So could research on a fly--a model organism--help us understand and maybe lead to treatment of schizophrenia and other complex disorders?
Postdoctoral fellow Sergio Hidalgo Sotelo of the UC Davis Department will present an in-person seminar on “Using Drosophila melanogaster to Understand Complex Disorders: Insights on the Pathophysiology of Schizophrenia” on Wednesday, Oct. 20 in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Sotelo, a researcher in the laboratory of molecular geneticist and physiologist Joanna Chiu, professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will speak at 4:10 p.m. Plans are to record the seminar for later viewing.
In his abstract, Sotelo relates: “As genome association technologies improve, we have more information regarding the genetic components underlying neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and schizophrenia. Drosophila melanogaster offers a genetically tractable in vivo system that can be used to perform genetic screens and characterization of genes associated with complex disorders. By combining physiological and behavioral analyses, my work aims to understand the molecular mechanism and neuronal networks involved in some of these conditions.”
Untangling the Mechanisms. “Schizophrenia is a condition that is characterized by its debilitating and poorly understood symptoms," he pointed out. "By studying the genetic component of this disorder, we aim to untangle the mechanisms behind those symptoms. This could potentially help us to develop new and more effective treatments. Using a similar approach would give us insights better understanding of others disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.”
Said Professor Chiu: “Sergio's exciting thesis research highlights the value of Drosophila as an animal model to study biological processors. To many, it is probably surprising to hear that this tiny insect is constantly used as an animal model to study complex human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In fact, there are quite a number of similarities between fly and human physiological systems, even in the brain.”
According to Wikipedia: "Starting with Charles W. Woodworth's proposal of the use of this species as a model organism, D. melanogaster continues to be widely used for biological research in genetics, physiology, microbial pathogenesis, and life history evolution. As of 2017, five Nobel Prizes have been awarded to drosophilists for their work using the animal."
Sotelo joined the Chiu lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the summer of 2020. “Despite the difficult situation brought on by COVID, Sergio is making significant progress in his research on biological rhythms," Chiu said. "He has brought his expertise in neurogenetics, infused the lab with creative energy, and contributed to the training and growth of younger investigators in the lab. Recently, he was named a Pew Latin American Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences, a prestigious award for a well-deserved scientist.”
A native of Puente Alto, Santiago, Chile, Sotelo is one of 10 post-docs from across Latin America—including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay—to receive two years of funding to conduct research. The fellows work under the mentorship of prominent biomedical scientists, including alumni of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminars are held on Wednesdays at 4:10 p.m. and include both in-person and virtual lectures. All in-person seminars are held in 122 Briggs Hall, while the virtual seminars are broadcast on Zoom. For more information, contact seminar coordinator Shahid Siddique, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But he's an entomologist with an incredible reach that extends in practically all corners of the insect science world. He's like the equivalent of a griffinfly from the extinct genus Meganeuropsis, a huge insect with a wingspan of 27 inches.
Indeed, the reach of UC Davis distinguished Frank Zalom UC Davis distinguished professor, is quite comparable.
Zalom, a noted integrated pest management (IPM) specialist and a past president of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), is a newly elected Honorary Member of the ESA, an honor bestowed for his “long-term dedication and extraordinary contributions” to the 7000-member global organization. Honorary Member is the highest honor that can be afforded an ESA member.
Zalom, praised as “an entomological giant” and “the consummate ambassador to entomology,” joins five other entomologists as Honorary Members. They will be honored at the ESA's annual meeting, Entomology 2021, set Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Denver.
“Honorary membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the society that has reached an extraordinary level,” an ESA spokesperson said. “Candidates for this honor are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by the ESA membership.”
“Dr. Zalom is phenomenal for his sustained service of leadership, research, teaching and mentoring, and in my opinion, he is one of the world's most influential, accomplished and inspirational entomologists,” wrote nominator James R. Carey, a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology and an ESA Fellow. ESA Honorary Member and ESA Fellow Philip Mulder, emeritus professor and former department chair at Oklahoma State University, noted: “Frank is and was the consummate ambassador to entomology throughout his entire career and around the globe on multiple occasions.”
A 47-year member of ESA, Zalom is an emeritus professor with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and currently a recall professor, continuing his work on IPM of tree, vine and fruiting vegetable crops through several major USDA and CDFA research grants he has received since retiring. Since his retirement, he has brought in more than $1 million in grants. Zalom is also working with Professor Rachael Goodhue, chair of the UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics Department on an ongoing pesticide policy research project involving "economic and pest management analyses of potential regulations in strawberry, tomato, and other fruiting crops" in collaboration with CDFA's Office of Pesticide Policy and Analysis.
Zalom directed the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) for 16 years (1986-2002). “Frank elevated it to 'the gold standard' of the world's IPM programs, emphasizing ecologically based pest management programs for agriculture, urban settings and natural resources,” Carey wrote.
The UC Davis entomologist has authored nearly 400 journal publications or book chapters, and more than 400 other publications. He holds two U.S. patents.
Passionate about moving science policy forward, Zalom served as ESA's Science Policy Committee Chair in 2015. In 2018, he co-organized a two-day summit, Grand Challenges in Entomology in South America, hosted by the Entomological Society of Brazil. The summit focused on invasive species, public health, and sustainable agriculture, and included invited leadership from all entomology societies in Central and South America. Zalom also co-organized the North American and Pacific Rim Invasive Insect and Arthropod Species Challenge Summit, jointly hosted by the entomological societies of America, Canada and British Columbia in Vancouver, BC in 2019.
Highly honored by his peers, Zalom is a Fellow of four scientific organizations: ESA; the American Association for the Advancement of Science, California Academy of Sciences, and Royal Entomological Society. His numerous awards include the BY Morrison Memorial Medal from USDA-ARS and American Society for Horticultural Science (2017), ESA's Recognition Award (2002), Outstanding Achievement Award in Extension Entomology (1992), Excellence in IPM Award (2010), IPM Team Award (2008), and the Pacific Branch Woodworth Award (2011).
Among his UC Davis recognitions are the Consortium for Women in Research Outstanding Mentor Award (2013), James H. Meyer Award (2004), and Academic Senate Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award (2017).
A native of Chicago, Frank moved to Arizona with his family at age 4. He received his bachelor's degree and master's degrees in zoology and ecology from Arizona State University, 1973 and 1974, respectively, and his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1978. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty as assistant professor before returning to UC Davis in 1980.
“Throughout his career the depth of his knowledge in IPM was matched by the strength of his commitment to teaching students and postdocs, as well as by the power of his dedication to helping growers in all areas of agricultural entomology,” Carey wrote. “A former Fulbright Scholar, Frank is both a visionary and dedicated entomologist who has devoted his life's work to advancing entomology and ESA programs. His expertise is in great demand from colleagues, agriculturists, policy makers, students and more. He is the consummate entomologist, intricately skilled and highly accomplished.”
Zalom is the fifth UC Davis scientist to be selected ESA Honorary Member. W. Harry Lange (1912-2004) received the award in 1990; Donald MacLean (1928-2014), the 1984 ESA president, won the award in 1993; Bruce Eldridge in 1996, and John Edman in 2001.
Internationally recognized scientist Hans Herren, president and CEO of the Millennium Institute, USA, and recipient of the 1995 World Food Prize, will deliver an in-person seminar hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology on Wednesday, Oct. 13 on “Why Is Transforming the Food System Along the Agroecology Principles an Imperative?”
Herren will speak at 4:10 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive, announced seminar coordinator Shahid Siddique, who will host the speaker. Many of the fall seminars are virtual, but this will be an in-person lecture. Plans are to record it for later viewing.
"It's an honor to have Hans speak in our seminar series," said Siddique, assistant professor of nematology. "Hans is well respected for conceiving and implementing a highly successful biological control program against mealybug and green mites that might have averted one of Africa‘s worst food crisises. He was awarded the World Food Prize for that achievement in 1995."
Herren, a native of Switzerland and an entomologist by training, describes himself as "active in international development, with an emphasis on policy design to meet the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The Millennium Institute, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1983, is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization "passionate about improving the welfare of individuals on every continent by working with stakeholders to meet the challenges of sustainable development."
Herren lived and worked in agriculture, health and environmental research and capacity development in Africa for 27 years, according to the World Future Council, which also says on its website: "As director of the Africa Biological Control Center of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, he conceived and implemented the highly successful biological control program against the cassava mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti) and the green mite that saved the cassava crop, the staple of 200 million Africans and averted Africa's worst-ever food crisis."
"For this achievement, he was the first Swiss to receive the World Food Prize in 1995. Hans advocates for holistic and multi-stakeholder approaches to development planning that take cognizance of the three dimensions of sustainability, and result from a shared vision of sustainability by all the key actors. Hans holds numerous awards that recognize his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and advocacy. These include the Right Livelihood Award, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Brandenberger Preis, and the Kilby Award. Hans earned his PhD at the Federal Institute of Technology,Zurich, and completed post-doctoral research at University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founder of Biovision Foundation, Switzerland. He is a member of the World Future Council since 2018." (See his complete bioography on Wikipedia.)
The Millennium Institute, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization described as "passionate about improving the welfare of individuals on every continent by working with stakeholders to meet the challenges of sustainable development."
"We help decision makers apply systems thinking to create a more sustainable, equitable, and peaceful global society," according to the organization's Linked In site. "Our unique approach maps integrated policy options across the sustainability framework for environmental, social and economic benefits to society. We have assisted more than 40 nations and regional groups through the process of identifying goals and strategies that offer all people access to food, water, health care, education, and equal opportunities for women and men. We have assisted more than 40 nations and regional groups through the process of identifying goals and strategies that offer all people access to food, water, health care, education, and equal opportunities for women and men."
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind,” the new agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminars are held on Wednesdays at 4:10 p.m. All in-person seminars are held in 122 Briggs Hall, while the virtual seminars are broadcast on Zoom. For more information, contact Siddique at email@example.com.
Well, now you can.
A UC Davis professor will pay you--if you're a top-notch UC Davis student--to write (the equivalent of) a "term paper."
UC Davis distinguished professor James R. Carey of the Department of Entomology and Nematology will pay selected students $1000 each to write a paper dealing with human hibernation and longevity--a two-fold project aimed at assisting him with his research and helping students learn how to research, write, illustrate, finalize and deliver the equivalent of a quality term paper.
"With a heavy fall quarter teaching load and other demands during this academic year, I am in need of help in researching the literature on the biology of hibernation and concepts associated with its integration into the human life course," Carey announced, adding that he is "in the early stages of writing a theoretical paper tentatively titled “Human Hibernation as a Future Life Course Option."
The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1. UC Davis students at all levels and all majors may apply. "It's a report equivalent to the quality term paper I expect in my class that would receive an A or an A+," Carey said.
Carey said he hopes to assemble an interdisciplinary team of 10 to 12 students able and willing to invest the time (60-70 hours) to write the equivalent of a 2,500-word term paper on one of 10--or possibly more--topics. Research and writing efforts will be spread over the 2021-22 academic year. He will compile and format their papers in “proceedings” and publish as both a print and digital book, using the Barnes and Noble Press self-publishing website. The students are also free to re-purpose their papers.
Carey is seeking papers similar to the quality of the three award-winning term papers that his Longevity and Human Development students submitted in the UC Davis Lang Writing Prize Competition. Two students won the top prize in their categories in both 2020 and 2021, and another scored third place in 2021.
Paper Topics (Tentative)
1. Ecology and population biology of dormancy
2. Physiology and ecology of mammalian hibernation
3. Human torpor: Historical, accidental and medical
4. Prospective role of human hibernation in deep space exploration
5. Historical rates of biomedical progress in disease mitigation and cures
6. Reconfiguring the human life course
7. The biology, psychology and behavior of long-term isolation and separation
8. Personal, family and societal consequences of “dropping out”
9. The biology, behavior and psychology of individuals re-entering society
10. The future of human longevity: Emerging concepts
Students interested in participating in the project can email Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Human Hibernation Project" and include in the body:
- your UC Davis major and year
- your first and second choices of paper topic by number or topic (e.g., dormancy; life course; etc);
- whether you would be interested in participating if another student was assigned your topic(s) of greatest interest (yes/no)
- a 100 to 150-word statement on why you are interested and would be a good choice to join the team; and
- a 1-page (only) CV. Writing experiences and skills are a plus, he said, but "I am mostly interested in highly motivated and self-directed students who are willing to dive deeply into the literature related to my broad topic and to synthesize the results. I will teach you how to write your paper competently and professionally."
Carey will interview the top candidates via Zoom and make final selections within a week. If selected, they will have
"plenty of time" to enroll in his one-credit ENT 99 or 199, he said.
Fall Quarter (2021): Frame, research and finish a preliminary working draft including at least rough figures and tables and references (using Endnotes bibliographic software).
Winter Quarter (2022): Complete research, finalize structure and submit near-final draft, all figures, tables and references cited finished
Spring Quarter (2022): Finalize narrative, figures, tables and references. Submit final version.
Carey, a senior scholar at the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at UC Berkeley, focuses his research on the biology and demography of aging and lifespan, particularly the use of insect models. A national-award winning teacher, he offers worldwide workshops on best practices in information design and presentation strategies. His most recent book is Biodemography: An Introduction to Concepts and Methods (2020, Princeton University Press), co-authored by Deborah A. Roach, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, University of Virginia.
Hear that buzz?
Are you ready for National Honey Bee Day?
It's held the third Saturday of August and that's tomorrow.
Launched in 2009 by a small group of beekeepers petitioning the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA), the day basically "honors" honey bees and beekeeping. We first observed National Honey Bee Day on Aug. 22, 2009 (the fourth Saturday of August), but it is now permanently celebrated on the third Saturday of August.
It's a "buzzworthy" day to celebrate our tiniest agricultural workers. One-third of the food we eat comes from crops pollinated by honey bees, including almonds, apples, plums, pomegranates, onions, strawberries and much more.
"Honey bees play a critical role in agricultural production and pollinate dozens of food producing crops in the United States," according to UC Davis-based scientists. "In the U.S., honey bees account for $15 billion in added crop value."
Show me the honey? Okay. In 2019, U.S. honey bees produced about 157 million pounds of honey worth a total value of $339 million, according to the USDA. California ranks 5th in the nation in honey production.
At UC Davis, Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of our Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, researches honey bees, and helps beekeepers and consumers. Her laboratory research interests include honey bee biology, health, breeding, behavior, reproductive physiology, genomics, chemical ecology and sociology of beekeeping. Check out her lab webpage on "Lending Bees and Beekeepers a Helping Hand." Niño, who serves all of California as the state's one and only apiculturist, also founded and directs the California Master Beekeeper Program, heralded for "using science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping."
Question: how many images do you have of honey bees pollinating different California crops? Here are a few.