May 12, 2011
DAVIS--Honey bee geneticist Robert E. Page Jr., emeritus professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is the newly appointed vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University, effective July 1.
ASU Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth D. Capaldi announced the appointment May 11.
Page's responsibilities will encompass student academic affairs, faculty development, promotion of research, and the planning and implementation of degree programs for a college that has nearly 18,000 undergraduate and more than 2,500 graduate students, according to an ASU news release. He also will be responsible for budgeting, planning, fundraising and personnel decisions.
Page, who received his doctorate in entomology at UC Davis in 1980, served as an assistant professor at Ohio State University before joining the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 1989. He chaired the department for five years, from 1999 to 2004.
Page's specialized genetic stock of honey bees is based at UC Davis. Bee breeder-geneticist Michael “Kim” Fondrk, who worked with Page at Ohio State University, UC Davis and ASU, manages the stock.
In 2004--the year Page retired from UC Davis--ASU recruited him as the founding director and dean of the School of Life Sciences, an academic unit within CLAS. At the time, his duties included organizing three departments—biology, microbiology and botany, totaling more than 600 faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff--into one unified school.
As its founding director, Page established the school as a platform for discovery in the biomedical, genomic and evolutionary and environmental sciences. He also established ASU's Honey Bee Research Facility.
In a news release written by ASU's Carol Hughes, ASU president Michael M. Crow praised him as “ideally suited to head the university's core academic unit.”
”Rob Page has a track record of academic, scientific and administrative excellence and has exhibited strategic vision in organizing faculties into a school without disciplinary boundaries,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “That is the type of experience and achievement that makes him ideally suited to head the university's core academic unit.”
“Rob has been a strong leader of one of the largest units in CLAS,” said Provost Capaldi, “and has shown he can bridge many disciplines, bring faculty together, innovate in curriculum and instruction, and build excellence."
Said Page: “I have been privileged this past seven years to be part of the transformation of Arizona State University under President Crow's vision and leadership. The School of Life Sciences was the first experiment in the new school-centric model and offered many challenges and rewards. I look forward to taking what I have learned and advancing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, certainly one of the largest and most complex colleges, anywhere.”
The college's all-funds budget for the current fiscal year is $282 million, and research expenditures in the college for the 12-month period ending Jan. 31 totaled more than $112 million.
An internationally recognized scholar, Page is an elected foreign member of the Brazilian Academy of Science, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the oldest scientific academy of science, the Germany Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He was elected to Leopoldina, founded in 1652, for his pioneering research in behavioral genetics of honey bees.
UC Davis entomology professor James R. Carey, who continues to work with Page on reserach projects, describes him as "one of the most gifted scientists, administrators, and teachers I have had the privilege to know in 30 years in academia.”
Page is the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, the highest honor given by the German government to foreign scientists. His publications total more than 200 scientific papers, nine general media articles, 23 book chapters and review articles. He also co-edited three books and co-authored a textbook.
Page is a highly cited author on such topics as Africanized bees, genetics and evolution of social organization, sex determination, and division of labor in insect societies
(Editor's Note: Carol Hughes of ASU”S College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is the lead author of this news release)
Reproductive Ground Plan' for Honey Bees That Began at UC Davis Is Featured in Science
Honey Bee Geneticist Robert Page Elected to Prestigious Germany Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Honey Bee Stock Heading Back to UC Davis
Arizona State University News Release
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Gary, who received his doctorate in entomology (apiculture) from Cornell University, served as a professor at the University of California, Davis for 32 years, retiring in 1994.
Now 76, he's been a beekeeper for 62 years and a researcher for more than three decades. He's published more 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and four book chapters.
His research on honey bees is well known. Among his accomplishments: he invented a magnetic retrieval capture/recapture system for studying the foraging activities of bees, documenting the distribution and flight range in the field.
He's also well known as a "bee wrangler"--he trains bees to perform action scenes in movies, television shows and commercials. His credits over the last 35 years include 18 films, including “Fried Green Tomatoes”; more than 70 television shows, including the Johnny Carson and Jay Leno shows; six commercials, and hundreds of live Thriller Bee Shows in the Western states.
Gary will appear Thursday, Sept. 16 on a History Channel show wearing 75,000 bees. The show, part of Stan Lee's “Super Humans,” is scheduled to be broadcast at 10 p.m., Pacific Time (Channel 64 for local Comcast viewers in the Davis area).
Host-presenter Daniel Browning Smith has billed him as “the human bee hive” and will explore bee behavior and the science behind the bees.
A crew from England filmed Gary in mid-May at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis; at Rick Schubert's Bee Happy Apiaries in Vacaville-Winters; and then in a UC Davis open field where the 75,000 bees clustered his entire body.
“That's about 20 pounds, depending upon how much honey or sugar syrup they have consumed,” Gary said. “A hungry bee weighs approximately 90 mg and within a minute of active ingestion she can increase her weight to 150 mgs!”
We watched the entire process. Amazing. Simply amazing.
“Bees are not inclined to sting if they are well fed—happy and content—and are ‘under the influence' of powerful synthetic queen bee odors—pheromones—which tend to pacify them,” Gary said.
Bees are attracted to pheromones and they cluster on drops of pheromones he places on himself. While at UC Davis, he formulated a pheromone solution that is very effective in controlling bee behavior.
Gary (check out his website) once trained bees to fly into his mouth to collect food from a small sponge saturated with his patented artificial nectar. He holds the Guinness World record (109 bees inside his closed mouth for 10 seconds) for the stunt.
During his career, Norman Gary has worn many hats, including hobby beekeeper, commercial beekeeper, deputy apiary inspector in New York, honey bee research scientist and entomology professor, adult beekeeping education teacher, and author.
His book for beginning beekeepers, “The Honey Bee Hobbyist,” is to be published in early December by Bow Tie Press.
Don't be too surprised if he also writes one on bee wrangling.
The next generation can learn a lot from him.