The award will be presented at the college's Celebration of Advising Reception, set from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 2 in the Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Theater, Old Davis Road. Also honored will be student advisor Emma Martinez of the Student Affairs Officer, Animal Science.
The committee was especially impressed with Yang's focus on student diversity, his efforts in helping students link their academic studies to research and other career goals, and his innovative programs working with high school students and connecting these students with undergraduate and graduate student mentors, said Sue Ebeler, the CA&ES associate dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs.
“His tremendous contributions in advising students seeking to expand their research experience, and programmatic development to enhance such opportunities have helped change the face of undergraduate education in our department,” wrote nominator Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Nadler described him as a gifted teacher, mentor and scientist who has been instrumental in influencing the lives of many undergraduates.
Yang, who holds a bachelor's degree (ecology and evolution) from Cornell University, 1999, received his doctorate from UC Davis in 2006, and joined the UC Davis faculty in 2009. He is one of the co-founders of the campuswide Research Scholars in Insect Biology (RSPIB) with professors Jay Rosenheim and Joanna Chiu. The program's goal is to provide academically strong and highly motivated undergraduates with a multi-year research experience that cultivates skills that will prepare them for a career in biological research.
In addition to his RSPIB mentoring, Yang mentors many undergraduates in his lab. He has welcomed and mentored students from UC Davis and from around the country with the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (Natalie Gonzalez and Jacob Penner) and the UC Davis-Howard University Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Ecology & Evolution Graduate Admissions Pathways (EEGAP) program (Kabian Ritter).
In the past year, Yang mentored 15 undergrads in his lab. The studies involved:
- The nonconsumptive effects on monarch development to see if parasitoid avoidance behaviors in early development have a long-term cost for monarch development.
- the factors that contribute to herbivory by generalist herbivores on milkweed.
- the effects of a recently observed plant foliar fungal pathogen on milkweed on monarch growth and development.
- the costs of switching milkweed species for monarch larvae.
- The density dependence in larval and adult blue milkweed beetles
- the fractionation of H and O isotopes from water to milkweeds to monarchs, using three species of native California milkweeds reared with water from two distinct isotopic sources
Yang also launched the Monitoring Milkweed-Monarch Interactions for Learning and Conservation (MMMILC) Project in 2013 for high school students in the environmental science program at Davis Senior High School or those associated with the Center for Land-Based Learning's GreenCorps program. They monitor milkweed-monarch interactions in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Yang and UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students serve as mentors.
“The goal of the MMMILC Project is to better understand the ecology of milkweeds and monarch butterflies,” Yang explains on his website. “We are particularly focused on understanding the role of seasonal timing (phenology) on the interactions between milkweeds and monarchs…While this project is centered around milkweed-monarch interactions, we are really interested in all of the creatures that interact with milkweed. The ecological community of surrounding milkweeds includes lots of fascinating species interactions, and we are interested in understanding how those interactions are connected over time.”
MMMILC accomplishments include weekly measurements on 318 plants for 8 months/year; approximately 89 participants spent 24,000 field minutes; about 30,000 plant and 1100 monarch measurements; and weekly data quality checks and internal cross-validation
Yang strongly supports student diversity, under-represented groups, and graduate education. Two of his undergrads were supported by a supplemental Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), including one Latina. He has mentored grad students from the Entomology Grad Group, the Grad Group in Ecology and the Pop Bio Grad Group. He serves on many guidance, exam and advising committees. He also has participated in mentoring workshops at the Center for Population Biology.
Also noted for his teaching and research, Yang was nominated by the Associated Students of UC Davis in 2012 for an Excellence in Education Award. He received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award of $600,000 in 2013.
"The award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the world, nation, state and/or local community through distinguished public service," according to awards committee chair Hollis Skaife, professor, Graduate School of Management. "The Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award is based on our recognition of university's tradition of excellence in public service and demonstrates the commitment of the Davis campus to continuing this tradition."
An awards reception will be scheduled in the spring quarter for Zalom; Nolan Zane, professor of Asian-American Studies; and Christine Kreuder Johnson, professor, Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine.
Zalom joins previous UC Davis entomology recipients Lynn Kimsey (2016), James Carey (2015) and Robert Washino (2012).
Zalom, who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, joined the UC Davis faculty in 1980 as the Extension IPM coordinator for the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) and then served as the UC IPM director for 16 years before returning to the Department of Entomology in 2002.
Zalom is a past president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the service-oriented Entomology Foundation. Highly honored by his peers, he 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 is also a past president of the Pacific Branch of ESA, which encompasses 11 states, U.S. territories, plus parts of Canada and Mexico.
Zalom pioneered ESA's Grand Challenges in Entomology Initiative, aimed at encouraging entomologists to think and act more globally by identifying attainable challenges for entomology that could lead to sustainable solutions for some of the world's important insect-based problems. One outcome: he helped organize and co-chaired the “Summit on the Aedes aegypti Crisis in the Americas” that met in March 2016 in Maceio, Brazil--coincidentally at the height of the Zika virus outbreak. The initiative brought together more than 70 researchers, public health officials, entomologists, vector control experts, and representatives from NGOs and government agencies from throughout the hemisphere to identify immediate steps to create long-term and sustainable solutions.
Zalom 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. More than 150 invited leaders of entomology societies from around the world attended the summit and collaborated on how to identify and resolve major entomological issues, in order to make powerful contributions to improve the human condition.
Known nationally and globally for his IPM leadership, Zalom co-chaired the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities' National IPM Committee (NIPMCC) from 1999-2015. This committee of IPM leaders from across the country helped establish a vision for collaborations between universities and agencies including U.S. EPA and USDA to advance IPM for agricultural and urban stakeholders. The NIPMCC conceived and co-organized the first four National IPM Symposia, which later became the International IPM Symposium. These meetings, held every three years since 1989, with more than 700 participants attending from more than 25 countries, serve to advance IPM for sustainable agriculture, urbana dwellers and natural ecosyems.
“Dr. Zalom strongly supports youth science education,” wrote nominator Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Zalom served as member of the Board of Counselors of the Entomological Foundation for eight years and then as its president in 2015. The foundation is a national, not-for-profit organization that “envisions a generation of action-oriented youth who investigate the critical role of insects in the environment.” The Foundation stimulates and sustains interest in science through insects by developing and delivering educational programs for grades K-12. It also rewards excellence in insect science and education by recognizing science educators.
“He is also a strong advocate of STEM education,” Nadler said. “His actions speak as loudly as his words as he has mentored eight consecutive women PhD students in the entomology graduate group.” All went on to receive academic positions or leadership positions in private industry. For his work and dedication, he received the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2013 from the UC Davis Consortium for Women in Research.
Zalom lends his expertise for community engagement on invasive species. He was a member of the Governor's Exotic Pest Eradication Task Force from 1994 to 1999. A decade later, he advocated against the use of aerial spraying of the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay communities to eradicate the light brown apple moth. He led a study of the regulatory actions surrounding the eradication effort that culminated in the 2013 report, “Community Perceptions of Emergency Responses to Invasive Species in California,” that was presented to top USDA administrators in Washington D.C.
In addition, Zalom was part of the European Grape Vine Moth (EGVM) Team that recommended technical approaches to contain the invasive EGVM in northern California's winegrowing regions and suggestions for a regulatory agency approach to engage affected local communities in control efforts. The team received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources for this program.
Texas A&M University is recognizing his work in IPM by presenting him with the 2017 Perry Adkisson Distinguished Speaker Award.
The title of her seminar is "Mechanisms of Resistance in Poplar Against the Asian Longhorned Beetle and its Gut Symbionts."
Hoover received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1997.
"Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabripennis, is a polyphagous, tree-killing wood borer, reported to attack a broad range of deciduous tree species, including poplar," she writes in her abstract. "Yet in the invasive range of North America and Europe, poplars are usually avoided even when they are abundant. Populus species produce salicinoids (phenolic glycosides) that have properties known to reduce feeding and cause gut lesions in foliage-feeding herbivores such as gypsy moth."
"We hypothesized that these compounds may confer resistance to ALB and help explain the feeding and attack patterns in the field in both the native and introduced range of ALB. Concentrations of salicinoids normally found in bark deterred adult feeding, but low doses of salicinoids did not inhibit feeding and resulted in dramatic effects on beetle fitness. Diversity of gut fungal and microbial symbionts and abundance of the key gut fungal symbiont were affected as well."
"In Southern China, the beetle did not exhibit a feeding preference between willow and maple, but like the invasive populations in the U.S. and Europe, beetles would not feed on and seldom attack poplar, yet in Northern China poplar plantations are often heavily attacked by ALB," Hoover related. "ALB-host interactions appear to be complex and it is possible that there are differences in geographic populations of ALB in tolerance to salicinoids. These studies will be repeated this summer in Northern China and Inner Mongolia. Understanding the mechanistic differences between geographic populations of ALB will contribute to developing control measures for this destructive wood-borer."
The department's winter-quarter seminars, coordinated by assistant professor Christian Nansen, take place every Wednesday through March 15. All are held from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. See seminar schedule.
Professor Jared Shaw of the UC Davis Division of Math and Physical Science is hosting the informal session. Free and open to all interested persons, it is sponsored by the Capital Science Communicators and the UC Davis Department of Chemistry. Science Café events take place in casual settings and aim to feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic.
Chiu, an associate professor who specializes in molecular genetics of animal behavior, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in June 2010. She received her doctorate in molecular genetics from the Department of Biology at New York University.
"All living things on our planet, from bacteria to humans, organize their daily activities around the perpetuating 24-hour day-night cycles, the result of earth rotating on its own axis and orbiting around the sun," Chiu says. "In order for organisms to anticipate predictable variations in their environment that naturally occurs over the 24-hour cycle and coordinate their physiology and behavior to perform at their best, they rely on an internal biological clock. At the science cafe presentation, I will discuss how this internal clock, termed the circadian clock, affects many important aspects of our lives, including the timing of when we feel tired and want to go to bed, the time-of-day our immune systems are most susceptible to pathogen attack, and even when medicines should be taken to give you 'the most bang for your buck.'" In addition, I will discuss the consequences of when the circadian clock is 'broken' or 'off-kilter' because of diseases, work-schedule, jetlag, and light pollution."
Chiu will be featured on Capital Public Radio's "Insight with Beth Ruyak" from 9 to 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 7. See http://www.capradio.org/insight)
The inaugural California Honey Festival, set Saturday, May 6 in downtown Woodland, promises to be both educational and entertaining, says coordinator Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will stretch four blocks on Main Street and side streets. It is free and open to the public.
Visitors will learn about bees, honey and beekeeping; sample honey; taste mead at the Mead Speakeasy; listen to live entertainment, and browse the many booths, including six UC Davis exhibits: Department of Entomology and Nematology, Bohart Museum of Entomology, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (a bee friendly garden), Art-Science Fusion Program, graduate students (research posters), and the California Master Beekeeper Program, managed by the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
Beekeepers will compete for prizes and bragging rights in the Wildflower Honey Contest (submissions are due March 15). See http://californiahoneyfestival.com/honey-contest/
The event is coordinated by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. Sponsors include the National Honey Board, the American Beekeeping Federation.
“The California Honey Festival's mission is to promote honey, honey bees and their products, and beekeeping through this unique educational platform, to the broader public,” said Harris. “The scope of the event includes a culinary stage, a garden stage, a speakers' forum in the Woodland Opera House, kids' zone, live entertainment and loads of vendors and food. In addition, restaurants in Woodland will have honey centric menus and drinks enhanced with honey. Mead anyone? We have a Mead Speakeasy with five meaderies already signed up.”
Margaret Lombard, chief executive officer of the National Honey Board, based in Firestone, Colo., will be among those speaking on the Beekeeper Stage, one of five stages at the festival.
Among the other speakers:
- Billy Synk, director of Pollination Programs for Project Apis m., Paso Robles, and former manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility;
- Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist based in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
- Vicki Wojcik, research director of Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco
- Gene Brandi of Gene Brandi Apiaries, Los Banos (he is active in the California State Beekeepers' Association, the American Beekeeping Federation and the National Honey Board)
On the culinary stage will be Marie Simmons of Eugene, Ore., an award-winning cookbook author, food writer and story teller; Frank Golbeck, CEO of Golden Coast Mead, San Diego; Toby Barajas, executive chef at Savory Café on Main Street, Woodland; and Casey Willard, executive chef for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Capay Valley.
Sharing the Gardening Stage will be Ellen Zagory, director of horticulture; UC Davis Arboretum; and Chris Casey, program representative for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, located on Bee Biology Road.
Among the entertainers, as of Feb. 24: Mike Blanchard and the Californios, City of Trees Brass Band, Boca do Rio, Joe Craven and the Sometimers, Jared Johnson, Hannah Mayree, and the Gold Souls.
Education platforms will feature the Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel, a project of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center; a bee demonstration hive; and posters on pollinators, the life cycle of bees, and bee threats, including pesticides, pests and pathogens.
Vendors will include beekeepers, bee clubs, honey packers, beekeeping supplies, crafts people, food vendors, Harris said. She is seeking volunteers to help with the festival; she may be reached at email@example.com or 530-754-9301. In addition, there's still time to fill out a vendor application form; sign up for educational and entertainment activities, and become a sponsor.
It will be a busy weekend, Harris said, noting that the third annual UC Davis Bee Symposium, "Keeping Bees Healthy," will take place on Sunday, May 7 in the UC Davis Conference Center, the day after the California Honey Festival. The educational program is designed for beekeepers of all experience levels, including gardeners, farmers and anyone interested in the world of pollination and bees. The event will include speakers, displays of graduate student research posters, the latest in beekeeping equipment, books, honey, plants, "and much more," Harris said.
Keynote speaker at the Bee Symposium is Steve Sheppard, Thurber Professor of Apiculture and chair of the Department of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman. Among the other speakers: Santiago Ramirez of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology; Extension apiculturist Elina Nino of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; Maj Rundlof of the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden, and Margaret Lombard, National Honey Board, based in Firestone, Colo. Registration begins March 1 at http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2017-bee-symposium.