Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold or first-place award in “Writing for Newspapers”; a silver or second-place award for “Writing for the Web” and two bronze or third-place awards for her photographs, one for a feature photo and the other for a service photo.
They will receive the awards at the ACE conference, set for June 8-11 in Charleston, S.C.
Nelson's winning article, “When Good Oil Goes Bad,” looks at the award-winning biosensor a team of UC Davis students built to help ensure olive oil quality for producers, retailers and consumers. Nelson won the 2010 ACE outstanding skill award for writing.
Garvey's winning article for best news writing was a light feature on forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey's plans for a field trip to Alcatraz, a day that happened to fall on Super Bowl Sunday. It was titled "Football Game? What Football Game?" The judges gave the story a perfect score, 100 out of 100.
The judges' comments:
- “VERY clever lead. The tie-in with the football game undoubtedly drew in more readers but was not forced--it was backed up by the faculty member's quote about getting back in time for the game. The creativity of the approach and the writing cast a wide net to all readers, showing that anyone can be excited about learning and discovery - no matter their age or education level or their interest in science or insects (or football, for that matter)."
- "Word choice expresses concrete imagery--"pigskin," "rat bait," "black lights." Metaphors work-- all the bird analogies, for instance. Information is spoonfed to the reader in the most enjoyable way. Sentences pack a lot of information, movement and progression. Every sentence offers something to celebrate, including the one that ends "just like scorpions," which gives a nod to the reader, assuming that he or she does, of course, know that scorpions glow under ultraviolet light! The work-play relationship of scientist to student comes through and adds interest to the piece. The writer makes the reader feel that they are being let in on a conspiracy of discovery rather than being talked at. A certain joy and passion spring from this piece, setting it apart from the others."
- Cool topic, and the writer makes its newsy
Garvey's silver award for web writing, “What's for Lunch?”, focused on a lady beetle eating aphids. It appeared on her Bug Squad blog on the UC Agricutural and Natural Resources website. She writes the blog every night, Monday through Friday, and has never missed a post since launching it on Aug. 6, 2008.
Wrote one judge:
“I admire anyone who can write a blog a day. Congratulations. I love that that the author replies to comments from readers and is active on multiple social networks. And again, kudos on the photography.”
Garvey received a bronze award for a feature photo on her Bug Squad blog. It depicts a praying mantis eating a western tiger swallowtail.
In addition, Garvey received a bronze award for a service photo, of two participants at the 2014 “Bugs and Beer” event sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. It showed a UC Davis student and his friend sharing a bug: one photographing it and one ready to eat it.
Since 2008, Garvey has won a total of 13 gold awards from ACE for her writing and photography. She was named the recipient of the Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Writing in 2011 and the Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Photography in both 2012 and 2013.
The UC Davis Picnic Day judges decided that the Department of Entomology and Nematology's Bug Doctor booth ("The Doctor Is In!") in front of Briggs Hall "best embodies the Picnic Day theme, "Heart of the Community." It won the "most community-oriented award."
"This year, the exhibits team had the opportunity to visit several exhibits, one of which was 'Bug Doctor,' wrote exhibits director Tammy Ng to Entomology Picnic Day coordinator Erin Donley. "As a team, we noticed that the 'Bug Doctor' exhibit attracted and engaged people of all ages. We believe that out of the 95 exhibits on Picnic Day 2015, 'Bug Doctor' best embodies the Picnic Day 2015 theme: 'Heart of Our Community.'"
The Bug Doctor is a traditional part of the department's UC Davis Picnic Day activities, which also include cockroach races, maggot art, honey tasting, bee observation hive, forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey's "Dr. Death booth," and displays of ants, bees, lady beetles, caterpillars, aquatic insects, mosquitoes and insect-collecting equipment. Traditional participants also include the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Control District and the Fly Fishers of Davis. This year featured a new exhibit, the Pollinator Pavilion, coordinated by graduate student Rei Scampavia (separate story and photos pending). Thousands flocked through Briggs Hall.
At the Bohart Museum of Entomology, on Crocker Lane, the officials carried out the theme, "The Good, the Bad and the Bugly," with the displays centered on pollinators. Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, estimated a crowd of 4000 at the Bohart.
This is a meeting of the Davis Botanical Society, which begins at 6:45 p.m. President Marie Jasieniuk will announce the 2014 student grant recipients and the members will elect new officers. All interested persons are invited. The library is located at 315 E. 14th St.
Karban will discuss the rarely studied phenomenon of communication between plants, announced plant taxonomist Ellen Dean, curator, Center for Plant Diversity. "For a number of years, Dr. Karban has been studying plant-to-plant communication in big sagebrush (Artemisa tridentata) at Sagehen Creek in the Sierrra Nevada. His research has shown that volatile compounds are released from injured plants and that these compounds are detected by nearby plants, allowing them to better defend themselves against herbivores and other predators."
Excerpts from a news release published Feb. 13, 2013 by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology:
If you're a sagebrush and your nearby kin is being eaten by a grasshopper, deer, jackrabbit, caterpillar or other predator, it's good to be closely related. Through volatile (chemical) cues, your kin will inform you of the danger so you can adjust your defenses.
If you're not closely related, communication won't be as effective.
Newly published research in today's Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences shows that kin have distinct advantages when it comes to plant communication, just as “the ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviors,” says lead researcher and ecologist Richard Karban, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
For example, fire ants can recognize kin. “Ants will destroy queens that are not relatives but protect those who are,” Karban said.
That ability is less well studied for plants, until now.
“When sagebrush plants are damaged by their herbivores, they emit volatiles that cause their neighbors to adjust their defenses,” Karban said. “These adjustments reduce rates of damage and increase growth and survival of the neighbors.” See more.
Hishinuma, who is completing her doctorate, studies the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, which in association with a newly described fungus, Geosmithia morbida, causes thousand cankers disease (TCD) of walnut and butternut trees.
Hishinuma works with major professor Mary Louise Flint and is co-advised by chemical ecologist and forest entomologist Steve Seybold of the Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Davis, an affiliate of the department. Flint is an Extension specialist emeritus with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a former associate director with the UC Integrated Pest Management Program.
“USDA will provide some financial support during the end stages of her Ph.D. thesis, in exchange for 320-640 hours of work and training over the next 14 months,” said Seybold. Then, in June 2016 her position will be converted to that of a permanent entomologist with the USDA Forest Service office in San Bernardino after she has completed her thesis. She will be responsible for forest insect survey, detection, and management on four national forests in southern California ranging from San Diego to Monterey counties.
“The highly competitive internship and guaranteed position are a credit to her and her achievements,” Seybold said.
Seybold and Flint assisted her in developing the internship, as did Richard “Rick” Bostock, UC Davis professor of plant pathology.
Hishinuma won the 2013 Western Forest Insect Work Conference Memorial Scholarship for her research on TCD and presented her work at group's 65th annual conference, held March 31-April 3, 2014 in Sacramento. She also received two scholarships from the California Garden Clubs, Inc. (CGCI) and a McBeth Memorial Scholarship to support her research on TCD.
The walnut twig beetle is believed to be native to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Mexico. In 2006, plant pathologist Ned Tisserat and entomologist Whitney Cranshaw of Colorado State University identified the pathogen in declining black walnut trees in central Colorado. The disease has now spread east of the Mississippi to states in the heart of the valuable black walnut timberlands. Most recently it was reported from Indiana. Latest collection records show that the beetle and pathogen are now known from nine states in the western United States and seven states in the eastern USA. In 2013 the disease was also reported in Italy marking the first time that it occurred in Europe.
Seybold's research group has led the effort to characterize the disease in California and to develop a nationwide detection program for the beetle. They recently published two papers in the journal PLOS ONE that characterize the genetic diversity and invasion patterns of both the pathogenic fungus and the beetle in the United States. Scientists believe that TCD occurs only on walnut, butternut, and wingnut, but it is most damaging to native black walnuts, Juglans californica, J. hindsii, and J. nigra although the disease has been recorded on at least 10 species of walnuts or their hybrids in California. Often the first symptoms of TCD are flagging and yellowing leaves and branch dieback, Seybold said. Affected branches show sap staining and pinhole-sized beetle holes. Beneath the surface are dark stains caused by the fungus.
DAVIS--UC Davis undergraduate entomology researcher Jadrian Ejercito of the Shirley Luckhart lab won second place in the highly competitive student poster competition at the 99th annual meeting of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA), held recently in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
His poster, on a malaria mosquito, was titled “Effects of Abscisic Acid on the Lifespan and Fecundity of Anopheles stephensi.” Ejercito was the only UC Davis entomology student to win a poster award.
For the project, he collaborated with his mentor, Shirley Luckhart, a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunity and co-director of the Center for Vectorborne Diseases; and doctoral candidate Elizabeth Glennon of the Luckhart lab.
Judges scored the poster on 12 criteria, including abstract, presentation, introduction, objectives, results and discussion, and significance of the results.
Ejercito, a senior scheduled to receive his bachelor's degree in entomology in June, works in the Luckhart main lab as well as the Contained Research Facility.
A graduate of Nathaniel A. Narbonne High School in Harbor City, Los Angeles County, Ejercito joined the Luckhart lab as a MURALS scholar, a program dedicated to supporting undergraduate researchers. MURALS is an acronym for “Mentorship for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters an Science.” Formed in the spring of 1988, under the sponsorship of the Office of Student Affairs and the academic leadership of the College of Letters and Science, MURALS now includes students from all academic disciplines. Its mission is to encourage students to further their education beyond the baccalaureate.