So when we viewed KQED's Deep Look video, “This Fly Torpedoes a Bindweed Bee's Nest,” on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gJHCoP4WqMc, we were totally amazed. It's nothing short of spectacular.
The crew filmed the bees in a nesting area outside the UC Davis Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, near Winters.
UC Davis scientists Shawn Christensen, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the laboratory of community ecologist Rachel Vannette, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, were among those collaborating with the Deep Look production.
“Shawn has done a lot of work on this bee and with Deep Look, and he also leads our lab's work on Anthophora bomboides, a bumble bee mimic, and studies microbial associates of pollen and solitary bees,” said community ecologist and associate professor Rachel Vannette, a Chancellor's Fellow and vice chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology.
The bees, also known as digger bees or chimney bees, are specialists on bindweed, commonly known as morning glory. “The females use pollen only from one plant species and are active through the late spring and early summer,” said Vannette, an international leader in microbial ecology who studies interactions between plants, insects and microbes.
Native to California, the bindweed turret bees dig underground nests, many with structures called turrets at the nest entrance. They provision the nests with pollen for their future offspring, and then lay their eggs inside.
Quirós also consulted with seven other scientists: Stephen Buchmann, University of Arizona; Andy Calderwood, Ventura County Deputy Agricultural Commissioner; Neal Evenhuis, Bishop Museum of Honolulu, Hawaii; Paul Havemann, UC Davis Natural Reserve System; Keng-Lou James Hung, University of Oklahoma; Doug Yanega, UC Riverside, and James Carey, a naturalist who researches and videos bindweed turret bees in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area.
Josh Cassidy, the lead producer and cinematographer, filmed all the footage except for the male bees fighting with each other (00;17;14- 00;25;22 in the video). James Carey, who filmed that incredible footage, “has been regularly monitoring and filming bindweed turret bees since 2016 in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, an open space in the Santa Monica Mountains,” Quirós said. “James also filmed the shot at 04;17-04;21 showing nests in the Santa Monica Mountains covered up at the end of the nesting season."
Christensen, a member of the UC Davis Microbiology Graduate Group and anticipating his doctorate in the spring of 2024, is an evolutionary biologist turned microbiologist. Christensen also researches other native bees, including Melissodes and Colletes.
Vannette focuses her research on the chemical and microbial ecology of plant-pollinator interactions and how microbes influence plant defense and resistance against insect pests. On its website, the Vannette lab is described as "a team of entomologists, microbiologists, chemical ecologists, and community ecologists trying to understand how microbial communities affect plants and insects--sometimes other organisms, too. We often study microbial communities in flowers, on insects or in soil. We rely on natural history observations, and use techniques from chemical ecology, microbial ecology and community ecology. In some cases, we study applied problems with an immediate application including pathogen control or how to support pollinators.”
We're looking forward to more research from the Vannette lab, including their work on Anthophora bomboides, a bumble bee mimic that forms turrets in sand dunes (including the sand cliffs at Bodega Head).
Most people are unaware that there are more than 20,000 known bee species in the world, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. Of the 20,000 known bee species, 70 percent are ground-nesting bees. California alone is home to more than 1600 species.
And just one of those species is the bindweed turret bee, Diadasia bituberculata, that forages on morning glories. Glory bee...
This year students in Carey's classrooms swept all three awards in the Science, Engineering and Mathematics (SEM) category of the 2023 Norma J. Lang Prize for Undergraduate Information Research.
Jenna Schafer won first place with a $1000 prize; Sarah Shores, second, $750; and Neha Gondra, third, $500. Maram Saada, a former student in Carey's longevity class who won the 2022 first-place SEM award, also won this year's Arts, Humanity and Social Sciences (AHSS) category.
Carey students are frequent winners, but this is the first year his students won all three awards in the SEM category. Since 2020, a Carey student has won eight of the 13 awards, including four consecutive first-place SEM awards.
The Lang Prize, launched in 2017 to encourage the use of library resources and to reward the best research papers, memorializes Norma J. Lang (1931-2015), professor emerita of botany, who taught at UC Davis from 1963 to 1991.
Shores submitted her paper on “Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: Differences of Sex Development.”
Gondra's third-place paper, Evaluating the Influence of the Mediterranean Diet on Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obese Individuals, dealt with obesity.
The Basics. Carey, a member of the UC Davis faculty since 2008 and an international award-winning teacher, instructs his students how to research topics, use style sheets, and structure documents.
Carey tells his students that they need to consider their research term paper requirement, not as merely "a writing assignment," but as "a production concept" involving a number of writing concepts and components:
- Writing video series. Carey mandates that all his students view the 13-part video playlist he produced titled “How to Write a Research Term Paper.” The playlist—viewing time totals about an hour--covers technical aspects of term paper production, including best practices in word processing and typography as well as ethical writing (no plagiarism), researching, framing, drafting, editing, proofing and finalizing (Writing Instruction Playlist).
- Model papers. Just as all researchers can view example papers in journals, students also need models, too, Carey believes. He posts a term paper example, mocked up from his own writing, as well as links to all the award-winning student papers in the Lang Prize competition and such UC Davis student publications as Prized Writing and Aggie Transcripts.
- Technical fluency. Carey requires all students to learn best practices in both typography and word processing. Students must use exact 15-point spacing (not single or double), 11-point California FB typeface (not Times Roman), 1.5-inch page margins (for shorter lines) and, using style sheet tools, must create four formatting codes that cover 98 percent of the formatting—heading level 1, subheading level 2, body text and hanging paragraph. Submitted papers are not only technically uniform, but also possess an aesthetic beauty that Carey feels either consciously or sub-consciously inspires students to take pride of ownership that carries over to their efforts in other aspects of their paper. Carey requires his students to read and follow Butterick's Practical Typography.
Storytelling. Carey stresses storytelling as the overarching, unifying concept for writing a term paper, the basics of which are that the story must have structure (a beginning, a middle and an end), a voice (the student's) and character development (main theme or thread). The process of story development is inextricably linked to their paper development; once the story begins to form in a student's head and then on paper, the narrative flows more clearly, succinctly and with much less effort than a paper containing information “dumps.”
- Writing and editing. Although Carey emphasizes the importance of producing clear, succinct and technically correct prose, he tells his students that this is only a part of the larger process concerned with a paper's structure and congruency.
Congrats to the first-place SEM winners from the Carey classrooms since 2020:
- 2020: Jessica Macaluso, “The Biological Basis for Alzheimer's Disease.”
- 2021: Barry Nguyen, “Allostasis: The Fundamental Biology and Implications for Social Standing and Longevity.”
- 2022: Maram Saada, “Huntington's Disease: Etiology, Research Models and Treatment.”
- 2023: Jenna Schafer, "Timeout with Torpor: History, Biology and Future Medical Applications of a Survival Strategy."
Carey's teaching methods shine light on what innovative, dedicated and detailed instruction can do to anyone struggling with "How do I write a term paper?"
And sometimes there's a monetary reward and campuswide recognition.
A landmark textbook on the newly emerging field of biodemography, lead-authored by UC Davis distinguished professor James R. Carey, has evolved into another landmark: Carey has created, recorded and published a first-of-its-kind video guidebook with free worldwide access.
The video guidebook showcases the 480-page textbook, Biodemography: An Introduction to Concepts and Methods (Princeton University Press, 2020), co-authored by Deborah Roach, professor and chair of the University of Virginia's Department of Biology. Carey and Roach define the pioneering field of biodemography as “integrating biology, mathematics and demography.”
Carey, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty since 1980 and a senior scholar with the UC Berkeley Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA), opted to create the video playbook because “we believe the contents should be available to anyone interested in any aspect of biodemography regardless of their access to the book or their primary language.”
The video guidebook, now online on the UC Berkeley Population Sciences website, is unique in that never before has a scientific textbook author produced, scripted and narrated videos that encompass a book's entire content. The playlist includes 175 separate presentations, closed captioned in English and subtitled through YouTube in 300 different languages. The content covers the contents of his entire biodemography book with video modules on content ranging from life tables, mortality models and reproduction to stable population theory, matrix models and applied demography. He also has several dozen videos on best practices in visualization and presentation strategies.
Basically, the video guidebook is a cross-media learning experience that's viewers will find engaging, enduring and enjoyable. "Readers can scroll, scan and peruse the book's contents as well as add notes, bookmark pages, and highlight text,” Carey said. “Unlike books video content can be easily added or updated and as well as both closed captioned and foreign language subtitled.”
His playlist includes demographic basics, life tables, mortality, reproduction, population models, and such topics as the Donner Party tragedy, the Titanic disaster, Napoleon's Grand Armée, and “Why the Oldest Person in the World Keeps Dying.”
Carey also delves into “Entomology and Insect-Related Videos” (see https://bit.ly/3lgYcD2), ecology and conservation biology, and other specialty grouped topics. In addition, his playlist includes video appendices of African elephants and mountain gorillas that he recorded on his teaching trips to Africa.
Carey describes demography as “the taproot of an interdisciplinary tree containing multiple branches whose demographic topics range from health, disease, marriage and fertility to anthropology, paleontology, history, and education. Our book now adds a new branch to this tree—biodemography.”
Highly honored for his research, teaching and public service Carey served as the principal investigator of a 10-year, $10 million federal grant on “Aging in the Wild,” encompassing 14 scientists at 11 universities.
Carey won a 2018 global award in the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching Program, an academic competition sponsored every two years by Baylor University, Waco, Texas. He received the 2015 Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA. The UC Davis Academic Senate honored him as the recipient of its 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, given to internationally recognized professors who excel at teaching.
Carey is a fellow of four organizations; American Association for the Advancement of Science, Entomological Society of America, California Academy of Science and the Gerontological Society of America. He holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley.
Do you know who discovered it?
That would be UC Davis distinguished professor James R. Carey of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, who will present a departmental seminar at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, on "The Conceptual Sweep of a Mathematical Discovery in Insect Biodemography: From Medfly Populations to the U.S. Congress."
You can attend the seminar in person at 122 Briggs Hall, UC Davis campus, or access it via Zoom. The Zoom link is https://ucdavis.zoom.us/j/99515291076.
"Twenty years ago while attempting to develop a new concept for studying insect aging in the wild, I discovered a previously unknown mathematical identity now referred to in the formal demography literature as the eponym Carey's Equality—the age distribution of a stationary population equals the distribution of lifetimes yet to come," Professor Carey says in his abstract. "In this seminar I will present my attempts at both operationalizing the concept for study of populations of insects and other non-human species, and generalizing it for applications to groups with fixed numbers of members and where renewal involves birth and death processes."
"These general applications include data from a British cemetery, the National Basketball Association, the Baltimore Longitudinal Health Study, the U.S. Congress (both chambers) and the world population," said Carey, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty since 1980. "After discussing implications and extensions of the identity, I will wrap up with descriptions of five simple but important demographic relations that all entomologists should know."
Highly honored for his research, teaching and public service, Carey served as the principal investigator of a 10-year, $10 million federal grant on “Aging in the Wild,” encompassing 14 scientists at 11 universities.
Biodemography Textbook. In 2020, he and Deborah Roach, professor and chair of the University of Virginia's Department of Biology, co-authored a 480-page textbook, Biodemography: An Introduction to Concepts and Methods, published by Princeton University Press and hailed as the “definitive textbook for the emerging field of biodemography, integrating biology, mathematics and demography.” Carey recently created a free-access, video guidebook with a playlist of 175 separate presentations, subtitled in 300 different languages. He storyboarded the script, turned graphs, schematics, tables and equations into animated slides, and then with teleprompter assistance, narrated and video-recorded the 175 presentations, which span 12 hours of viewing. It appears on UC Berkeley Population Sciences website at https://bit.ly/3FTge7u.
An internationally recognized teacher, Carey won a 2018 global award in the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching Program, an academic competition sponsored every two years by Baylor University, Waco, Texas. He received the 2015 Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA. The UC Davis Academic Senate honored him as the recipient of its 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, given to internationally recognized professors who excel at teaching.
Carey is a fellow of four organizations: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Entomological Society of America, California Academy of Science and the Gerontological Society of America. He holds a doctorate in entomology (1980) from UC Berkeley, and two degrees from Iowa State University: a bachelor of science degree in animal biology (1973) and a master's degree in entomology (1975).
Nematologist Shahid Siddique, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, coordinates the spring seminars. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any technical issues regarding Zoom. (See complete list of spring seminars.)
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 email@example.com 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.