Insects are in. They're not only everywhere in nature (well, almost everywhere!), they've climbed, crawled, jumped, buzzed, fluttered, flew or otherwise positioned themselves on fashions, including the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) t-shirts.
The EGSA, comprised of UC Davis graduate students who study insect systems, is an organization that "works to connect students from across disciplines, inform students of and provide opportunities for academic success, and to serve as a bridge between the students and administration," according to EGSA president Brendon Boudinot, an ant specialist/doctoral student in the Phil Ward lab.
As a year-around fundraising project, they sell t-shirts, which can be viewed and ordered online at https://mkt.com/UCDavisEntGrad/. Jill Oberski, a graduate student in the Phil Ward lab, serves as the t-shirt sales coordinator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oberski designed an award-winning onesie, “My Sister Loves Me." It's an adult ant, “loosely based on Ochetellus, a mostly-Australian genus.”
Boudinot's award-winning design is REPRESANT, with illustrations by colleague Eli Sarnat, an alumnus of the Ward lab.
One of the favorite bee t-shirts depicts a honey bee emerging from its iconic hexagonal cells. It's the 2014 winner by then doctoral student Danny Klittich, now a California central coast agronomist.
Another "fave" bee shirt--this one showing a bee barbecuing--is by doctoral student and nematologist Corwin Parker, who studies with Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. It was one of the 2018 winners. (See the three winners on this site.)
EGSA is heading for the Entomological Society of America annual meeting in November. In addition to their participation, the graduate students will be selling shirts at the meeting, appropriately themed "Sharing Insects Globally." It's set for Nov. 11-14 in Vancouver, B.C. The EGSA also sells its t-shirts at other events, including at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day.
Insects rock. But some climb, crawl, jump, flutter, buzz, fly or otherwise position themselves on EGSA t-shirts.
Insects--their beauty, their structure, their diversity--are inspiring noted fashion designers, but those fashion designers are way, way behind the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Students' Association (EGSA).
EGSA members are graduate student totally into bugs. They study them, research them and wear them. And yes, some do eat them. Can you say "chocolate chirp cookies? (made with cricket flour)?"
Every year EGSA conducts a t-shirt contest and the faculty, staff and students pick the winner. The good news is that the t-shirts--past and present--are for sale all year around, but folks take a special interest in them during the holiday season. Stocking stuffers!
The Beatles? Think The Beetles.
Instead of the English rock band John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star crossing Abbey Road in single file (that's the iconic image on the cover of their album, Abbey Road), think of The Beetles (four insects) crossing Abbey Road in single file. Beneath the images of the beetles are their family names: Phengogidae, Curculionidae, Cerambycidae and Scarabaeidae. Think glowworm, snout, long-horned, and scarab beetles.
If you're not partial to beetles, how about honey bees, wasps, and "Entomology's Most Wanted?"
You're in luck.
"This year we are discounting some of our old designs from $15 to $10!" announced the officers, headed by Ph.D student and ant specialist Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab. "Order by Dec. 15th for delivery within the United States by the 23rd. If you are on campus and would like to pick up the shirt instead, please do not pay for shipping online and email Emily Bick at email@example.com (of the Christian Nansen lab) to schedule pick up. The online store will close on Dec. 17th until early January." The prices range from $10 to $15 to $17. Access their online store: https://mkt.com/UCDavisEntGrad/
It's for a good cause: helping the graduate students. The added bonus, you get to "bug" your friends, family and colleagues when you wear these t-shirts.
And create a "new species" of wasp in the process.
A penny-farthing, as the UC Davis community knows, is also called a high wheel bicycle or high wheeler. The front wheel is much larger than the rear wheel. And a wasp, as entomologists know, belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which includes bees, ants and wasps.
The end result of the art/science fusion project: the winning entry in the annual T-shirt contest sponsored by the Entomology Graduate Students' Association, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
“I wanted to draw a penny-farthing, which is part of the UC Davis culture,” said winning artist Stacey Rice, a junior specialist in the lab of Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey. “Then I wanted an insect that would be able to put its abdomen on the seat and have long enough legs to reach the pedals.”
“I love the new design and think it translated very well on the t-shirts,” said EGSA treasurer and entomology graduate student Cindy Preto of the Frank Zalom lab. “I expect it to be a great seller.”
In the Godfrey lab, Rice doesn't work with wasps. She does research on Bagrada bugs (Bagrada hilaris), an invasive stink bug from Africa known for attacking cole crops, including broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and mustard.
An alumnus of UC Davis, Rice received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences with a minor in veterinary entomology in March 2015. Her goal is to attend graduate school and receive her doctorate, either in integrated pest management (IPM) or forensic entomology.
Rice, who grew up in Roseville and graduated from Oakmont High School, enjoys combining art with science in her ceramic art classes at the UC Davis Crafts Center.
The "Hymenoptera on Bicycle" t-shirt can be ordered in unisex heather navy with white lettering ($15 for small, medium, large, extra large and 2x); youth navy with white lettering ($15 for small, medium and large); and women's cut, heather red with light yellow lettering ($17 for small, medium and large).
The t-shirts from years past include "The Beetles" (reminiscent of The Beatles' Abbey Road album), a weevil (See no weevil, hear no weevil, speak no weevil), a dung beetle, honey bee and comb, and a "wanna bee."
Among the other favorites is "Entomology's Most Wanted." Former graduate students Nicholas Herold and Emily Bzydk featured "bug shots" (a take-off of "mug shots") of the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae), the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) bed bug, (Cimex lecturalius), and the housefly (Musca domestica). They're among the most hated of insects.
The wasp on a wheel is probably destined to become a favorite, too, especially among the bicycling and insect science communities.
That's how we roll at UC Davis!