Betzig will deliver his presentation at 4:10 p.m. in the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom, as part of the Storer Lectureship in Life Sciences.
The next day (Wednesday, Feb. 22), he will present a scientific lecture on “Imaging Life at High Spatiotemporal Resolution” at 4:10 p.m., in the ARC Ballroom.
Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Betzig, a group leader at the Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Va. since 2005, develops new optical imaging technologies for biology. The campus is part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., Betzig, now 57, received his bachelor of science degree in physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Calif., in 1983 and then went on to study applied and engineering physics at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., earning his master's degree in 1985 and his doctorate in 1988. His doctoral thesis involved the development of near-field optics--developing high resolution optical microscopes that could see past the theoretical limit of .2 micrometers.
Betzig did subsequent work as a principal investigator at AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, N.J., where he further refined the technology. In 1993, he was the first to image single fluorescent molecules under ambient conditions, and determine their positions to better than 1/40 of the wavelength of light.
Tiring of academia, he resigned in 1994 and left the workforce to become a self-described "house husband." In 1996, he accepted a position as vice president of research and development at his father's machine tool company, Ann Arbor Machine Tool Co., where he developed a high speed motion control technology based on what he called “an electrohydraulic hybrid drive with adaptive control algorithms.” However, the technology, called Flexible Adaptive Servohydraulic Technology (FAST), failed commercially, he said.
While unemployed, he and another unemployed colleague from the Bell labs, Harold Hess, used photoactivated fluorescent proteins to bring super-resolution localization microscopy to reality, building the final prototype in the Hess living room. Together they invented the first super-high-resolution Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM) microscope.
For this work, Betzig was named a co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Stefan Hell and William Moerner for breaking through the diffraction barrier of fluorescence microscopy. Betzig was recognized for the ground-breaking role he played in the invention of the PALM microscope, which involves taking individual molecules in a sample and then reconstructing a super resolution image from hundreds of frames.
Campus host is Professor Lin Tian of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, whose research focuses on optical neurophysiology. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Nobel Prize website:
"In normal microscopes the wavelength of light sets a limit to the level of detail possible. However this limitation can be circumvented by methods that make use of fluorescence, a phenomenon in which certain substances become luminous after having been exposed to light. Around 2000, Eric Betzig and William E. Moerner helped create a method in which fluorescence in individual molecules is steered by light. An image of very high resolution is achieved by combining images in which different molecules are activated. This makes it possible to track processes occurring inside living cells."
The family friendly science-based event, set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will showcase 12 museums collections, said Biodiversity Museum Day coordinator Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology. All 12 collections are within walking distance on campus except for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road for the Raptor Center on Old Davis Road.
It is free open to the public, and parking is also free.
The committee lists these attractions, geared toward children ages 6 to 10, but also interesting to all age groups:
You can "pet" walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas at the live "petting zoo" at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
You can marvel at the huge dinosaur bones in the Paleontology Collection in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building on Crocker Lane.
You can see carnivorous plants "swallow" flies and other unsuspecting insects in the Botanical Conservatory, off Kleiber Hall Drive.
You can sample Vegemite and kombucha at the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, situated in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building on Crocker Lane.
You can get up close to hawks and other birds of prey and watch demonstrations at the California Raptor Center on Old Davis Road. You can also check out the Raptor Center museum and even pick apart owl pellets to look for bones.
You can see prehistoric tools and watch demonstrations of flint knapping and atlati throwing at the Anthropology Museum display, Young Hall, central campus.
You can catch bees and other insects in a vacuum device for a catch-and-release activity at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, and get a close-up view of the queen bee, workers and drones in the bee observation hive.
You can engage in leaf rubbing activities, olive wreath crown making and some interactive activities dealing with erosion control and composting at the Arboretum and Public Garden, headquartered on LaRue Road.
You can also look through the portable Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), borrowed from Hitachi. It will be located in the Academic Surge Building, either in the Bohart Museum or in the Wildlife Room, said Yang.
The UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day is also a good time for prospective students to learn about possible majors.
The following will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
- Arboretum and Public Garden, headquartered on LaRue Road
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Academic Surge Building
- California Raptor Center, Old Davis Road
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Academic Surge Building
- Paleontology Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building
- Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building
The following will be open from noon to 4 p.m.:
- Anthropology Museum, Young Hall
- Botanical Conservatory, greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Lab Building
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Bee Biology Road
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Lab Building
All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, Yang said, but the collections are not always accessible to the public, Yang said. In the event of rain, alternative locations are planned for the outdoor sites. Maps, signs and guides will be available at all the collections, online, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay.
For further information about the event, access the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website.
Karban is an international authority on plant communication.
“Rick's pioneering discoveries on plant communication through volatile compounds certainly merit this recognition,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
ESA, in announcing the list of 27 fellows, said that its fellowship program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and management and policy.
Karban is the author of the newly published 240-page book, Plant Sensing and Communication (University of Chicago Press), considered a “landmark in its field,” said Graeme Ruxton of the University of St. Andrews, UK, co-author of Experimental Design for the Life Sciences and Plant-Animal Communication.
“Karban seeks to argue that plants behave—that they sense their environment, detect and communicate with an array of different organisms, and respond to their sense of the environment and communication,” Ruxton said. ”He is very successful in this, demonstrating that plant sensing and communication is a vibrant area of current research with still plenty more to discover.”
Karban has researched plant communication in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) on the east side of the Sierra since 1995. His groundbreaking research on plant communication among kin, published in February 2013 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, drew international attention. In that study, Karban and his co-researchers found 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.”
“Plants responded more effectively to volatile cues from close relatives than from distant relatives in all four experiments and communication reduced levels of leaf damage experienced over the three growing seasons,” they wrote.
Karban is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and recipient of the 1990 George Mercer Award from ESA for outstanding research. He was named an outstanding professor, ecology, at UC Davis in 1986. He has published more than 100 journal articles and now, three books.
Karban is featured in the Dec. 23-30, 2013 edition of The New Yorker in Michael Pollan's piece, “The Intelligent Plant: Scientists Debate a New Way of Understanding Plants."
Karban received his bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Haverford (Penn.) College in 1977 and his doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 1982. He served as a lecturer at Haverford College for six months before joining the UC Davis faculty in May 1982 as an assistant professor. He advanced to associate professor in 1988 and to full professor in 1994.
Karban's former graduate student, Anurag Agrawal, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, was also elected a 2017 fellow for his “innovative contributions to community and evolutionary ecology, especially through providing conceptual advances and rigorous experimental work on plant-insect interactions.”
Agrawal received his doctorate at UC Davis in 1999.
Another UC Davis professor, John Stachowicz of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology was elected as a 2017 fellow “for his fundamental contributions to the fields of symbiosis and mutualism, multi-trophic species interactions, biogeography, and invasion biology.”
ESA established its fellows program in 2012 with the goal of honoring its members and supporting their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions in the Society, at their institutions, and in broader society, said spokesperson Lisa Lester.
(The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the world's largest community of professional ecologists, and committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society's Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.)
Thaler will be honored at a reception from 3:30 to 4:15 on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the International House, located at 10 College Park, Davis. Following the reception, she will present a seminar in the International House conference room from 4:15 to 5 p.m. on "Tritrophic Interactions and the Ecology of Fear."
Her areas of expertise are population and community ecology, plant-insect interactions, tri-trophic interactions and chemical ecology.
"I study the ecological interactions between plants, herbivores, and carnivores in wild and agricultural Solanaceous plant species," she says. "My approach focuses on understanding behavioral and phytochemical mechanisms of such tri-trophic interactions, testing theory on the organization of multi-trophic communities, and generating novel strategies to control insect pests."
Thaler received her bachelor of science degree in biology, cum laude, from Wellesley College in 1993 and her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis with major professor Rick Karban in 1999.
After receiving her doctoral degree, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher for a year at Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, and then served at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor of botany from 2000 to 2004. She joined the Cornell University faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor, advancing to associate in 2006, and to full professor in 2015.
Thaler was named a Cornell Center for Sustainable Future Faculty Fellow in 2011 and continues to serve in that position. Among her other honors and awards:
- Excellence in Ecological Entomology, Royal Entomological Society's Awards for Scientific Writing, runner up (2003)
- Premiers Research Excellence Award, Government of Ontario (2000)
- American Society of Naturalists Young Investigators Award (2000)
- Entomological Society of America, second prize for oral presentation (1998)
The professor is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the Ecological Society of America and the International Society of Chemical Ecology.
She presented a invited seminar at the 2017 Gordon Research Conference on "Plant-Herbivore Interactions, Tritrophic Interactions and the Ecology of Fear" and a presentation on Predator-Prey Interactions: Chemical Ecology of Tri-Trophic Interactions" at the 2016 Gordon Research Conference. The Gordon Research Conferences, founded in 1931 and headquartered in Rhode Island, organizes international scientific conferences dedicated to advancing the frontiers of scientific research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies.
Thayer has also presented seminars at the 2014 Entomological Society of America meeting in Portland Ore. on "Non-Lethal Effects of Predators in Arthropod Food Webs" and at the 2013 Ecological Society of America meeting in Minneapolis on "Ecophysiological Consequences of Predation Risk," among many others.
The Leigh Alumni Award memorializes cotton entomologist Thomas Frances Leigh (1923-1993) and his wife Nina. Leigh was an international authority on the biology, ecology and management of arthropod pests affecting cotton production. During his 37-year UC Davis career, he was based at the Kern County Shafter Research and Extension Center, also known as the U.S. Cotton Research Station. He researched pest and beneficial arthropod management in cotton fields, and host plant resistance in cotton to insects, mites, nematodes and diseases. Leigh joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 1958, retiring in 1991 as an emeritus professor, but he continued to remain active in his research and collaboration until his death on Oct. 26, 1993.
At Shafter, Leigh focused his research on the biology, ecology, host plant resistance, control and management of insects and spider mites on cotton. He stood at the forefront of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of cotton pests, according to an article in the summer 1994 edition of American Entomologist. He taught courses on cotton IPM and host plant resistance.
In a widely distributed news article released Jan. 31, Robert Sanders of UC Berkeley Media Relations wrote that Aaron Parsons, associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, drafted the letter and asked his colleagues to sign it. As of Jan. 31, the signatures total more than 2300.
“With some issues, we can hope to recover from a temporary backslide, but climate change is not one of those; we cannot afford to lose these next four years,” Parsons said. “We are treading a thin line on whether it's possible to avert major climate change, and it is absolutely imperative that we do everything we can.”
The United States and 193 other nations, signed the Paris agreement last year, which went into into effect in November.
Parsons noted that President Trump and his cabinet have called climate change a "hoax" and that the administration's position is that limits on greenhouse gas emissions, especially by coal-fired power plants, would stifle the economy.
California Gov. Jerry Brown publicly announced that the state will launch its own satellite if Trump shuts down climate monitoring satellites now operated by NASA.
Parsons advocates empowering scientists and intellectual leaders, urging them to be more active on these issues. "I hope we can build a voting base grounded in science and learning to oppose this anti-intellectualism we are seeing,” he said.
Parsons, through the UC Berkeley Government and Community Relations Office, has also shared the open letter with California politicians in a call to action.
"We the undersigned are calling on you, in the most urgent terms possible, to maintain our country's commitment to meeting the greenhouse gas emission targets set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement is the first of a series of steps required to avert substantial climate change. The Earth's climate is entering a state that has not been experienced in human history. Continuing to produce greenhouse gases at current rates will have catastrophic, unstoppable consequences for our environment, our economy, and our country. Bold and decisive action may still avoid the worst scenarios, allow for adaptation to the changes, mitigate the damage, and bring new economic opportunities to our country. To this end, we ask that you ensure America's place as the global leader on climate action.
"With this letter, we aim to express the degree to which the scientists and intellectual leaders of our state, speaking for themselves and not on behalf of their respective employers, agree on the facts of climate change. Despite misleading portrayals, there is widespread consensus in the scientific and academic communities that human-caused climate change is real, with consequences that are already being felt. The science of how greenhouse gases trap heat is unimpeachable. Climate records are being broken as human-caused changes add onto natural oscillations (e.g., El Niño) in the climate system. Fossil records from pre-human times show much higher sea levels and a reorganization of vegetation patterns when greenhouse gases were higher and Earth's climate was much warmer than today. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere set in motion regional variations in weather, weather extremes, the loss of major ice sheets, and declining biodiversity that has been associated with mass extinctions in Earth's past.
"Scientists have warned for decades of the dangers of overreliance on fossil fuels. The world has been slow to respond and, as a result, we run an increasing risk of major damage to America's economy and security. We have had an unusually large number of serious natural disasters in the past decade that are in line with climate change predictions. The Southeast and West suffer from increasing droughts. Miami floods at high tide as sea levels rise. Major cities on the Eastern and Gulf coasts regularly suffer major damage from violent weather. Western forests die because winters are insufficiently cold to prevent insect infestation of drought-stressed trees. Left unchecked, the frequency and severity of these climate change events will increase with time, as will their economic impact. To secure and conserve our way of life, our economy, and our environment, we need immediate action.
"The United States now has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By investing in and incentivizing clean energy and carbon sequestration technologies now, we position ourselves to be the economic and political leaders of the 21st century. To do otherwise cedes these opportunities to others and undermines our national security, food security, water security, and the future of our children and grandchildren. For these reasons, we ask you to maintain and increase our country's commitment to taking action on climate change, beginning with the current Paris Climate Agreement."
Among the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology signing the letter as of Jan. 31:
- Louie Yang, Associate Professor
- Rachel Vannette, Assistant Professor
- Richard Karban, Professor
- Sharon Lawler, Professor
- James Carey, Professor
- Philip Ward, Professor
Further information is available from Parsons at email@example.com.