- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The UC Davis Entomology Games Team won the championship at the annual meeting of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America, held April 10-13 in Santa Rosa, by defeating the UC Riverside Entomology Games Team.
As branch champions, the UC Davis team will now advance to the nationals: the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) takes place Nov. 13-16 in Vancouver, British Columbia. UC Riverside will compete as the second-place team.
The UC Davis team, from the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is comprised of doctoral candidate Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, captain; doctoral candidate Jill Oberski of the Ward lab; doctoral student Erin “Taylor” Kelly of the Geoffrey Attardo lab; and doctoral student Madison “Madi” Hendrick of the Ian Grettenberger lab.
The popular event, formerly known as the Linnaean Games, is a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams. The UC Davis team won the preliminaries on April 10 to advance to the championship round on April 11.
Questions dealt with biological control, behavior and ecology, economic and applied entomology, medical-urban-veterinary entomology, morphology and physiology, biochemistry and toxicology, systematics and evolution, integrated pest management and plant-insect interactions, history of entomology, and entomology in popular culture.
Paraphrasing some of the questions:
2. Give the binomial name of the new record-holder for millipede with greatest number of legs, along with its country of origin. (Answers: Eumillipes persephone; Australia)
3. What is a chemical called that is added to an insecticide that enhances the formulation and efficacy, but is not itself toxic? (Answer: an adjuvant)
4. Name the heme containing enzymes that play a role in the detoxification of xenobiotics such as pesticides. (Answer: Cytochrome P450s)
5. What is the most prevalent virus affecting humans that is vectored by Aedes mosquitoes? (Answer: Dengue)
UC Davis has scored three national championships since 2015.
- In 2018, the University of California team (UC Davis/UC Berkeley) won the national championship, defeating Texas A&M. The team included captain Ralph Washington Jr., then a UC Berkeley graduate student with a bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis; doctoral students Brendon Boudinot, Jill Oberski and Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, and doctoral student Emily Bick of the Christian Nansen lab.
- UC Davis won the national competition in 2016, defeating the University of Georgia. The UC Davis team included captain Ralph Washington Jr., Brendon Boudinot and Emily Bick.
- UC Davis won the national competition in 2015, defeating the University of Florida. The team included captain Ralph Washington Jr., and members Brendon Boudinot, Jessica Gillung and Ziad Khouri.
The Pacific Branch of ESA encompasses 11 Western states, parts of Canada and Mexico and several U.S. territories.
ESA will host the Nov. 13-16 meeting as a joint meeting with the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of British Columbia. The theme is "Entomology as Inspiration: Insects through Art, Science, and Culture."
The 7000-member ESA, founded in 1889, is the world's largest entomological organization. It is affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, pest management professionals, and hobbyists.
- Listen to the 2018 Entomology Games (won by the University of California team, comprised of UC Davis and UC Berkeley students), posted on YouTube (audio only, no video)
- Watch the 2016 National Linnaean Games Championship Round (won by UC Davis), posted on YouTube
- Watch the 2015 National Linnaean Games Championship Round (won by UC Davis), posted on YouTube