- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Hamby received her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis in March 2014, studying with major professor Frank Zalom. She has just accepted a position with the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Starting in November, she will be an assistant professor of sustainable agroecosystems and will be involved in integrated pest management research, extension, and teaching.
Hamby's expertise includes sustainable integrated pest management strategies for various insect pests. Her dissertation research, titled "Biology and Pesticide Eesistance Management of Drosophila suzukii in Coastal California Berries," covered monitoring, yeast associations, chronobiology, chronotoxicity of insecticides, and the implications of this work to managing a recent invader, the spotted wing drosophila.
The Comstock award is the highest honor given to a graduate student. Hamby will be one of six honored at the national meeting. The others are:
- Eric Bohnenblust, Eastern Branch
- Rebecca Dew, International Branch
- Michael McCarville, North Central Branch
- Amber Dawn Tripodi, Southeastern Branch
- Nathan Lord, Southwestern Branch
Zalom praised Hamby's "established record of excellence in research, mentorship, and leadership." Kelly also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study molecular mechanisms of target site resistance to insecticides in this system. In 2011, she was awarded the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology from the ESA Pacific Branch.
Hamby received all three of her academic degrees from UC Davis, compiling a near perfect grade point average. While studying for her bachelor's degree in environmental toxicology, specializing in ecotoxicology, she completed the integrated studies honors program and graduated with highest honors, making the dean's honors list.
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.
Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist and distinguished professor at UC Davis, is president of the 7000-member ESA and will preside over the Portland, Ore., meeting, ESA's 62nd annual meeting.
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
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.
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).