His seminar is from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs. Host is Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the department.
“There has been a long-standing debate whether biological control is promoted by specialist rather than generalist predators,” Messelink said. “Generalist predators are thought to be less suitable because of their interference with other natural enemies through intraguild predation or hyperpredation, switching behavior between prey and often relatively slow growth rate. Moreover, exotic generalist predators are often considered as an environmental risk because of their potential effects on non-target species.”
“In contrast, specialist natural enemies are well-adapted to their prey and often show higher growth rates,” Messelink said. “Yet, biological control programs in greenhouse crops are increasingly based on releases of generalist predators and they appear to be successful. In this presentation, I will show some of the recent successes that have been achieved with generalist predator in greenhouse crops, but I will also discuss some potential risks. Finally, I will show some current methods that are used to promote the establishment and persistence of natural enemies in greenhouse crops.”
Messelink has worked at the institute, dedicated to applied research for the greenhouse industry, since 1999. Much of his past research was aimed at biological control of thrips, spider mites and whiteflies with generalist predatory mites in several greenhouse cropping systems. His research was also the basis for his PhD thesis, which he completed during his work at the institute in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam.
Messelink’s current research on generalist predators includes anthocorid and mirid predatory bugs and food web complexities among species. “I am now involved in several research projects which in general, are about the evaluation of new natural enemies and developing systems that enhance establishment and persistence of natural enemies for control of thrips, spider mites whiteflies, aphids and mealy bugs.”
Messelink is a council member of the West Palearctic Regional Section of the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC).
Some key publications:
Messelink, G. J., C. M. J. Bloemhard, M. W. Sabelis, and A. Janssen. 2013. Biological control of aphids in the presence of thrips and their enemies. BioControl 58:45-55.
Messelink, G. J., M. W. Sabelis, and A. Janssen. 2012. Generalist predators, food web complexities and biological pest control in greenhouse crops. Pages 191-214 in M. L. Larramendy and S. Soloneski, editors. Integrated pest management and pest control - current and future tactics. InTech, Rijeka.
Van Maanen, R., G. J. Messelink, R. Van Holstein-Saj, M. W. Sabelis, and A. Janssen. 2012. Prey temporarily escape from predation in the presence of a second prey species. Ecological Entomology 37:529-535.
Huang, N. X., A. Enkegaard, L. S. Osborne, P. M. J. Ramakers, G. J. Messelink, J. Pijnakker, and G. Murphy. 2011. The banker plant method in biological control. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 30:259-278.
Pilkington, L. J., G. Messelink, J. C. van Lenteren, and K. Le Mottee. 2010. "Protected Biological Control" - Biological pest management in the greenhouse industry. Biological Control 52:216-220.
Messelink, G. J., C. M. J. Bloemhard, J. A. Cortes, M. W. Sabelis, and A. Janssen. 2011. Hyperpredation by generalist predatory mites disrupts biological control of aphids by the aphidophagous gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza. Biological Control 57:246-252.
Messelink, G. J., R. van Maanen, S. E. F. van Steenpaal, and A. Janssen. 2008. Biological control of thrips and whiteflies by a shared predator: Two pests are better than one. Biological Control 44:372-379.
Messelink, G. J., S. E. F. Van Steenpaal, and P. M. J. Ramakers. 2006. Evaluation of phytoseiid predators for control of western flower thrips on greenhouse cucumber. Biocontrol 51:753-768.
The work is expected to accelerate basic and applied research, leading to better monitoring and control strategies for the pest.
Officially published Dec. 1 in the journal G3 (Genes Genomics and Genetics), the open-access research has been available online for several weeks and drawing global attention.
“To enable basic and applied research of this important pest, Drosophila suzukii, we sequenced the genome to obtain a high-quality reference sequence,” said molecular geneticist Joanna Chiu of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Chiu and Professor David Begun of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology led the genomics team of collaborative researchers from four institutions.
The posting of the genome and comparative sequence analysis on the publicly accessible SpottedWingFlyBase web portal could lead to more species-specific weapons to combat the destructive pest, Chiu said. Scientists are looking at its biology, behavior, food and odor preferences, and pesticide resistance.
“Many researchers are working hard to study the biology of this insect through basic and applied projects, and we hope our efforts in presenting our genomic data in a user-friendly web portal will democratize the sequence data and help facilitate everyone’s research, especially those who do not have expertise in genome and sequence analysis,” she said.
The spotted wing drosophila, a native of Asia that was first detected in the United States in 2008, is wreaking economic havoc on crops such as blueberries, cherries, blackberries and raspberries. This fly lays its eggs inside the ripe or ripening fruit, and the developing larvae feed on the soft fruit, crippling crop yields.
Chiu teamed with scientists at UC Davis, Oregon State University (OSU), the China National Gene Bank and the American Museum of Natural History as part of a $5.8 million project on the biology and management of spotted wing drosophila, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant to OSU entomologist Vaughn Walton and a team of investigators including Professor Frank Zalom of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who is the lead UC Davis investigator.
Zalom, recently inducted as president of the nearly 7000-member Entomological Society of America, said that the G3 article “presents a high quality reference sequence of Drosophila suzukii, examination of the basic properties of its genome and transcriptome, and description of patterns of genome evolution in relation to its close relatives.”
As of Nov. 27, SpottedWingFlyBase has drawn more than 3000 page views from 20 countries, including the U.S., France, Italy, Belgium, China, Spain, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain, Zalom said. “Given this impressive response and the worldwide importance of Drosophila suzukii, I expect that the G3 article will become very highly cited and cast Dr. Chiu as a central figure in future Drosophila suzukii genomic studies related to topics such as insecticide detoxification, odorant reception and regulatory entomology.”
OSU entomologist Vaughn Walton, lead investigator of the USDA grant, said: “Scientists from all over the world are interested in knowledge locked inside the fly’s genetic material.” He also pointed out that the genome work may relieve the fears of countries wishing to export American fruit, but not the pest. By finding the fly’s unique genetic signature, scientists hope that DNA testing will quickly determine if ready-to-be-shipped fruit contains spotted wing drosophila larvae.
The UC Davis team included the Joanna Chiu lab and the Frank Zalom lab, both in Department of Entomology and Nematology, and David Begun’s Drosophila evolutionary genetics lab in the Department of Evolution and Ecology. They collaborated with Walton and spotted wing drosophila project leader Linda Brewer of OSU; Ernest Lee from the American Museum of Natural History, and Xuanting Jiang and Guojie Zhang of the China National Genebank, BGI-Shenzhen.
Other UC Davis scientists involved in the research included doctoral candidates Kelly Hamby of the Zalom lab, Rosanna Kwok of the Chiu lab, as well as postdoctoral researchers Li Zhao, Christopher Hamm, Julie M. Cridland and research technician Perot Saelao of the Begun lab.
The SpottedWingFlyBase is a dedicated online resource for Drosophila suzukii genomics but also includes comparative genomic analysis of Drosophila suzukii with other closely related Drosophila species.
The article is available at the G3 website at: http://www.g3journal.org/content/early/2013/10/14/g3.113.008185.abstract.
More information is provided by Oregon State University at the SpottedWingFlyBase portal at http://spottedwingflybase.oregonstate.edu/ or the Spotted Wing Drosophila website at http://spottedwing.org/
-- Joanna Chiu, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, (530) 752-1839
-- Frank Zalom, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, (530) 752-3687, email@example.com
Visitors are invited to “come look at our collection, hold live insects and browse our gift shop,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
The Dec. 7th event is an extension of the weekday hours, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “We will have some Oh, My! drawers pulled (called “Oh, my” because that’s what visitors say when they first see them), and live animals to hold.” These include Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas and praying mantids. Visitors can also see newly emerged praying mantids.
Attendees can test out Lizard Island, a new ecological videogamebeing developed by Budding Biologist (http://www.buddingbiologist.com/about.html), an educational publishing company owned by Kristine Callis-Duehl, a post-doctoral associate housed in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. This game is loosely based on ecological research being conducted by Louie Yang, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Walter Hsiao, the video game developer , will be on hand to answer questions about game design.
Hsaio earlier designed a fly fishing simulation game that included input from Louie Yang and Sharon Lawler, professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology: http://www.flysim.com/flysim/flysim_features.html
The Bohart Museum, housing nearly eight million specimens, is the seventh largest insect collection in North America. It is also the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
The year-around gift shop (also online) offers t-shirts, jewelry, insect nets, posters and books, including the newly published children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by UC Davis doctoral candidate Fran Keller and illustrated (watercolor and ink) by Laine Bauer, a 2012 graduate of UC Davis. The 35-page book, geared toward kindergarteners through sixth graders, also includes photos by naturalist Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a volunteer at the Bohart.
Bohart officials schedule weekend open houses throughout the academic year. Upcoming open houses are:
Sunday, Jan. 12
Theme: "Snuggle Bugs"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8
Theme: "Biodiversity Museum Day"
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m.
This event will be held in conjunction with the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Herbarium, Botanical Conservatory, Anthropology Collection and Geology and will take place at each of those locations. (All are free and open to the public.)
Sunday, March 2
Theme: "Garden Heroes!"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 12:
Theme: “UC Davis Picnic Day: 100 Years”
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 4
Theme: "Moth-er's Day"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 26
Theme: "Arachnids: Awesome or Awful?"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
The Bohart Museum’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. More information is available from Tabatha Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who would like to join the Bohart Museum Society, a campus and community support organization dedicated to supporting the mission of the museum, can do so by accessing http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/html/about_society.html.
His seminar is from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. His host is Professor Jay Rosenheim, his former major professor. (Editor's note: This is a time change due to midwest storms delaying his flight)
An abstract of Heimpel's talk:
"Over the past 25 years or so, importation ('classical') biological control of arthropod pests has undergone a paradigm shift in which emphasis has shifted from an exclusive focus on efficacy to a focus on the actual and potential risks of biological control introductions. Host specificity testing is the cornerstone of risk assessment in this new paradigm, and only highly specialized agents are currently approved for release."
"Here, I describe the process of importation biological control of an invasive agricultural pest in the North-Central U.S. - the Asian soybean aphid. Numerous parasitoid species were imported from Asia as potential biological control agents and I focus on 5 species for which host-specificity testing was done. Each of these five species tells a different story in terms of host-specificity, the potential for biological control efficacy, and actual success of field releases. Together, these case studies illustrate some potential relationships between safety and efficacy in biological control, and the importance of various traits in mediating safety and efficacy of biological control agents."
Born in Germany, Heimpel grew up mainly in California. He received his bachelor’s degree in conservation and resource studies in 1988 from UC Berkeley; his master's degree in 1991 in entomology and applied ecology from the University of Delaware; and his doctorate in 1995 from UC Davis, where he was advised by Jay Rosenheim. Heimpel then spent two years as a USDA post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Mike Strand’s lab.
At the University of Minnesota, Heimpel focuses his research in the fields of biological control and parasitoid ecology. Most of this work has been done in agricultural settings, and has included investigations of sugar-feeding by parasitoids in the field and implications for conservation biological control, biological control of soybean aphid and genetics of sex determination in parasitic hymenoptera. More recent projects have incorporated a conservation focus however, including investigations of an invasive fly species in the Galapagos Islands. Heimpel teaches biological control and insect behavior.
On his website, Heimpel says: “Most of the projects in my lab focus on host-parasitoid interactions and biological control. Investigations range from genetics to community ecology with an emphasis on behavioral, population and evolutionary ecology of parasitoids within the context of biological control. Current projects include classical and conservation biological control of the soybean aphid in the United States, classical biological control of a parasite of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands, and classical biological control of the imported cabbageworm in the United States.”
“More generally, interests in the lab focus on aspects of host specificity in parasitoids, indirect interactions in natural and agricultural systems, sex determination in parasitoid wasps, evolution of parasitoid reproductive strategies, and ecosystem services (biological control) associated with biofuel cropping systems.”
Plans call for the seminar to be recorded for later posting on UCTV. Coordinating the fall seminars are assistant professors Brian Johnson and Joanna Chiu.
Heimpel's recent publications include:
Hopper, K. R., S. M. Prager, and G. E. Heimpel. 2013. Is parasitoid acceptance of different host species dynamic? Functional Ecology 27:1201-1211.
Heimpel, G. E., Y. Yang, J. Hill, and D. W. Ragsdale. 2013. Environmental consequences of invasive species: greenhouse gas emissions of insecticide use and the role of biological control in reducing emissions. PLoS One 8:e72293.
Wulff, J. A., K. Buckman, K. Wu, G. E. Heimpel, and J. A. White. 2013. The endosymbiont Arsenophonus is widespread in soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, but does not provide protection against parasitoids or a fungal pathogen. PLoS One 8:e62145.
Chacon, J. M., M. K. Asplen, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. Combined effects of host-plant resistance and intraguild predation on the soybean aphid parasitoid Binodoxys communis in the field. Biological Control 60:16-25.
de Boer, J. G., B. Kuijper, G. E. Heimpel, and L. W. Beukeboom. 2012. Sex determination meltdown upon biological control introduction of the parasitoid Cotesia rubecula? Evolutionary Applications 5:444-454.
Desneux, N., R. Blahnik, C. J. Delebeque, and G. E. Heimpel. 2012. Host phylogeny and specialisation in parasitoids. Ecology Letters 15:453-460.
His appointment, pending Arizona Board of Regents’ approval, begins Dec. 5.
“As its chief academic officer, Page will provide leadership to all ASU campuses and academic programs, fostering global distinction in teaching, research and service to the community," according to an ASU press release. “Page will guide ASU’s mission to achieve its vision of the New American University by positioning the university at the national forefront of academic excellence and accessibility. Page also will represent ASU to external agencies and constituencies and engage in its fundraising initiatives.”
ASU President Michael M. Crow praised Page as “the perfect person to help move the university forward on the path set by Provost Phillips toward academic excellence and student-centric education. Since coming to ASU, he has embraced and embodied all of the qualities of the New American University. His own scholastic rigor combined with his leadership in transcending disciplinary divides to further knowledge, research and educational reform that impact the public good makes him ideally suited to direct our academic aspirations.”
Page, who studies the evolution of complex social behavior in honey bees, from genes to societies, received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1980, and served as an assistant professor at Ohio State University before joining the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 1989. He chaired the department for five years, from 1999 to 2004 when ASU recruited him as the founding director and dean of the School of Life Sciences, an academic unit within CLAS. He organized three departments—biology, microbiology and botany, totaling more than 600 faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff--into one unified school.
Recognized as one of the world’s foremost honey bee geneticists, Page is a highly cited entomologist who has authored more than 230 research papers and articles centered on Africanized bees, genetics and evolution of social organization, sex determination and division of labor in insect societies. His work on the self-organizing regulatory networks of honey bees is featured in his new book, The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution, published in June 2013 by Harvard University Press.
Page continues to keep bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis; they are managed by staff research associate/beekeeper Michael “Kim” Fondrk.
As vice provost and dean of CLAS, beginning in July 2011, Page was responsible for student academic affairs, faculty development and research promotion, as well as planning and implementation of degree programs for a college with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. He also has overseen budgeting, planning, fundraising and personnel decisions.
“For nearly a decade, I have been energized and inspired by President Crow’s vision for transforming ASU,” said Page in the ASU news release. “Today’s modern universities must become agents of change, capable of profoundly impacting our quality of life by developing students into socially aware, critically thinking citizens. As university provost, I look forward to continuing the work of Provost Phillips in helping shape the metamorphosis of this great university.”
As founding director of SOLS, Page established the school as a platform for discovery in the biomedical, genomic, and evolutionary and environmental sciences. He also founded the Social Insect Research Group and ASU Honey Bee Research Facility, which have attracted top researchers in social insect studies to the university.
An internationally recognized scholar, Page was elected to the Leopoldina-the German National Academy of Sciences, the longest continuing academy in the world. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Entomological Society of America, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Wiko), or Institute for Advanced Study. His awards include the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, the highest honor given by the German government to foreign scientists.
“The University Senate welcomes the opportunity to work with Dr. Robert Page as the new provost of the university,” said Thomas Schildgen, president of the University Senate in the ASU news release. “The senate recognizes his exemplary record of scholarship and publication, his distinguished international research work, along with his successful administrative experience as the key factors that define his ability to advance Arizona State University. The University Senate represents shared faculty governance and will work with Provost Page to advance the mission of the institution.”
(Michael Crow of Arizona State University contributed to this news release.)