Judges chose his photo as one of the 12 winning images from a field of 560 entries submitted by 133 photographers from multiple continents. Nguyen captured the image at the UC Davis Stebbens Cold Canyon Reserve in April 2017, using his Canon 7D camera and a MPE 65-mm lens.
Senior insect biosystematist Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture identified the hover fly as a male Platycheirus trichopus (Thomson, 1869).
“I naturally combine my love of insects with my interest in photography to exhibit the beauty and diversity of this often overlooked yet immensely important group of animals,” Nguyen said. “I have been specializing in macro photography ever since I got my hands on my first digital camera over 10 years ago. My body of work consists of mostly insects and related arthropods.”
Nguyen says he does “very simple post processing and extremely minor cropping of the frame, preferring to compose the photo through the lens than to a cheap crop as much as I can.”
Nguyen, who received his bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis in 2015, is an alumnus of the 2015 BugShot Macro Workshop, taught by noted insect photographers Alex Wild, John Abbott and Thomas Shahan, in the Hastings Natural History Preserve, a UC Berkeley-operated biological field station in Carmel Valley. “It really was an amazing photographic experience,” said Nguyen, who was awarded a student scholarship to attend the workshop. Alex Wild, who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, is curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin.
Nguyen often volunteers as a photographer at the Bohart Museum of Entomology outreach events, capturing interactions between staff, fellow volunteers, and the public. “I recently have dabbled in more client-based photography, such as engagement and graduation portraiture, as I have had more time to expand my skill set but arthropod photography still take up the majority of my time.”
He recently launched a website, https://alexandernguyen.smugmug.com/, which serves as a portfolio and storefront for some of his favorite photos.
The hover fly that Nguyen photographed is “found all the way down the west coast and Rockies into the southern part of Mexico,” Hauser said. For a long time it was regarded as the western population of widespread P. obscurus (Say, 1824), but since the recent revision of Young (2016), it is considered a valid species. (P. obscurus is found from Newfoundland to the Great Lakes, south to Northern Mississippi and the Carolinas.)
“The larvae of these flies feed on aphids and the adults are pollinators while visiting flowers for nectar and pollen,” said Hauser, pointing out that “The eyes of the males meet on top of the head and the ripples and punctures in the white pollinose pattern on the face are characteristic for the species.”
Calendar contest coordinator Jeffrey Bradshaw, associate professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, said the contest is highly competitive. “Entries usually go through two to three rounds of judging before we arrive at final photos for the calendar. Members of the judging panel also included ESA members Martin Rice, Ric Bessin, Bob Peterson, Fikru Haile, Tom Myers, “all experienced photographers who are looking for the highest aesthetic and technical quality,” Bradshaw said.
“For example, images must be sharp, properly exposed, framed well, etc.,” Bradshaw noted. “Additionally, some of the best photos show some action or behavior exhibited by the subject. Unusual and interesting specimens often pique the judges' interest as well. It is quite an intensive task to judge this many photos and there are often several very good photos that don't make the final cut. However, we encourage photographers to submit again if their photo wasn't selected this year.”
“Members might notice the inclusion of a couple spiders this year,” Bradshaw said. “They are exceptional photos so the committee choose to look past the extra legs.” Insects have six legs; and spiders (arachnids) have eight.
ESA communications manager Joe Rominiecki said that the photos selected for the 2018 calendar are the work of photographers in the United States, Colombia, South Africa, Italy, and Australia. Their subjects: a grasshopper, spider, katydid, damselfly, wasp, fly, mosquito, hover fly, moth, butterfly, praying mantis, bee, and a caterpillar.
Attendees at the ESA conference, set Nov. 5-8 in Portland, Ore., will receive a free copy of the 2018 calendar, and if they want additional copies, can fill out an order form while there, Rominiecki said. Others who wish to purchase the calendar can access www.entsoc.org/bookstore after the conference or call (301) 731-4535 x3017. The cost is $8 for ESA members and $12 for non-members. (Quantity discounts are also available.)
The annual calendar contest is open to members and non-members alike. Macro photographers are also invited to submit their work to the Insect Salon National Contest, coordinated by the Peoria (Ill.) Camera Club. The winning photos are showcased at the annual ESA conference's Insect Salon.
The 7000-member Entomological Society of America, founded in 1889 and based in Annapolis, Md, is the world's largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and those in related disciplines.
Zalom is the first entomologist to receive the coveted award, according to Kim Kaplan of the USDA-ARS Office of Communications.
Zalom was singled out for his outstanding work in IPM related to sustainable horticulture production, specifically for “his outstanding leadership and public service in IPM for horticultural crops at the regional, state, national and international levels; his stellar accomplishments in horticultural crops sustainability and pest management and his work ethic, service, courage and integrity, all driven by his insatiable curiosity and passion to solve problems in the horticultural crops landscape,” Kaplan said.
Zalom will receive the award, co-sponsored by USDA-ARS and the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), on Thursday, Sept. 21 at the ASHS conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii. He will present the Morrison Memorial Lecture on “Significance of Integrated Pest Management to Sustainable Horticultural Production – Observations and Experiences.”
The IPM concept was developed by pest scientists in response to economic, environmental, and societal issues facing growers, Zalom says in his abstract. “The application of IPM concepts to horticultural crops has been particularly useful to facilitate sustainable production when presented with extrinsic challenges that arise from the presence of insect pests. Changing consumer preferences, new governmental regulations, limited pesticide availability and resistance development, and invasive species introductions are among challenges to horticultural crop production that have been mitigated with an IPM approach. Observations and experiences demonstrate that effective IPM benefits from a transdisciplinary approach that places the plant as the unifier of knowledge.”
Zalom, a past president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America (ESA) and a member of the UC Davis faculty since 1980, holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis.
He is known for his work in the sustainability of tree crops, small fruits, vegetable crops, water quality and invasive species. Under his 16-year leadership as director, the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) became recognized as the premier program of its type in the world. During that time, he reinforced the need for “sustainability” in the pursuit of managing pests.
The horticultural crops that Zalom has addressed during his 38-year career include almonds, grapes, olives, strawberries, tomatoes, and scores of others. Almonds in California account for more than 80 percent of the world's production and more than $4 billion of export value. California grapes account for all of the table grapes produced in the US, valued at $1.8 billion, and represent 85 percent of wine grapes that contribute to $32 billion in retail value. California growers also produce more than 85 percent of U.S. strawberries valued at about $2 billion annually, and virtually all of the country's olives and processing tomatoes. He is currently the primary campus-based entomologist working on all of these crops.
His research projects on pests, leading to successful agricultural applications, include navel orangeworm and spider mites in almonds, spider mites in strawberries, spotted wing drosophila in raspberries and cherries, and olive fruit fly in olives. He led the successful multidisciplinary research and extension effort during the 1990s that resulted in the reduction of dormant sprays in almonds and tree fruit by more than 50 percent while reducing organophosphate insecticide used as dormant sprays by over 90 percent. Recently, he and USDA-ARS virologist Mysore Sudarshana identified the vector of grapevine red blotch virus in vineyards as a treehopper, which now opens the possibility for developing a management approach to control the spread of the virus.
Known nationally and globally for his IPM leadership in numerous organizations, Zalom is an elected fellow of four scientific organizations: ESA, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Royal Entomological Society (London) and the California Academy of Sciences.
He organized and co-chaired--with presidents of four other entomological societies--the first ever International Entomology Leadership Summit, spanning two days within the 2016 International Congress of Entomology (ICE) meeting in September in Orlando, Fla.
Highly honored by his peers, Zalom is the recipient of numerous awards, including the most recent: Perry Adkisson Distinguished Speaker Award from Texas A&M University; the Entomological Foundation IPM Team Award, the Entomological Foundation Excellence in IPM Award, and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research.
Zalom has authored more than 340 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books, and has served as major professor for 12 Ph.D. students and seven master's students.
The Morrison Award memorializes Benjamin Y. Morrison (1891–1966), a pioneer in horticulture, and the first director of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. He also helped found the American Horticultural Society and the American Iris Society. A scientist, landscape architect, plant explorer, author, and lecturer, he advanced the science of botany in the United States and fostered broad international exchange of ornamental plants. He also served as chief editor of the American Horticultural Society's magazine from its inception in 1926 until 1963.
To this day, the National Arboretum shows the impact of his work--particularly in the dogwood plantings, the Asian collections, and the azalea gardens. He also helped organize the arboretum's national herbarium collections.
As a plant breeder, Morrison is probably best known for his azaleas, Kaplan said. “He was one of the leading azalea authority in America during the first half of the 20th Century, and he worked for more than twenty-five years to breed a group of winter-hardy azaleas with large, colorful flowers, especially suited for the mid-Atlantic. These included the more than 400 Glenn Dale hybrids that he developed.”
Dr. Godfrey was internationally acclaimed for his research on rice and cotton. He was heavily involved in developing IPM to maintain the sustainability of California agriculture, seeking “to reduce the ‘footprint' of agriculture on the environment and society, and to advance the science of entomology and applied insect ecology.”
At UC Davis, he taught arthropod pest management and agricultural entomology. He developed IPM strategies for not only rice and cotton but for such field and vegetable crops as alfalfa, dry beans, timothy grass, melons, mint and onions.
A member of the entomology department since April 1991, Dr. Godfrey served as its vice chair in 2008, and also that year, as president of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America.
“Larry was an outstanding contributor to the department, not only as a researcher and teacher, but also in the effective ways that he connected with clientele through outreach,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “He was a member of our department's Executive Committee and I could always count on Larry for sound advice.”
“Being the two Davis faculty with agricultural entomology extension duties, Larry and I shared a lot over the last 25 years and he was my closest colleague in our department when he passed today,” said Extension entomologist and distinguished professor Frank Zalom, an IPM specialist and a past president of the Entomological Society of America. “I've always respected him for being quiet and humble despite his many accomplishments. He filled the shoes of several faculty members who retired before he came to Davis and he did his job exceptionally well. It's hard for me to imagine not having him nearby as the go-to entomologist for field crops, although his research, extension, and, most importantly his graduate students, will serve as his legacy for years to come.”
Said professor Jay Rosenheim: “Larry was a researcher who always placed the farmer's needs first. This is why he was so highly valued by California's growers of rice, alfalfa, cotton, and vegetable crops, and why his research program grew and grew over his years at Davis. He was also an excellent communicator, and epitomized the role of researcher/educator in the Land-Grant system. Despite his illness, he continued to work tirelessly on his pest management research, refusing to compromise on his commitments. His dedication to our profession was truly remarkable.”
Yolo County Farm Advisor Rachael Long, who collaborated with Dr. Godfrey on dry bean research, said: “He was an incredibly dedicated field crop entomologist and terrific colleague with team spirit, and his loss leaves a big hole in our lives and I'll miss him.”
“What I admired about Larry was his stoicism,” said former graduate student Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, now a postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina State University. “Nothing seemed to wear down his resolve.”
Dr. Godfrey, born July 7, 1956, grew up on an Indiana farm, and was a 1974 graduate of Salem (Ind.) High School. He received two entomology degrees from Purdue University, West Layfayette: his bachelor's degree in 1978 and his master's degree in 1980. He earned his doctorate in entomology in 1984 from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, studying with major professor Kenneth Yeargan. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta.
Said Yeargan: "As I stated in my letter of recommendation for Larry many years ago when he applied for the position at UC Davis, Larry was an outstanding 'synthesizer' of information. He had a knack for looking at a problem, thinking through all the ramifications, and coming up with logical, practical ways to approach the problem – and usually finding a solution. He will be missed by many." It was at the University of Kentucky where Larry met his wife-to-be, Kris Elvin, then a postdoctoral scholar.
Dr. Godfrey began his career as a product development specialist for Union Carbide Agricultural Products Co., Inc., Research Triangle, N.C., before joining the University of Nebraska's Department of Entomology from July 1987 to March 1991 as a research associate.
“Growing up on a farm in Indiana, I saw first-hand the ‘battles' that farmers and homeowners face trying to produce crops and grow landscape plants in competition with insects,” Dr. Godfrey recalled in an earlier interview. “I became fascinated with insects through the typical ‘bug-in-a-jar' hobby. A county Natural Resources Field Day cultivated my interest in entomology and this led to enrollment in the 4-H entomology project. By the time I was several years into the 4-H project, I was transporting a dozen wooden collection boxes full of pinned insects to the county fair.”
“My first summer job involved surveying for Japanese beetles as they progressed across Indiana. This was an invasive insect in the Midwest in the mid-1970s; this same insect is of serious concern now in California an invasive pest that could damage many crops—such as grapes—and ornamentals—such as roses.”
Dr. Godfrey was one of 24 founding members of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, appointed by then Secretary A.G. Kawamura of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to recommend “ways to mitigate non-native species' effects on resources throughout the state.” The goal: to protect California's environment, food systems, human health and economy from invasive and destructive pests, plants and diseases.
At UC Davis, Dr. Godfrey zeroed in on invasive insect and mite pests such as silverleaf whitefly, panicle rice mite, and rice water weevil. In addition, he targeted scores of pests, including alfalfa weevils, blue alfalfa aphids, spotted cucumber beetles, and two-spotted spider mites. He researched plant response to insect injury, refining economic thresholds.He also researched various pest management tactics, including biological control, reduced risk insecticides, mating disruption, cultural control, and host plant resistance.
Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Godfrey received the Excellence in IPM Award in 2005 from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (PBESA), followed by the PBESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension in 2010. Nationally, he was elected chair of ESA's Section F (crop protection) in 2002.
For many years, he served as the advisor to the UC Davis Linnaean Games teams, which won regional (PBESA) and national (ESA) championships in college-bowl type competitions involving insect questions. He himself was on the championship 1983 University of Kentucky team, the second annual Linnaean Games in the North Central Branch of ESA “where it all started,” he said. “It was a few years before the other branches started this competition and several years before they did it at the national meeting.”
As part of his Extension work, Dr. Godfrey wrote publications, regularly met with growers, and delivered scientific talks at workshops. He addressed the annual California Rice Field Day for 25 years and also spoke at alfalfa IPM workshops, among others. He was a subject editor for the Journal of Cotton Science and the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. In addition, Dr. Godfrey served on many departmental, college and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources committees.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 29 in Salem, Ind., where he grew up. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to pet rescue groups or groups that support young people interested in entomology or agriculture. A memorial and celebration of his life will take place at UC Davis in the near future.
He is survived by his wife, Kris Godfrey; his mother, Laura Godfrey; and sister, Carol Green and family. He was preceded in death by his father, Don Godfrey.
The UC Davis Linnaean Games Team has successfully defended its national championship.
The team, comprised of three UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology graduate students, defeated the University of Georgia in the championship round.
The annual Linnaean Games, sponsored by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), took place at ESA's recent meeting in Orlando, Fla., held in conjunction with the International Congress of Entomology meeting.
UC Davis team members are captain Ralph Washington, a third-year graduate student; Brendon Boudinot, a third-year graduate student; and Emily Bick, a second-year graduate student. They defeated the University of Georgia, the 2012 winner, in the championship match (score, UC Davis 145; Georgia, 55). The UC Davis entomologists earlier outscored Ohio State University, North Carolina State University (champions in 2014), and Texas A&M in advancing to the finals.
Washington is studying for his doctorate with major professors Steve Nadler and Brian Johnson, who respectively specialize in systematics and evolutionary biology of nematodes and the evolution, behavior, genetics, and health of honey bees; Boudinot with major professor Phil Ward, systematics and evolutionary biology of ants; and Bick, with major professor Christian Nansen. Bick is working on ecosystem models to optimize pest management in two systems: invasive aquatic weed species water hyacinth and its biological control agent, Neochetina bruchi; and working to control Lygus bugs using alfalfa as a trap crop in strawberries. UC Davis Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey serves as the advisor.
- Question: “You have just moved into an apartment that has been vacant for weeks but whose prior owners had several cats and dogs. A very few days after you move in you are bitten by a huge number of cat fleas that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. What characteristic behavior of cat fleas biology is probably responsible for this?”
Answer: “Cat flea pupae eclose in response to the presence of a host.”
Question: Insects inhabiting a very thin water film such as splash zones marginal to streams are called what?
- Question: The insect order Notoptera unites what two former insect orders?
Answer: Notoptera unites Mantophasmatodea and Grylloblattodea
- Question: What are the two obvious clinical symptoms that someone is suffering from onchocerciasis?
Answer: Blindness and hanging tissue around lymph nodes, often times the scrotum.
- Question: What is the common name for the zygentoman pest that thrives in high humidity and high temperatures and is often found in boiler rooms?
Answer: The firebrat, Thermobia domestica.
- Question: Projection neurons travel across what two major regions of the insect brain?
Answer: The protocerebrum and the deutocerebrum.
(Editor's Note: The video of the 2016 Linnaean Games' championship match will soon be posted on the ESA YouTube channel. Meanwhile, here's a link to the 2015 championship game, won by UC Davis. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL21ACF32985978D25
This was the inaugural meeting of the Grand Challenges in Entomology Initiative. ESA is committed to thinking and acting more globally, enhancing its influence by establishing a science policy program, identifying attainable challenges for entomology that could lead to sustainable solutions for some of the world's important insect-based problems, and more effectively communicating what entomologists do to improve the human condition. At the invitation-only Summit, the participants explored “three broad issues of major global importance to which entomology can make a unique and powerful contribution”:
- Sustainable agriculture – global hunger, food security, and natural resources preservation
- Public health related to vector-borne diseases
- Invasive insect species – global trade, biodiversity, and climate change
ESA president May Berenbaum, professor and department head, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Zalom welcomed the crowd.
Zalom co-chaired the Summit with
- Silvia Dorn, professor of applied entomology, ETH Zurich; past president of the Swiss Society of Phytomedicine; and fellow of the ESA, Royal Entomological Society, and International Society of Horticultural Sciences.
- Le Kang, director of the Institute of Zoology and president of Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences; current president of the Entomological Society of China; and fellow of ESA and TWAS (formerly Third World Academy of Sciences)
- Antônio R. Panizzi, senior scientist, Embrapa and professor, Federal University at Curitiba; and former president of the Entomological Society of Brazil
- John Pickett, Michael Elliott Distinguished Research Fellow at Rothamsted Research; immediate past president of the Royal Entomological Society; and fellow of ESA and Royal Entomological Society
Introductory comments on behalf of the co-chairs emphasized that “leadership meetings such as this one provide an opportunity for connectivity among the world's entomology societies."
This was the very first International Entomology Leadership Summit at an ICE meeting. It was aimed at connecting leaders from the entomological community worldwide and discussing how entomologists "can make unique and powerful contributions toward solving some of the world's insect-based problems, a goal that can be achieved only through collaborative, international efforts," officials said. The last ICE meeting held in the United States (Washngton, D.C.) took place 40 years ago.
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, co-chaired ICE 2016 with Alvin Simmons, research entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS), U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina.
Leal said that 6,682 delegates from 102 countries attended the historical ICE 2016 meeting in Orlando. “Alvin and I were very glad to hear about the level of satisfaction: 87 percent,” Leal said, adding that "we worked very hard to prepare for the Congress and promised it would be a historic event: mission accomplished!”