He's talking about bark beetles that attack forests. They “Come Together” but won't “Let It Be.”
Seybold, a research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and a lecturer with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will present the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house, “Bark Beetles and Trees, Forest Health in California,” from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 27.
The event is free and open to the public. The museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
“As of last winter, bark beetles had killed 102 million trees in California during the last drought period,” said Seybold, a Davis resident who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley and a bachelor of science degree in forestry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Tree mortality in the western USA over the past 15 years caused by native bark beetles exceeded 21 million hectares, which surpasses all other disturbances, including fire.”
Seybold is known for his pioneering research on the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, associated with widespread mortality of black walnut in the western United States.
“The Bohart Museum on Sunday will be Bark Beetle Forest Central,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Said Seybold: “We are planning to have a series of four to five ‘stations' that illustrate the mass attack of native bark beetles on pine and fir trees; the biology and impact of invasive species of bark beetles and woodborers; and the flight trapping and chemical ecology of bark beetles. We are also planning some craft activities for kids that involve the gallery patterns that bark beetles etch on wood during their life cycles.”
They will be joined by local environmental artist Ann Savageau, a mixed-media artist whose work includes creating sculptures from wood with gallery patterns on it. Savageau, who retired as a professor of design from UC Davis in 2002, is now a full-time artist. She describes her work as dealing with :the natural world, human culture and their intersections."
Seybold's scientific crew at the Bohart Museum on Sunday will include be Yigen Chen, former research entomologist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and now with Gallo Wines in Modesto, Jackson Audley and Corwin Parker, UC Davis entomologist graduate students; Irene Lona, graduate student at California State University, Chico; Megan Siefker, UC Davis junior specialist; and Crystal Homicz, UC Davis, undergraduate student.
Numerous Bohart Museum scientists and volunteers also will participate. “We'll have a family craft project that will deal with the beetle gallery,” Yang said.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It also maintains a live “petting zoo,” featuring walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas. A gift shop, open year around, offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
Science intrigues her, fulfills her, and propels her.
Rand, who is drawing widespread recognition for her work with omega-6 fatty acids as a postdoctoral researcher in Bruce Hammock's biological analytical lab at UC Davis, says science is both “exciting and rewarding.”
“Science and chemistry were my two favorite subjects in school,” said Rand, who was born in Bermuda but grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. “I had excellent teachers that really fueled my interest. It was their enthusiasm. I remember my eighth grade math teacher leaping up on a table to get her point across about the Pythagorean theorem, and my 11th grade chemistry teacher used memorable metaphors to explain challenging concepts. Both my parents were biologists, and growing up in Eastern Canada we went on many outdoor trips. The combination of motivational teachers and exploring the natural world fueled my interest to continue in science professionally.”
Rand thinks of science “as a way to connect with the world in many ways, by working to understand it better, collaborating with a network of scientists, and communicating science to the public. Science matters because of its diversity: it heals, transforms, innovates, and understands, all of which globally shape our world.”
Rand, who holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Mount Allison University, Canada and a doctorate in environmental chemistry at the University of Toronto, joined the Hammock lab in 2013 and was named a fellow on the Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology T32 Training Grant, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
In the Hammock lab, Rand studies omega-6 fatty acids, or technically, “the regulation of cancer angiogenesis from the metabolism of epoxy omega-6 fatty acids.”
How does Amy Rand explain to the average layperson what she does?
"Amy took on one of the most demanding projects in the laboratory in asking how a group of natural compounds regulate angiogenesis," said Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In April of 2016, Rand drew international accolades when she received a prestigious career development award from the American Association for Cancer Research—the two-year $100,000 Judah Folkman Fellowship for Angiogenesis Research. She won the highly competitive international award for her proposal, “Regulation of Cancer Angiogenesis from the Metabolism of Epoxy Omega-6 Fats.”
Cancer researchers praised her for her potential as a future leader in the field of angiogenesis research.
“We're so proud of her,” said Hammock, who directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.
Hammock and Rand collaborate with Harvard Medical School professor Dipak Panigrahy, former researcher in the Hammock lab and a fellow in the late Professor Judah Folkman's angiogenesis research lab. Folkman, the father of angiogenesis research, is best known for pioneering the concept of blocking angiogenesis or the development of blood vessels, to control cancer growth. "This concept has resulted in a number of anti-cancer drugs and has had a major impact on cancer treatment,” Hammock said. “Of course blood vessel development is also critical for survival."
Looking back, Rand related that her Ph.D research “focused on our exposure to fluorinated commercial materials, their resulting metabolism, and how the metabolites might affect our health. 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. I've always been interested in research that combines chemistry and biology to enhance our understanding of human health.”
Rand encourages students to follow their dreams, to pursue what interests them, “if they're able, regardless the subject. I wouldn't be where I am without balancing science with other parts of my life, like performing music during graduate school, which allowed me to come back to the lab with fresh inspiration for next steps. But we need to motivate people, especially minorities, to continue in science, because people from different backgrounds and experiences are necessary for creating a collective mind that does effective scientific research and innovation.”
When she started her postdoctoral research, moving across the continent to Davis, she knew few people. “Within a short time, I fell into a great community of people at the local climbing gym, that have sparked many outdoor adventures - climbing, backpacking, swimming, and skiing - over the past 3 years. Living in Northern California has been a real treat!”
She also has a soft spot for entomology. “Growing up, I used to swim insects to shore if I found them floating far from it - I was alarmed to see them nearly drowning, and did my part to help. That might have been what initiated my future role as lifeguard and swimmer.”
Hammock says his own long-term interest in nature and biology “was fostered by a wonderful scoutmaster who thought kids should be wandering in the woods, and a great biology teacher who provided a microscope to me in high school and said 'go discover.' The move to entomology was further stimulated when I realized that the big cause of human suffering in the world was starvation caused in part by insects eating crops. It was also stimulated by realizing that insect-borne diseases dwarf cancer, heart disease, etc., in terms of human suffering. It is hard to know where science leads.”
As for where science leads, Rand has just accepted a position as assistant professor of organic toxicology in the chemistry department, Carleton University in Ontario. She starts her position Sept. 1.
“We really hate to lose her,” Hammock said, “but we're happy for her; this is a really nice position. And, we'll still be collaborating.”
"I hope we collaborate for the next 80 years or so," he quipped.
Newly published research by a seven-member international team of scientists, including UC Davis agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen, points out the dilemma that rice farmers in Bangladesh and elsewhere in Asia are facing: Should we increase fertilizer inputs on our rice fields to maximize yields but then also increase the risk of a pest outbreak by the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens? The planthopper is a major pest of rice in Asia, and it is resistant to many of the available insecticides.
Their research, “Higher Fertilizer Inputs Increase Fitness Traits of Brown Planthopper in Rice,” published July 5 in Scientific Reports of the journal Nature,” is online at http://rdcu.be/tWnE.
“This study underscores the importance of considering crop fertilization as a component of integrated pest management,” said Nansen, whose role included analyzing the data collected in Bangladesh and co-authoring the research paper. “That is, the management practices, including fertilizer regimes, impact the risk of pest outbreaks--just like the risk of humans falling ill is affected by our diet, the same applies to crop plants!”
In their research, conducted in Bangladesh, the scientists investigated the effects of three principal fertilizer components--nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium—on the development of potted rice plants and their effects on fitness traits of the brown planthopper.
“Compared to low fertilizer inputs, high fertilizer treatments induced plant growth but also favored brown planthopper development,” the scientists wrote in their abstraction. “The brown planthopper had higher survival, developed faster, and the intrinsic rate of natural increase was higher on well-fertilized than under-fertilized plants. Among the fertilizer inputs, nitrogen had the strongest effect on the fitness traits of brown planthopper.”
Rice, the primary food stable for more than half of the world's population, is cultivated in at least 114—mostly developing—countries. More than 100 million households in Asia and Africa derive their income from rice production. However, due to the growing population's increased demand for more rice, and limited land for production, yields must increase by at least 70 percent over the next three decades, Nansen said. “In many developing countries, increased use of fertilizers is a response to increase demand for rice.”
Nansen is an assistant professor with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Entomology, and an affiliate of Bangladesh Rice Institute and the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, China. He uses his international expertise to zero in on more sustainable farming systems, better food production and fewer pesticides.
Five members of the team are based at the Bangladesh Rice Institute in Gazipur, Bangladesh: M. P. Ali, M. M. Rashid, N. Ahmed, M. Jahan, and K. S. Islam. Co-author J. L. Willers is with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Southern Insect Management Research Unit, Stoneville, Missouri.
Over the past decade, yield losses substantially decreased in Asia due to a widespread outbreak of the brown planthopper, the researchers said.1 For example, the Central Plains of Thailand sustained persistent planthopper outbreaks for 10 consecutive growing seasons from 2008 to 2012, with losses worth $52 million or equivalent to about 173,000 tons in 2010. The same pest was responsible for losses of around 1 million tons in Vietnam in 2007, and resulted in a government freeze on rice exports.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and Steve Elliott, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, both affiliated with the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, will receive the awards at the annual ACE conference, set June 13-16 in New Orleans.
Judges awarded Kathy Keatley Garvey:
- A silver award (second place) for a photo series entitled the "Predator and the Pest: What's for Dinner?" on her Bug Squad post on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website on Oct. 3, 2016. Her series showed a praying mantis eating a cabbage white butterfly. Judges commented" "Definitely tell a story, interesting angles and good macro technique. Caught in the moment, but has a still life feel to it, like it's a diorama in a museum and we get to look at the scene from all sides. A unique look and good capture. "
- A bronze award (third place) for her feature photo, "Save the Monarchs," posted Aug. 8, 2016 on her Bug Squad blog. It showed a monarch clinging to a finger. Judges commented "The detail in this photo is incredible. The lighting on the hand against the black background is definitely striking. And it makes the white spots on the monarch pop! Beautiful!"
- A bronze award (third place) for blog writing on her Bug Squad blog posted Sept. 6 and entitled "A WSU-Tagged Monarch: What a Traveler!" Judges wrote: "Short and sweet and to the point. Perfect for web reading. The photo is so helpful to the reader. The call to action at the end is a plus and not something I've seen on other entries. Fabulous use of social media to extend the reach of the article, too. "
Judges awarded Steve Elliott:
- A gold (first place) award for promotional writing for his story, "Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work. published in the newsletter, Western Front. Judges scored his work 100 out of a possible 100. They wrote: "You had me at Rodney Dangerfield. Very creative, the lead drew me right in wanting to read more. Excellent flow, packed with information in a narrative style. Congratulations on the terrific analytics for the newsletter."
- A bronze (third place) for his photo essay, "Loving the Land of Enchantment." Judges wrote: " Good variety of shot sizes which keeps it interesting. Diversity of stories along with photo content is engaging, and sticking to the IPM theme helps. There is so too much text info that it was difficult wade through. The words compliment the photos instead of the usual where the story supersedes the photos."
They also won ACE awards last year: Garvey, a gold, two silvers and a bronze, and Elliott, a silver.
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center is funded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to promote the development, adoption and evaluation of integrated pest management, a safer way to manage pests. The Western IPM Center works to create a healthier West with fewer pests. It is located in the UC ANR Building in Davis.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, headquartered in Briggs Hall, is affiliated with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The department is globally ranked No. 7 in the world.
The poster competition, open to graduate students throughout the country, drew 14 posters that focused on bees and/or pollination. It is a traditional part of the symposium, hosted by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The event took place in the UC Davis Conference Center.
Brand, who joined the Ramirez lab in 2013, received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, and then went on to pursue his master's degree there, studying the evolutionary history and the patterns of selection of olfactory receptor genes in a pair of sister lineages of euglossine bees.
"Pheromone communication has long been known to play a central role in the origin and evolution of species diversity throughout the tree of life," he wrote in the introduction on his poster. "What are the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms that control pheromone variation and signal detection?"
Other winners were:
- Second place, $750; Jacob Peters, Harvard University, “Self-Organization of Collective Nest Ventilation by Honey Bees”
- Third place, $500; John Mola, UC Davis, “Fire Induced Change in Flowering Phenology Benefits Bumble Bees"
- Fourth place, $250; Devon Picklum, University of Nevada, Reno, “Floral Visitation and pollen Deposition Bombus- Pollinated Dodecatheon Apinum and Pedicularis Groenlandica in the Sierra Nevada”
Judges were Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology; and two symposium speakers, keynote speaker Steve Sheppard, Thurber Professor of Entomology at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash, and Stacey Combes, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior.
Sheppard's address on “Bees, Mushrooms and Liquid Nitrogen… What?” reflected the broad spectrum of his research from expanding the genetic pool of honey bees to health-related aspects of mushroom slurry. Other speakers included Margaret Lombard, chief executive officer of the National Honey Board, and Maj Rundlof of Lund University, Sweden, an International Career Grant Fellow at UC Davis. Michael Karle discussed the new Food and Drug Administration rules concerning the use of antibiotics in bee colonies.
Another highlight of the symposium was the awards ceremony honoring the first class of apprentice-level master beekeepers from the UC Davis-based program. More than 50 apprentices received their first-level pins from instructors Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist, and apiarist Bernardo Niño.
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, and Neal Williams, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired the event. Williams served as emcee.
The 2018 Bee Symposium will feature keynote speaker Thomas Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and author of the widely acclaimed book, Honey Bee Democracy.