His abstract: "His abstract: "Plant infections by root-knot nematodes and the soil-borne fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum, which causes vascular wilt, either alone or in disease complexes, result in serious crop losses. Our analyses of host resistance in cowpea and cotton genomes has revealed a rich resource of resistance factors to both pathogens, which are being used in breeding programs for crop improvement."
Of his research, Roberts says: "My research focuses on the integrated management of plant parasitic nematodes. A major emphasis is placed on the identification, characterization, and development of host plant resistance to root-knot nematodes for genetic improvement of crops. Current work includes studies of resistance gene inheritance, development of gene markers, genome mapping, and gene transfer."
He organizes his research on the genetic resistance and associated traits in crop plants to root-knot nematodes in the areas of:
- identifying new sources of resistance genes;
- nature, inheritance and molecular characterization of resistance genes;
- introgressing resistance for breeding line and crop improvement for warm/arid environments using classical and novel techniques;
- assessing and implementing resistant and tolerant lines and cultivars in the field in appropriate cropping systems; and
- studying variability of parasitic specificity within and between nematode species
Host is Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. This is the department's last seminar of the fall quarter.
The event, free and open to the public and family friendly, is an annual open house focusing on parasitoids.
"An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum. "It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies."
Among the presentations or topics:
- Bohart Museum senior museum scientist Steve Heydon, a world authority on Pteromalids, or jewel wasps, a group of tiny parasitoids.
- Entomology PhD student Jessica Gillung who researches the Acroceridae family "a remarkable group of endoparasitoids of spiders."
- Diagnostic parasitologist Lauren Camp of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, is an authority on nematodes.
- Family craft activity is a pop-up card, featuring a monarch chrysalis and a fly, suitable for mailing to friends and family during the holiday season.
There are some 3,450 described species of Pteromalids, found throughout the world and in virtually all habitats. Many are important as biological control agents.
Members of the Acroceridae are "rare and elusive flies lay the eggs on the ground or vegetation, and the little larva is in charge of finding itself a suitable host," Gillung said. "Upon finding the host, the larva enters its body and feeds inside until it's mature to come outside and pupate. They eat everything from the spider; nothing is wasted."
Her dissertation involves "the evolution and systematics of Acroceridae, focusing on understanding host usage patterns and trends in morphological variation."
Lauren Camp, who received her doctorate from UC Davis, studying with major professor Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will display a variety of nematodes amd answer questions.
She describes nematodes in one word as "worms" and in expanding, “Nematodes are an amazing phylum of organisms--they exist in almost every known environment on the planet, and different species eat everything from bacteria and fungi to plant and animal tissue."
"I find parasites particularly fascinating, because they are dependent on another organism (or organisms) for part or all of their life cycle," Camp said.
Tachinid flies, which lay their eggs in caterpillars and chrysalids, will be on display, along with the remains of its hosts. It is used as a biological control agent for some pests. But those who rear monarch butterflies consider it their enemy when it lays eggs in their caterpillars and chrysalids.
The late UC Davis entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) researched Strepsiptera, or twisted-wing parasites, for his doctorate in 1938. Both the Bohart Museum and an entire family of Strepsiptera, the Bohartillidae, are named in honor of Professor Bohart.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold some of the insects and photograph them. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum holds special open houses throughout the academic year. Its 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.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Tabatha Yang at email@example.com.
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.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology of UC Davis is hosting an open house on “Parasite Palooza: Botflies, Fleas and Mites, Oh, My” from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane.
Senior public health biologist Mike Niemala of the California Department of Public Health, who received his master of science degree from UC Davis, will participate in the three-hour open house, discussing ticks and other health issues, and handing out fliers and brochures.
Nematologist Lauren Camp, who received her doctorate in December, will head the program on nematodes. She studied with major professor Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
"Nematodes are a large group (phylum) of roundworms," she said. "Most nematodes are not parasites, but people may be familiar with some of the parasitic species. Some well-known nematode parasites of humans are pinworm, Ascaris, hookworm, and guinea worm. Dogs and cats can also become infected with nematodes including heartworm, hookworm, or Toxocara."
Camp, who grew up in rural northern Indiana, received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Chicago (2005) and her master's degree in biology from Wake Forest University (2007). As a graduate student at UC Davis, she focused her work on the evolutionary relationships and genetic diversity of Baylisascaris procyonis, a nematode parasite of raccoons. Her career plans: a researcher in infectious diseases or genetics/genomics or as a science communicator.
"I first became interested in parasites during my undergrad degree at the University of Chicago," she said. "My specific interest in nematode parasites developed when I read some of Dr. Nadler's work on the evolutionary relationships of nematodes for an invertebrate biology class. Nematodes are an amazing phylum of organisms- they exist in almost every known environment on the planet, and different species eat everything from bacteria and fungi to plant and animal tissue. I find parasites particularly fascinating, because they are dependent on another organism (or organisms) for part or all of their life cycle."
Also scheduled to participate: Adrienne Mora, a National Science Foundation postodoctoral research fellow in the UC Davis lab of Andy Sih, Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Mora studies trematode parasites, that she says, "behaviorally manipulate their fish hosts to perform strange behaviors that make them more likely to be eaten by final host bird predators."
Free and Open to the Public
The Bohart event, free and open to the public, will also spotlight such arthropod parasites as lice, mites, and bed bugs. The family craft activity will focus on origami paper hats; attendees can make and can attach stickers of parasites.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, 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, includes 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.
Lewis is recognized as a global leader in using nematodes as biological agents, said nematologist Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Lewis will receive the award at PBESA's 100th annual meeting, “Science for the Next Century,” set April 3-6 in Honolulu. PBESA is comprised of 11 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming), parts of Canada and Mexico, and seven U.S. territories.
Lewis is now an applicant for the national IPM award, to be presented by ESA at its September meeting in Orlando, Fla.
IPM specialist Frank Zalom, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology and a past president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America, praised “Ed's outstanding contributions to our state, national and global agricultural research.”
“Ed's work involves five of our state's 10 most valued commodities: almonds, a $5.9 billion crop, strawberries, $2.5 billion; walnuts, $1.8 billion; tomatoes, $1.6 billion and pistachios, $1.6 billion (2014 statistics),” said Zalom, a past recipient of the Pacific Branch and national IPM awards. “Also in 2014, California's agricultural exports amounted to $21.59 billion in value. Thus, in many respects, California feeds the world, and Ed's research is integral to controlling insects and nematodes.”
“Dr. Lewis has one of the most diversified research programs that I have known,” Nadler said. “He collaborates regularly with many different constituencies ranging from small startup companies to various commodity boards in order to take information from basic laboratory research and apply it to field situations. What ties together many of these projects is biological control of pest organisms with a focus on sustainability and integrated pest management.”
“Dr. Lewis' lab has been instrumental in using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) to implement biological control of a large variety of insect pests,” Nadler pointed out. “His research with these nematodes has focused on investigating the ecological factors that relate to host-finding, persistence in soil, and their efficacy in field situations.”
In addition to understanding factors that influence nematode success, the Lewis laboratory “has worked to understand how other approaches, such as novel fertilizers, can work in combination to increase plant productivity,” Nadler said.
“Few scientists working with EPNs have designed and implemented such detailed and relevant studies to characterize what happens to nematodes under field conditions,” Nadler noted. “Importantly, use of EPNs to control naval orangeworm is effective and can reduce the need for pesticide applications.”
Research entomologist David Shapiro-Ilan of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service said that Lewis' research has “contributed immensely to the disciplines of entomology and IPM.”
“Dr. Lewis has clearly emerged as a world leader in research and application of entomopathogenic nematodes or EPNs,” said Shapiro-Ilan.
A native of New York, Lewis received his doctorate in entomology in 1991 from Auburn (Ala.) University and then accepted postdoctoral positions at Rutgers University and the University of Maryland. He then moved to Virginia Tech to join the entomology faculty there.
Lewis joined the UC Davis faculty in 2004. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal Biological Control. He is also known for teaching two highly popular classes at UC Davis: “Behavioral Ecology of Insects” and “Biological Control of Agricultural Pests.”