Isman is listed as No. 2 among the world's top two percent of entomologists in a database announced by Stanford University with data from Elsevier's “science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators.”
Isman is internationally recognized for his discoveries and development of botanical insecticides and antifeedants, and for research in insect-plant chemical interactions and insect chemical ecology.
Isman, who received his doctorate from UC Davis in 1981, is the dean emeritus of the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Land and Food Systems and emeritus professor of entomology and toxicology at UBC. He's a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA).
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Isman received his bachelor's degree (1975) and his master's degree (1977) from the University of British Columbia before heading to UC Davis for his doctorate. A postdoctoral position in insect toxicology at UC Irvine followed. In 1983 he accepted a position as assistant professor in the UBC Department of Plant Science, attaining the rank of professor in 1994. He served as dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC from 2005–2014.
At UC Davis, Isman was the second graduate student of the late Sean Duffey. Faculty member Bruce Hammock, now a UC Davis distinguished professor, was a member of Isman's supervisory committee. "I think the last time I saw Bruce was in 2010 (also the last time I was on the UC Davis campus) when I delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Seminar to the Department of Entomology," he wrote this week in an email.
The biosketch singled out his teaching, research and public service, and his many accomplishments. Among his many honors, received the Entomological Society of Canada's Gold Medal in 2011, the C. Gordon Hewitt Award (1991) for outstanding achievement by an entomologist under the age of 40, and the PheroTech Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. In 2010 he delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Lecture at UC Davis.
Murray presided over the International Society of Chemical Ecology (2002), the Phytochemical Society of North America (1993, he remains the only entomologist to have done so), and the Entomological Society of British Columbia twice (1988 and 1999). He also organized and chaired two conferences in Vancouver: the 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (1997) and the Fourth World Neem Conference (1999).
He still does.
"I officially retired in mid-2018, but served as Interim Director of UBC's Wine Research Centre from mid-2017 until mid-2020," Isman shared. "I spend most of my 'professional' time now serving on editorial boards of three international journals, reviewing grant proposals and continuing to do some modest consulting to pesticide companies in the USA and Australia."
"My main recreational activity is playing ice hockey (twice a week) with different senior (60+) teams. As a goalie, I hope to keep playing as long as my knees permit!"
He and his wife Susie have a daughter and a son. The Ismans will be in San Francisco for Thanksgiving to visit their daughter (a Columbia, UBC and UC-Berkeley alumna) and son-in-law (a Harvard and Oxford alumnus).
"I really should make a return visit to Davis on a future trip, something I suggested to (UC Davis distinguished professor and friend) Walter Leal."
Leal, who chaired the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 2006-2008 before accepting a position in 2008 as professor of biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is listed in the Stanford/Elsevier database as No. 22 among the world's top entomologists.
Other UC Davis entomologists on the list, in the order of ranking, are:
- Jay Rosenheim, No. 68
- Harry Kaya, 206
- Fumio Matsumura (1934-2012), 208
- James R. Carey, 232
- Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) 321
- Christian Nansen, 452
- Lester Ehler (1946-2016) 593
- Robert E. Page Jr., 548
- Frank Zalom, 557
Elsevier. Elsevier, a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance, published its "science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators" on Oct. 4, 2023. The ranking of scientists is at https://elsevier.digitalcommonsdata.com/datasets/btchxktzyw. It is a publicly available database "of top-cited scientists that provides standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions and a composite indicator (c-score). Separate data are shown for career-long and, separately, for single recent year impact. Metrics with and without self-citations and ratio of citations to citing papers are given. Scientists are classified into 22 scientific fields and 174 sub-fields according to the standard Science-Metrix classification. Field- and subfield-specific percentiles are also provided for all scientists with at least 5 papers. Career-long data are updated to end-of-2022 and single recent year data pertain to citations received during calendar year 2022. The selection is based on the top 100,000 scientists by c-score (with and without self-citations) or a percentile rank of 2% or above in the sub-field. This version (6) is based on the October 1, 2023 snapshot from Scopus, updated to end of citation year 2022. This work uses Scopus data provided by Elsevier through ICSR Lab (https://www.elsevier.com/icsr/icsrlab). Calculations were performed using all Scopus author profiles as of October 1, 2023. If an author is not on the list it is simply because the composite indicator value was not high enough to appear on the list. It does not mean that the author does not do good work."
Hammock, internationally recognized for discovering a new group of human chemical mediators, is a newly inducted Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS). (He's also our favorite to some day win the Nobel Prize, as we've told him many times!)
Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, was inducted along with 13 other Fellows on Nov. 14 during the annual Fellowship meeting. He joins the ranks of more than 500 Academy Fellows, a governing group of distinguished scientists and other leaders who have made notable contributions to scientific research, education, and communication.
“We're proud to announce 2023's distinguished pool of new Fellows—each of their contributions to science and society represent major advancements in their respective fields,” said Academy Dean of Science and Research Collections Shannon Bennett. “Our Fellows body is a group of future thinkers and innovators whose leadership inspires the next generation of scientists, science educators, story-tellers and change-makers. We look forward to forging a future with our new Fellows that advances the Academy's mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaborative partnerships.”
A member of the UC Davis faculty since 1980, Hammock was nominated by colleagues James R. Carey, UC Davis distinguished professor, and Robert E. Page Jr., UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor and emeritus provost of Arizona State University. The CAS Board of Trustees selects the Fellows.
Hammock discovered that regulating degradation of insect hormone mediators is as important as biosynthesis in development. He applied this toward the development of green chemical and the first recombinant viral pesticide. He asked if the same systems of metabolism of chemical mediators could be important in other species, notably man, resulting in the discovery of a new group of human chemical mediators. By inhibiting a key enzyme in this pathway, beneficial natural mediators increased there by showing benefit in treating multiple diseases including arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's with the resulting drug candidates currently in human trials to treat pain.
Hammock founded the Davis-based pharmaceutical company, EicOsis LLC, formed in 2011 to develop an orally active non-addictive drug for inflammatory and neuropathic pain. The former chief executive officer, he now serves on the board of directors.
Hammock directed the UC Davis Superfund Research Program (funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) for nearly four decades, supporting scores of pre- and postdoctoral scholars in interdisciplinary research in five different colleges and graduate groups on campus.
He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Sciences., and the Entomological Society of America. He is the recipient of scores of awards, including the first McGiff Memorial Awardee in Lipid Biochemistry; and the Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism, sponsored by the America Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. At UC Davis he received the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Faculty Research Lectureship. In 2020, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from UC Davis Chancellor Gary May.
Hammock is known for his expertise in chemistry, toxicology, biochemistry and entomology. Early in his career, he founded the field of environmental immunoassay, using antibodies and biosensors to monitor food and environmental safety, and human exposure to pesticides. His groundbreaking research in insect physiology, toxicology led to his development of the first recombinant virus for insect control.
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Hammock received his bachelor's degree in entomology (with minors in zoology and chemistry) magna cum laude from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 1969. He received his doctorate in entomology-toxicology from UC Berkeley in 1973. Hammock served as a public health medical officer with the U.S. Army Academy of Health Science, San Antonio, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation, Department of Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
In the Army, he served as a medical officer at Fort Sam, Houston, and what he saw--severely burned people in terrible pain--made a lasting impression on him and steered him toward helping humankind.
Fun Fact: For years Hammock--who believes science should be fun and camaraderie is crucial-- hosted water balloon battles on the Briggs Hall lawn. It was not "Fifteen Minutes of Fame"; it was "Fifteen Minutes of Aim." See Bug Squad blog.
The annual meeting, hosted by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), is taking place Nov. 5-8 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
The theme: "Insects and Influence: Advancing Entomology's Impact on People and Policy."
At the helm of ESA this year--and influencing scientists, insects and the general public--are four women scientists:
- President: Marianne Alleyne, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Vice President: Jennifer Henke, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District
- Vice President-Elect: Lina Bernaola, Texas A&M University
- Past President: Jessica Ware, American Museum of Natural History
Among the top honorees at Entomology 2023 is UC Davis doctoral alumnus Douglas Walsh, professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology, Washington State University (WSU). He is one of six newly elected Fellows
"Walsh is known internationally for his research on the modes of action and resistance mechanisms of acaricides on spider mites and regionally in the Pacific Northwest for his extension and outreach efforts on specialty crops," ESA announced in a news release, citing that:
"Walsh has maintained a well-funded (more than $30 million) and productive program as the research director of the Environmental and Agricultural Entomology Laboratory located at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in the Yakima Valley near Prosser, Washington. Walsh is the Extension integrated pest management (IPM) coordinator for Washington State and the Washington State liaison representative to the U.S. Department of Agriculture IR-4 Project."
"Walsh has an extensive and varied integrated pest and pollinator management research and Extension program assisting regionally important commodities including hops, alfalfa, grapes, and mint. Walsh also directs environmental impact studies on alfalfa leafcutting and alkali bees, the key pollinators of alfalfa produced for seed. Walsh's efforts in IPM have resulted in the documented reduction of over 100,000 pounds of insecticide use in the Pacific Northwest annually."
Born in New York in 1963 and a resident of California since 1969, Walsh holds a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Santa Cruz (1985). He received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1998, studying with major professor Frank Zalom, who went on to become a UC Davis distinguished professor and president and Honorary Member of ESA. "He is very deserving," Zalom said. "I couldn't be more proud of all that he has accomplished." Zalom is now emeritus, but continues to do research.
"I was Frank's first PhD student," Walsh said. "Frank had one before me, Rachid Hanna. Frank picked up Rachid when Rachid was orphaned when his original professor left UC Davis. Rachid and I quibble about who was Frank's first student. I'm the first that went from start to finish with Frank."
Outstanding Graduate Student. Kaya remembers Walsh well. "He was studying integrated pest management at UC Davis and was an outstanding graduate student in Frank Zalom's lab," Kaya said. "Even as a graduate student, he published some significant papers on IPM research, and I had no doubt that he would excel in research in his post graduate years. He has not only done superb IPM research but has been a leader in the Entomological Society of America as well as other national and international organizations. He richly deserves being elected as an ESA Fellow."
Walsh joined the WSU Department of Entomology as assistant professor in 1998 and advanced to associate professor in 2003 and to professor in 2007. The author of more than 200 publications, he annually delivers more than 35 Extension presentations. He has mentored 12 doctoral students and 11 master's degree students.
Walsh served as president of the Pacific Branch of ESA (PBESA) in 2010 and represented PBESA on the ESA governing board from 2013 through 2019. Among his ESA awards: Excellence in IPM Award and he led two teams that received the IPM Team Award.
A WSU news story (Sept. 7, 2023) related that Walsh has "worked primarily on pest control issues, mostly on hops, grape vines, mint, and alfalfa. One of his first successes at WSU in 2005 involved developing a novel method for controlling cutworms, which climb up from the soil in spring to nibble on grapevine buds."
Walsh initially set out to become a botanist. “I was working in a local Extension office in California after I got my bachelor's degree," he told the WSU writer Scott Weybright. "That work involved battling spider mites on strawberries. I kind of fell into entomology, but I love the work and the creative solutions we find to help growers."
His wife, Catherine (Kikie) is a senior software engineer with Altera Digital, a hospital software firm. The couple, married 35 years, raised three children, Claire, Russ, and Jeff, all WSU grads. Claire is the lifecycle marketing manager with Niantic Labs; Russ is working toward his master's degree in teaching at WSU Tri-Cities: and Jeff is a site reliability engineer at TikTok.
Other newly inducted ESA Fellows are:
- Cassandra Extavour, Harvard University
- James Hagler, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service
- Alvin M. Simmons, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service
- Lukasz Stelinski, University of Florida
- Edward L. Vargo, Texas A&M University
Founded in 1889, ESA is a worldwide organization of more than 7000 members, who are 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.
UC Davis environmental toxicologist/biochemist Sascha Nicklisch will discuss how to disarm the defenses of the varroa mite, a major pest of honey bees, at his UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminar on Monday, Oct. 23.
His seminar, "Disarming the Defenses of Resistant Pests: Rational Design of Inhibitors for ABC Transporter Proteins in the Varroa Mite," is set for 4:10 p.m. in Room 122 of Briggs Hall.
The seminar also will be on Zoom. The link:
"Varroa mites pose a significant global menace to honey bee colonies, causing colony losses, ecological imbalances, and food scarcity," says Nicklish, an assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology, in his abstract. "Escalating pesticide resistance in these mites necessitates innovative strategies to bolster acaricide effectiveness. "Small molecule synergists that heighten mite susceptibility to acaricides offer a promising solution by amplifying chemical treatment efficacy, thus reducing overall pesticide demand."
A first-generation college graduate, Nicklisch received his master's degree in biological sciences in 2005 from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his doctorate in protein biochemistry at the University of Cologne in 2008. He postdotoral fellowships at the University o Osnabruek, Germany, and at UC Santa Barbara.
Nicklisch joined the UC Davis faculty in July 2018 after serving as a staff scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and as a part-time lecturer at UC Dan Diego. His resume also includes senior scientist in analytical biochemistry for Phenex Inc. and consultant for August Therapeutics, Inc., both in the greater San Diego area.
Nicklisch said he "was drawn to teach at UC Davis because of its reputation for research in environmental and human toxicology. I feel like this area of science has barely had its surface scratched and I am excited to pioneer further developments in the field. My research interests focus on understanding why industrial chemicals and other toxicants enter and accumulate in humans and other animals and plants."
"Our main research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying chemical uptake and distribution in humans and other organisms," he writes on his website. "The Nicklisch Lab is interested in determining levels of drugs and environmental chemicals in different types of foods and to biochemically characterize their interactions with protective drug transporters, including P-glycoprotein, MRP1 and BCRP. Current efforts in the lab focus on investigating possible drug-pollutant and pollutant-pollutant interactions with P-glycoprotein other drug transporters on a molecular and organismal level."
"The Nicklisch Lab," he relates, "has demonstrated expertise in a broad range of traditional lab techniques to determine structure and conformation of proteins, including NMR and EPR spectroscopy and Circular Dichroism spectrometry. In addition, we have a proven track record of developing and optimizing new biochemical assays and analytical tools to determine enzyme and transporter function and kinetics. Our lab has pioneered the field of toxicokinetic interactions of environmental chemicals with drug transporters as novel targets for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying chemical bioaccumulation."
Seminar coordinator is Brian Johnson, associate professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. For Zoom technical issues, he may be reached at email@example.com. The list of seminars is posted here.
That's just one of the facts that UC Davis medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo will discuss when he presents a seminar on "The Mating Biology of Tsetse Flies--Insights into the Morphological, Biochemical, and Molecular Responses to Mating Stimuli in a Viviparous Disease Vector."
The seminar, hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is set for 4:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9 in 122 Briggs Hall.
Attardo, an associate professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and chair of the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases, is a global expert on vectorborne diseases, including his groundbreaking work on tsetse flies. He researches the invasive yellow mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which can carry such diseases as dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever.
His work involves predicting insecticide resistance and tracking movements of genetically independent populations of aegypti throughout the state.
"Research into the reproductive behavior of tsetse flies offers key insights into controlling diseases like African sleeping sickness," Attardo writes in his abstract. "Unique among insects, these flies give birth to live offspring. During mating, males transfer a mix of sperm and other vital substances to the females. This study employs state-of-the-art techniques, including 3D scanning and genetic analysis, to monitor changes in the female fly's reproductive system over a 72-hour period post-mating. Findings indicate that mating sets off a chain of intricate changes in the female, affecting everything from biochemistry to gene activity. These changes prepare her for pregnancy and childbirth. The study opens up new avenues for understanding tsetse fly biology and offers potential strategies for disease control."
The seminar also will be on Zoom. The link:
The Attardo lab monitors the dynamics of vector insects at the levels of physiology, population genetics and environmental interactions.
Attardo, who holds a doctorate in genetics from Michigan State University, where he researched the molecular biology of mosquito reproduction, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology in 2017 from the Yale School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases.
For his outstanding work, he received the 2022 Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America, which encompasses 11 Western states, plus parts of Canada and Mexico, and U.S. territories.
For any technical issues regarding Zoom, contact seminar coordinator Brian Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.