- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Hamby, who received her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis at the end of the winter quarter, is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of her major professor, Frank Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist and professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
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.
Zalom praised her "established record of excellence in research, mentorship, and leadership." She has a unique ability to apply cutting-edge science to IPM problem-solving, and an innate ability to connect well with growers and Cooperative Extension advisors off campus."
Assistant professor Joanna Chiu, in her letter of support, lauded Hamby's "skills, knowledge and technical prowess in her research areas, passion for education and community outreach, as well as ability to obtain research funding from federal and local agencies."
"When I first met Kelly," Chiu wrote, "she was already a competent researcher in integrated pest management, but for the last few years, she has the foresight and tenacity to complement her existing skills with a wide range of molecular biology, genomic, and bioinformatic techniques and has really brought her research program to a new level. She has been involved in the sequencing and annotating the genome of the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and is the first author for two very well received and innovative manuscripts detailing the insecticide chronotoxicity and microbiotic interaction of SWD respectively. I believe all these manuscripts will be widely cited, making Kelly a central figure in SWD research for years to come."
Hamby will receive the award on Monday, April 7 during the 98th annual PBESA meeting, set for April 6-9 at Marriott University Park, Tucson, Ariz. She will deliver a 20-minute address titled "Applications of Drosophila-Yeast Interactions to IPM" at the opening session of the meeting, immediately following the presentation by UC Davis Professor James Carey, the 2014 recipient of the CW Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch.
Hamby will then be honored at the ESA's annual meeting, Nov. 16-19 in Portland, Ore., along with each of the John Henry Comstock Award recipients from the other five ESA branches: Eastern, International Branch, North Central, Southeastern and Southwestern.
Hamby's doctoral dissertation: “Biology and Pesticide Resistance Management of Drosophila suzukii in Coastal California Berries.” She has presented her work at meetings of the ESA, PBESA and overseas. The recipient of numerous awards, she was selected for a 2011-14 $130,000 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; the 2005-2009 UC Regents' Scholarship, a merit-based academic scholarship; the 2011 Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology, Pacific Branch of ESA (PBESA); and the 2009 UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Mary Regan Meyer Prize, Academic and Service Award for a Graduating Senior.
As a graduate student, Hamby guest-lectured in three entomology courses, helped organize freshman seminars “Insects in the Media” and “For Love of Insects,” and was the teaching assistant for ENT 110 “Arthropod Pest Management,” a 5-unit course that is one of the core classes for entomology majors. She was recently appointed by the Entomology and Nematology Department to teach 1/3 of the ENT 110 lectures and half of the labs in the winter quarter of 2014 because of conflicting responsibilities of her major professor, Frank Zalom, as the 2014 president of 7000-member ESA. ENT 110 is comprised of lectures on pest management theory and a laboratory that teaches identification of beneficial and pest arthropods. She has mentored nine undergraduate researchers, three of whom performed and published their own independent research; one who went on to graduate school in entomology at the University of Minnesota; and one who is now a staff researcher at the University of Georgia.
Hamby has published as a lead author in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Experimental and Applied Acarology, Journal of Economic Entomology, and PLoS ONE. She co-authored recently published articles in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (the open-access journal of the Genetics Society of America), Environmental Entomology, and Acta Horticulturae, and articles submitted to the Journal of Applied Entomology and PLOS Biology.
A member of ESA since 2009, with membership in both the Plant-Insect Ecosystems section and the Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicolgy sections, Hamby has attended and presented at four ESA annual meetings, and two PBESA meetings. She was invited to present papers in symposia at both the 2012 and 2013 National ESA meetings, and in a symposium at the 2012 PBESA meeting. Hamby has also presented papers at two international conferences including an invited symposium paper at the XXIX International Congress of Entomology in Daegu, Republic of Korea.
This is the second consecutive year that a UC Davis graduate student has received the Comstock award. Last year Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate who studies with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, received the award. The list of UC Davis recipients:
2014: Kelly Hamby
2013: Matan Shelomi
2008: Christopher Barker
1983: Elaine Backus
The award memorializes John Henry Comstock (1849-1931), an American entomologist, researcher and educator known for his studies of scale insects and butterflies and moths, which provided the basis for systematic classification. Comstock was a member of the faculty of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., for most of his career, except for his service as a chief entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1879-81).