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.
"Ento-what?" some folks will ask. "What's that?"
Five-year-old Rebecca Jean "RJ" Millena could have told you.
She still can.
When she entered kindergarten in Concord, Calif., RJ penciled this on her "About Me" poster: "When I grow up, I want to be an entomologist."
To the amazement of her teacher and classmates, she even knew how to spell the five-syllable word referring to "the scientific study of insects."
Fast forward to today. She's 22, a senior majoring in entomology at the University of California, Davis, and an outstanding student researcher in the laboratory of UC Davis Distinguished Professor Jay Rosenheim of the Department of Entomology and Nematology.
And she's just accepted a four-year, full-ride fellowship offer to complete a doctoral program at the American Museum of Natural History. She will join the systematics laboratory of Dr. Jessica Ware after receiving her bachelor's degree from UC Davis in June.
In 2019, RJ was one of four UC Davis undergraduates selected for a two-year funded research career with the University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program, which prepares promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). The UC LEADS scholars embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation.
Guided by Rosenheim, RJ launched her independent research project on those bizarre Strepsiptera endoparasites that attack their hosts, the Ammophila (thread-waisted) wasps.
RJ says that “being able to work with Jay on this project investigating the host-parasite relationship between Ammophila wasps and Strepsiptera was what made me fall in love with this super weird order of endoparasites." As larvae, members of the order Strepsiptera, known as “twisted wings,” enter their hosts, including wasps and bees, through joints or sutures.
Over a two-year period, she studied thousands of specimens at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. The UC Davis insect museum houses a worldwide collection of eight million specimens, including “about 30,000 specimens of Ammophila from multiple continents,” says director Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology. Global wasp authority and UC Davis doctoral alumnus Arnold Menke, author of the book, The Ammophila of North and Central America (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae), identified most of the Ammophila specimens in the Bohart Museum. His book is considered "the bible" of Ammophila research.
RJ went on to enter a poster, “Parental Care and the Risk of Maternally Vectored Pathogens: Ammophila Transmit Strepsipteran Parasites to Their Young,” in the March 2021 Koret UC LEADS Symposium poster competition and won top honors.
A dean's honor student with multiple interests, RJ plays French horn and trumpet in the UC Davis Video Game Orchestra. She performed two years with the California Aggie Marching Band-Uh. In her Davis apartment she tends to a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, a scorpion, a tarantula, a tailless whip scorpion, and an African cat-eye mantis. “Over the last four years at UC Davis, I've had a colony of millipedes, two other tarantulas, a giant Vietnamese centipede, and five other assorted mantis species. The five-year-old me would also be thrilled about that.”
But back to what children want to be when they grow up. Usually they say cowboy, truck driver, cook, teacher, dancer, actor, musician, artist, athlete, firefighter, detective, writer, police officer, astronaut, pilot, veterinarian, lawyer, doctor and the like.
But rarely "entomologist."
RJ's highly contagious enthusiasm toward the scientific study of insects serves as a definite role model to young girls aspiring to careers in STEM. Women make up only 28 percent of the workforce in STEM, according to the American Association of University Women. RJ is closing the gender gap.
'I Wanna Be an Entomologist'
Back in 2011, we were delighted to see UC Davis Regents Scholar Heather Wilson, a researcher/lab technician in the Frank Zalom laboratory, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, create a fun-filled, innovative video, "I Wanna Be an Entomologist," a take-off of "I Wanna Be a Billionaire" from Travie McCoy's Lazarus album.
Heather entered her project in an Entomological Society of America (ESA) contest and won honorable mention.
In her video, she runs with an insect net, counts bugs in the Zalom lab, watches bees in a hive, and visits the Bohart Museum. At the Bohart, she hugs a display of butterflies and cradles a rose-haired tarantula and Madagascar hissing cockroach from its live "petting zoo."
"I wanna be an entomologist, so freakin' bad," Wilson sings. "I wanna be on the cover of Economic Entomology, smiling next to Frank and Jim Carey..."
"Frank and Jim" are Frank Zalom and James R. Carey, UC Davis distinguished professors in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. Zalom is a past president of the 7000-member ESA, and both were selected ESA Fellows.
Watch Heather Wilson's video at https://youtu.be/rwNbbJgXNXA and you'll probably decide being an entomologist sounds much more fun than being a billionaire. Who wants to be a billionaire, anyway? Let's go check out the insects!
The entomology line forms over there...don't crowd and don't cut in.
When UC Davis fourth-year student Jessica Macaluso enrolled in a longevity class taught by UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology James R. Carey, she was pleasantly surprised to learn of his expertise in teaching students to write research papers.
Macaluso not only got an "A" but she won the top prize in the science, engineering and mathematics category of the Norma J. Lang Prize for Undergraduate Information Research. She received $1000, and her research paper, “The Biological Basis for Alzheimer's Disease," will be published in eScholarship, an open-access scholarly publishing service affiliated with the University of California.
This is the first time a student enrolled in a UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology class has won the universitywide competition, now in its fourth year. The award memorializes Norma J. Lang (1931-2015), professor emerita of botany.
Macaluso, who is majoring in psychology with a biological emphasis, and minoring in aging and adult development, anticipates receiving her bachelor of science degree in the fall of 2020.
Carey, an internationally recognized teacher, instructs undergraduates in his classes--which usually exceed 200 students--how to research topics, use style sheets, and structure their papers. He has produced 13 videos on how to research and write a research paper, along with a new video on the use of style sheets.
The Lang Prize recognizes undergraduate students whose research projects make extensive use of library resources, services and expertise. First, second and third-place prizes are awarded each year in two categories: science, engineering and mathematics; and arts, humanities and social sciences. Second place in the science, engineering and mathematics category went to Vincent Pan, a student doing research in the lab of ecologist Rick Karban, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. His paper: "Recent Advances in Elucidating the Function of Zebra Stripes: Parasite Avoidance and Thermoregulation Do Not Resolve the Mystery." (See all recipients at https://bit.ly/3cPPsNt.)
“Macaluso's term paper gives an in-depth synopsis of the biology of Alzheimer's disease, a prevalent form of dementia that impairs memory and cognition,” wrote the Norma J. Lang Prize judges. “Utilizing the library's databases and subject guides, Macaluso identified 20 sources from top scientific journals across multiple disciplines, including Nature and the Annual Reviews of Medicine, Neuroscience, Psychology and Public Health, to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the science on Alzheimer's.”
“This currently incurable disease is caused by significant neuronal death in the brain due to of the accumulation of two neurodegenerative proteins: intercellular amyloid-beta plaques and intracellular tau tangles,” she wrote. “The interaction of these two proteins creates a feedback loop that facilitates the continual destruction of nerve cells in the brain. Because the destruction of nerve cells disrupts the neuronal connections in the brain, Alzheimer's disease results in significant memory deficits as well as impaired cognition. Moreover, with the use of human models and transgenic mouse models, researchers have been able to analyze the role of biology, genetics, and physiology in Alzheimer's disease. For example, mutations in the presenilin 1 (PSEN1) gene or the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene predispose an individual to acquire early-onset Alzheimer's disease.”
“Likewise, an individual can have an increased likelihood of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease if they carry the ApoE4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene. In summary, researchers are amply investigating Alzheimer's disease from a variety of biological faucets in an effort to treat or even cure this form of dementia.”
Macaluso went on to discuss three major risk factors affiliated with Alzheimer's disease: age, gender, and genetics.
Macaluso penned “The Biological Basis for Alzheimer's Disease” as her term paper for Human Development-Aging 117 (Longevity) in the fall of 2019. “The purpose of this assignment was to utilize the library databases for research, improve both my writing and editing skills, and broaden my understanding of longevity with a topic of my choice," she wrote in her Norma J. Lang Prize application. "Moreover, this research paper served to expand my communication skills and bolster my intellectual confidence. A key requirement for this paper was to use at least ten sources, seven of which needed to be primary sources such as a research article or a review paper. Initially, I was quite daunted by the prospect of this assignment because I had only modest experience reading research papers or using the online library databases. I distinctly recall reading about this assignment on the syllabus and questioning if I was capable of such an onerous task. To my surprise, by the end of this quarter and after countless hours exploring the online library reserves, I completed my assignment and felt confident in my ability to utilize the UC Davis library resources.”
A 2019-2020 McNair Scholar, Macaluso has worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the Dynamic Memory Lab (Charan Ranganath Lab) since 2017. She serves on the Animal Care Staff at Young Hall; as a genetics tutor for the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers; and as president of the America Red Cross Club at UC Davis.
The UC Davis student, a native of Santa Barbara but raised in nearby Buellton, plans to enroll in graduate school in the fall of 2021 to study cognitive neuroscience or cognitive psychology. Her career plans? "I'm thinking academia right now," she said. "I hope to finish my PhD, work as a postdoctoral fellow for a few years, and then pursue a professorship position."
Carey, a member of the UC Davis entomology faculty since 1980, is considered the preeminent global authority on arthropod demography. He directed the multidisciplinary, 11-institution, 20-scientist program, “Biodemographic Determinants of Lifespan,” which garnered more than $10 million in funding from the National Institute on Aging from 2003 to 2013.
Highly honored by his peers for his teaching expertise, Carey received the Entomological Society of America's 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award; a 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award from Baylor University, which presents international teaching awards; and the UC Davis Academic Senate's 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor given to internationally recognized professors who excel at teaching.
(Here's where UC Davis undergraduate students can apply for the 2021 Norma J. Lang Prize)