local and regional artists, according to director Natalie Nelson.
Dec. 15: Entry deadline online by 5 p.m.
Dec. 28: Notification via email
Jan. 19-20: Drop off between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or deadline for shipping arrival
Jan. 26-March 2: Exhibit dates
Feb. 9: Reception from 6 to 9 p.m.,with awards ceremony at 8
March 3-4: Pick up work, 12 to 4:30 p.m.
Sales are encouraged. The Pence Gallery will retain a 50 percent commission on work displayed at the exhibit.
For more information on the exhibit, contact Nelson at (530)-758-3370 or email@example.com
His presentation, “Common Errors that Bedevil Biomedical Research and How to Fix Them,” will take place from 4:10 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the lecture.
“Richard Harris has written a very important and unsettling book based on his careful investigation of the biomedical research enterprise. We can expect an intriguing and thought provoking lecture,” said Mark Winey, distinguished professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and dean of the College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis, who is hosting the journalist.
American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research. “We all rely on biomedical research for new treatments and cures,” Harris says. “But this critical enterprise is not in the best of health itself. Most experimental treatments fail. One reason is that the underlying research does not hold up to scrutiny. Scientists find that far too often that they are unable to repeat experiments that other researchers have carried out.”
By some estimates, half of the results from these studies can't be replicated elsewhere—the science is simply wrong, Harris asserts. (See NPR)
The award-winning science journalist has covered science, medicine and the environment for NPR Radio since 1986. He took a year-long sabbatical to explore the issues facing biomedical research. Rigor Mortis, published in April 2017 by Basic Books, is his first book.
Harris, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, holds a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Santa Cruz, graduating with highest honors and serving as a commencement speaker. He began his journalism career as a reporter for the Livermore (Calif.) Tri-Valley Herald, discovering that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was working on a new generation of nuclear weapons—ones that use nuclear explosives to generate energy beams. Scientists at the time, he wrote, contemplated using the weapons in space to shoot down incoming missiles.
He later joined the San Francisco Examiner as a science writer. He is a past president of the National Association of Science Writers and the Northern California Science Writers' Association, and co-founded the DC Science Writers Association.
His work covers everything from oil spills to the hazards of smoking to climate change. In 2010, he revealed the U.S. Government was vastly underestimating the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. He shared a Peabody award with colleague Rebecca Perl for their 1994 reports about the tobacco industry's secret documents, which showed that company scientists were well aware of the hazards of smoking.
He has also reported on climate change, traveling from the South Pole and the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic Ocean. The American Geophysical Union awarded him with a Presidential Citation for Science and Society.
In 2014, he turned his attention back to biomedical research and took a year-long sabbatical at Arizona State University's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes to research and write Rigor Mortis.
The Tracy and Ruth Storer Lectureship in the Life Sciences, established in 1960, is the considered the most prestigious of the endowed seminars at UC Davis. The lectureship is funded through a gift from Professor Tracy I. Storer and Dr. Ruth Risdon Storer to bring eminent biologists to the UC Davis campus.
Past Storer Lectures have included Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Science and acclaimed authors in the life sciences and medicine.
(Editor's Note: Joanna Chiu, associate professor and vice chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is coordinating the Storer Lectureships in Life Sciences for the academic year. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nectar-living microbes release scents or volatile compounds, too, and can influence a pollinator's foraging preference, according to newly published research led by UC Davis community ecologist Rachel Vannette.
The groundbreaking research, published in the current edition of New Phytologist journal, shows that nectar-inhabiting species of bacteria and fungi “can influence pollinator preference through differential volatile production,” said Vannette, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
“This extends our understanding of how microbial species can differentially influence plant phenotype and species interactions through a previously overlooked mechanism,” Vannette said. “It's a novel mechanism by which the presence and species composition of the microbiome can influence pollination.”
“Broadly, our results imply that the microbiome can contribute to plant volatile phenotype,” she said. “This has implications for many plant-insect interactions.”
Their paper, titled “Nectar-inhabiting Microorganisms Influence Nectar Volatile Composition and Attractiveness to a Generalist Pollinator,” may explain in part the previous documented extreme variation floral volatiles that Robert Junker of University of Salzburg, Austria, and his team found; New Phytologist published their work in March 2017.
Although microbes commonly inhabit floral nectar, microbial species differ in volatile profiles, they found. “Honey bees detected most of the microbial volatiles or scents that we tested,” Vannette said, “and they distinguished the solutions of yeasts or bacteria based on volatiles only.” This suggests that pollinators could choose among flowers based on the microbes that inhabit those flowers.
The yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii produced the most distinctive compounds (some shared with the fruity flavors in wine) and was the most attractive of all microbes compared. This yeast is commonly found in flower nectar and is thought to hitch a ride on pollinators to travel from one flower to the next. Its scent production may help it attract pollinators, which then help the yeast disperse among flowers.
The Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, provided the honey bees. More than 20 species of flowers--mostly natives--were used in the survey, including canyon delphinium or canyon larkspur (Delphinium nudicaule), sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), salvia (Lepechinia calycina) and purple Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla). The samplings were done in the spring and early summer, when the natives are at their peak.
Co-authors of the paper are Caitlin Rering, postdoctoral fellow at USDA-ARS, Gainesville, Fla.; John Beck researcher at USDA-ARS; Griffin Hall, junior specialist in the Vannette lab; and Mitch McCartney in UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The USDA and USDA-ARS funded the research.
All will take place on Wednesdays from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Coordinator Rachel Vannette, assistant professor of entomology, has announced the following:
Sept. 27: “Bug Smell: Evolution of Communication” by Zain Syed of the University of Notre Dame, formerly of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Oct. 4: “Genomic Signatures of Social Evolution in Social Insects” by Tim Linksvayer, University of Pennsylvania
Oct. 11: “Multitrophic Mediation of Plant Perception of Herbivores” by Gary Felton, Pennsylvania State University, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis
Oct. 18: Exit seminar by Leslie Saul-Gershenz, doctoral candidate, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Oct. 25: "Ecoinformatics and the Curious Case of Katydids in California Citrus" by Bodil Cass, UC Davis
Nov. 1: “Mating Distruption of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter by Playback of Natural Vibrational Signals in Vineyard Trellis” by Rodrigo Krugner of the U.S,. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)
Nov. 8: Exit seminar by doctoral candidate/ecologist Ash Zemenick, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Nov. 15: “Revelations from Phasmatodea Digestive Track Transcriptomics” by Matan Shelomi, National Taiwan University, who received his doctorate in entomology from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Nov. 22: Thanksgiving week; no seminar
Nov. 29; “Ant Social Parasites Repeatedly Evolved Reproduction Isolation from Their Hosts in Sympatry” by Christian Rabeling, Arizona State University
Dec. 6: “Root Knot Nematode and Associated Pathogen Resistance” by Phil Roberts, University of Riverside
Cookies will be provided prior to the seminar. For more information on the seminars, contact Vannette at email@example.com or graduate program coordinator Jessica Padilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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