The haven, located on Bee Biology Road, will celebrate the day with an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and a garden tour at 6. Free sunflower plants will be given while they last. Parking is free.
- Learn how to catch and observe bees up close, and see honey bees at work in an observation beehive.
- Hear from experts on such subjects as bee diversity and identification, and how to create a garden to help bees.
- Listen to children's book readings about bees and gardens
The half-acre Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven was installed in the all of 2009. Christine Casey serves as the staff director, and Extension apiculturist Elina Niño as the faculty director. See flier at http://hhbhgarden.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NPGD-flyer-2016.pdf.
The Arboretum Ambassadors (environmental leadership interns) and the UC Davis Astronomy Club will host a "Stargazing in the White Flower Garden" (Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo) on Friday night, May 6.
Participants will see the new moon and the peak of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, which can produce up to 30 meteors an hour. "Bring flashlights, blankets, warm clothes and snacks, if you like," a spokesperson said. "Warm beverages will be provided."
The garden is located off Garrod Drive. Parking is free in the one-hour spaces. There is also short-term metered parking in Parking Lot 55 or buy a $9 daily pass. Campus parking enforcement ends at 10 p.m. on weekdays.
The Republicans tout their elephants. The Democrats, their donkeys. But UC Davis ecologists believe that their “bears” will successfully predict which political animal will win the U.S. presidential election, as they've done for the past three decades.
Bears? That would be the woolly bear caterpillars, the immature form of the Ranchman's Tiger Moth, Platyprepia virginalis.
Professor Richard “Rick” Karban of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and his graduate students study the woolly bear caterpillars that dine primarily on lupine along the cliffs of Bodega Bay. Sometimes the population booms; other times, it's a bust. When the population thrives, a Democrat heads to the White House. When the population dives, the Republicans take over.
The UC Davis scientists, known for their expertise in plant-insect interactions, are now drawing national headlines for their presidential predictions.
“The pollsters and talking heads seem unable to size up this election cycle,” said Karban. “Paul the Octopus had a pretty good run predicting soccer matches in 2012 so perhaps the woolly bears have earned as much credibility at forecasting this presidential election.”
The scientists first announced their findings in a poster displayed at the 2014 Ecology Society of America meeting. On April 25, they expanded on the concept, complete with intricate charts plotted in red and blue, in Lopresti's Natural Musings blog, “The Woolly Bear Presidential Election Outlook 2016,” co-written by scientists in the Karban lab.
Washington Post reporter Karin Bruilliard picked it up and ran with it on April 26 in a piece titled, “These Fuzzy Little Caterpillars Are Better at Predicting Elections Than Most Pundits.”
“Each March, Karban censuses the same patches of lupine that he has for over 30 years,” LoPresti explained in Natural Musings. “The study asks a vexing question: Why are there are so many caterpillars in some years and so few in others? Many insects, including pests cycle like this, therefore it is of keen interest to many. Dozens of papers later, Karban, his students, and his collaborators have answered a great many questions, including how caterpillars deal with parasites, whether population cycles are influenced by rain, whether caterpillars enjoy eating plant hairs, and how caterpillars avoid their predators.”
“A superficial examination suggests that 2016 will be a Republican year – woolly bear abundance is not particularly high,” LoPresti noted. “However, looking a little closer, it may not be. The number of woolly bears per lupine bush in 2016 (0.53) is higher than the average Republican year by 152% and is 36% above the highest Republican year ever recorded (1988). However, it is only 27% of an average Democratic year and still only 36% of the lowest Democratic year (2008). This result is without presidential precedent in the last 30 years.”
So, which party, aka political animal, will occupy the White House come Jan. 1, 2017?
“We suspect that the Republicans have the edge,” the UC Davis scientists surmised. “However, a valid hypothesis would be a third-party winner, such as a right-leaning independent (a logical placeholder in between Democrats and Republicans). Perhaps Donald Trump will take particular interest in our data. Alternately, a contested Republican convention could produce a fractured party and the old Republican woolly bear average would not accurately represent the mean caterpillar abundances seen by this new party.”
Responding to the April 25 blog, someone noticed the resemblance of the hair of a presidential candidate to the hair of the woolly bear caterpillar.
The UC Davis scientists study the caterpillars at the Bodega Marine Reserve above the Bodega Marine Laboratory. The reserve, which surrounds the Bodega Marine Laboratory, is a unit of the University of California Natural Reserve System and is administered by UC Davis.
“Platyprepia virginalis caterpillars are dietary generalists and feed on multiple host species within a single day,” Karban says.
In research, Diet Mixing Enhances the Performance of a Generalist Caterpillar, Platyprepia virginalis, published in February 2010 in the journal Ecological Entomology, “We found that relative growth rates and rates of survival were higher when they fed on mixed diets compared to lupine only,” Karban said. These results were consistent with hypotheses that mixed diets provided balanced nutrition, diluted toxins, and/or allowed recovery from parasitoids, although our data did not allow us to separate these non-exclusive explanations.”
The caterpillar's taste for plants containing alkaloids may help it survive parasitoids, Karban said.
Rand, honored at AACR's meeting April 19 meeting in New Orleans, won the highly competitive international award for her proposal, “Regulation of Cancer Angiogenesis from the Metabolism of Epoxy Omega-6 Fats.”
“We're so proud of her,” said Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Rand joined Hammock's biological analytical chemistry lab in 2013 and was a fellow on the Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology T32 Training Grant, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, directed and administered by Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, professor and chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Hammock and co-advisor Kermit Carraway, professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, co-sponsored her on the grant application.
Rand, who will begin the fellowship in July, was lauded for the relevance of her application to AACR's mission, the belief that it will have a significant impact, and in recognition of her potential as a future leader in the field of angiogenesis research.
“I've always been interested in research that combines chemistry and biology to enhance our understanding of human health,” Rand said, who received her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 2013.
“My Ph.D research focused on our exposure to fluorinated commercial materials, their resulting metabolism, and how the metabolites might affect our health,” she said. “While my Ph.D training was heavily focused on analytical chemistry and metabolic characterization, I wanted more formal training on the biological and biochemical mechanisms associated with disease.”
Her doctoral advisor, Scott Mabury, a UC Davis graduate, introduced her to Hammock. “In Professor Hammock's lab, I research how bioactive metabolites of epoxy omega-6 fatty acids influence cancer biology, by studying their effect on angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis.”
Hammock and Rand collaborate with Harvard Medical School professor Dipak Panigrahy, former researcher in the Hammock lab and a fellow in Folkman's angiogenesis research lab.
"This is a tremendous honor for both Amy and the Hammock laboratory to be awarded the AACR Judah Folkman grant,” said Panigraphy. “Dr. Folkman was a scientific pioneer who established the field of angiogenesis. Amy's potentially paradigm shifting studies in the Hammock laboratory will carry on the Folkman legacy."
"The late Professor Judah Folkman is best known for pioneering the concept of blocking angiogenesis (the development of blood vessels) to control cancer growth," Hammock said. "This concept has resulted in a number of anti-cancer drugs and has had a major impact on cancer treatment. Of course blood vessel development is also critical for survival."
"Amy took on one of the most demanding projects in the laboratory in asking how a group of natural compounds regulate angiogenesis," Hammock said. "Based on her work with postdoctoral fellow Bogdan Barnych, they may be able to fine tune angiogenesis to stimulate wound healing when needed but block tumor development in patients."
Sung Hee Hwang, also a postdoctoral fellow in the Hammock laboratory, commented: "It appears that the work that Amy and Bogdan are doing could explain how one of my compounds is able to block tumor growth and metastasis."
Rand also has an active collaboration with with UC Davis biomedical engineer Kathy Ferrara.
Born and educated in Canada, Rand holds two other degrees: a bachelor of arts degree in music a and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, both awarded by Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada, in 2007.
Judah Folkman (1933-2008), considered the father of angiogenesis research, was a professor at the Harvard Medical School who directed the Children's Hospital Boston Surgical Research Laboratories, now the Vascular Biology Program, and served as the scientific director of the hospital's Vascular Anomalies Center. He is best known for his pioneering research on tumor angiogenesis. Cutting off the blood vessels that feed the tumor can stop cancer tumor growth, he said in his revolutionary work that has led to the discovery of a number of therapies based on inhibiting or stimulating neovascularization.
Applicants for the Judah Folkman Fellowship for Angiogenesis Research are postdoctoral or clinical research fellows with a medical degree or a combined M.D./Ph.D. who work in an academic, medical or research institution. They must be in first five years of their postdoctoral training. Proposed research projects are restricted to basic, clinical, translational or epidemiological projects that substantially advance the field of angiogenesis research in cancer.
Her presentation is part of the weekly seminars hosted by the Program in International and Community Nutrition (PICN) seminars, all held Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in the Foster Room (Room 1138) of Meyer Hall.
Luckhart's research includes the molecular cell biology and biochemistry of malaria parasite transmission, the functional characterization of the immunological crosstalk and cell signaling that occurs between the mosquito and the mammalian host during bloodfeeding, and the impact of endemic co-infections on malaria parasite development and transmission.
She just received the 2016 “Award for Excellence in Service to Graduate Students,” presented April 8 by the UC Davis Graduate Student Association for outstanding teaching and mentoring. She earlier received the 2012 Outstanding Mentor Award from the UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research.
Luckhart, who joined the UC Davis faculty in 2004 from Virginia Tech, received her master's degree in entomology from Auburn University, and her doctorate in entomology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Access the website for upcoming PICN seminars.
By popular vote, "Little Swimmers and Fly Tyers (Briggs Hall)," won the category, Hidden Treasures; and "Real Insects and Mimics (Bohart Museum of Entomology)" won the category "Family Friendly."
"Little Swimmers" featured an aquatic insect display from Professor Sharon Lawler's lab, while "Fly Tyers" was the work of the Fly Fishers of Davis, headed by president Dana Hooper and vice president Paul Berliner.
Coordinating the Bohart Museum Picnic Day exhibit were Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum; Tabatha Yang, public outreach and education; and Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist.
Chairing the Briggs Hall Picnic Day Committee were forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey of the faculty and doctoral candidate Danny Klittich, representing the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA). Kimsey also serves as the EGSA advisor. The Briggs Hall sub-committee chairs included:
- Erin Donely-Marineau - Registration
- Joanna Bloese and Brendon Boudinot - Maggot Art
- Stephanie Kurniawan - Medical Entomology
- Elina Niño - Honey Tasting and Apiculture
- Margaret "Rei" Scampavia - Pollinator Pavilion
- Jackson Audley and Corwin Parker - Forestry Entomology
- Bob Kimsey - Collecting Equipment and Dr. Death
- Cindy Preto - EGSA T-Shirts
- Sharon Lawler - Little Swimmers
- Ralph Washington Jr. - Bug Doctor
- Arachnids - Jeff Smith and Ziad Khouri
- Bumble Bees - Robbin Thorp
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches - Nicole Tam
- Thorny Walking Sticks- Patrik Barcelos
- Tomato Hornworms - Laurie Casebier
- Australian Walking Sticks - Charlotte Herbert
- Tardigrade Display - Angel of Love "Lovey" Corniel and Tabatha Yang
- Mimicry Displays - Steve Heydon and Tabatha Yang
- Gift Shop - Ivani Li
The UC Davis Entomology Club entered a giant black widow float in the Picnic Parade. Taking the lead were Maia Lundy, president, and Marko Marrero, past president. Jamie Fong and Lovey Corniel led the baking for the entomophagy bake sale. Visitors purchased cricket-flour cookies and other goodies at a table in front of Briggs.
Scores of Entomology Club members participated in Picnic Day. Andre Poon and Stacey Lee Rice designed the club T-shirts, with ordering and selling overseen by Sydney Morrill and Tom Nguyen. Nguyen and Lundy also coordinated the tabling and face painting. Among the volunteers:
Face Painting: Jim Shen, Ushrayinee Sarker, Karissa Merritt, Maia Lundy, Jessica Nguyen, Marko Marrero, Stacey Lee Rice, Miriam Nansen, Ann Kao and Tom Nguyen
Baking: Jamie Fong, Lovey Corniel, Mary Corniel, Jessie Liu, Keith Wong, John So, Qiming Yang, Andre Poon, James Heydon
Tabling: Tom Nguyen, Qiming Yang, Andre Poon, Chloe Shott, Keith Wong, Darian Dungey, Jessie Liu and John So
Parade: Jamie Fong, Val Fong, Marko Marrero, Alex Nguyen, Ben Maples, Chloe Shott, Andre Poon, Qiming Yang, Maia Lundy, Jade Lundy, James Heydon, lovey Corniel, Mary Corniel, Massiel Melendez, Sydney Morrill, Andy Yu, Farian Dungey, Ushrayinee Sarker, Stacey Lee Rice and Kyle Leong.
(Editor's Note: Below are photos from the award-winning exhibits. For more photos from Picnic Day, see the Department of Entomology and Nematology's Flickr page.)