Hamby, an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland-College Park, will receive the Early Career Professional (ECP) Extension Award during the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Nov. 5-8 in Denver, Colo. The awards breakfast is set Nov. 7 in the Four Seasons Ballroom, Big Blue Bear, Colorado Convention Center.
The award is given to an early professional who excels in entomological Extension.
The ESA spotlighted her in its program: "Her research and extension program addresses invasive and emerging insect pest issues, evaluating and optimizing pest management programs, and development of sustainable alternative management tactics. Dr. Hamby is particularly interested in understanding and exploiting insect interactions with free-living microorganisms for sustainable pest management."
"Her current work includes characterizing spotted wing drosophila's interactions with yeast and fruit rot microorganisms and developing cultural control tactics for this invasive pest of small fruit. Her lab is also evaluating the pest suppression benefits and non-target impacts of neonicotinoid seed treatments in mid-Atlantic grain crop rotations."
"Dr. Hamby delivers timely, research-based extension programming via extension publications, field days, and winter meetings, serving the needs of Maryland's grain producers and diversified small fruit farmers. In addition to her research and extension responsibilities, Dr. Hamby teaches integrated pest management and provides K-12 outreach with hands-on pest management activities."
Hamby received all three of her degrees from the University of California, Davis. While studying for her bachelor's degree in environmental toxicology, specializing in ecotoxicology, she completed the integrated studies honors program and graduated with highest honors in June 2009, making the dean's honors list. She went on to obtain her master's degree (March 2012) and doctorate in entomology (March 2014), studying with major professor and integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and a past president of the ESA. Her doctoral dissertation, completed in 2014, covered: “Biology and Pesticide Resistance Management of Drosophila suzukii in Coastal California Berries."
At UC Davis, Hamby was supported by a National Science Foundation Research Scholarship and went on to win the coveted John Henry Comstock Award from the Pacific Branch, ESA. She compiled a near perfect 4.0 grade point average during her years at UC Davis.
Hamby joined the ESA in 2009 and has presented her research at many of the annual meetings.
The ESA, founded in 1889, is the world's largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Its nearly 7,000 members 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, and hobbyists.
There will be plenty of people to bug.
Some 3200 entomologists or persons interested in insects are registered to attend.
Our own Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, serves as president of the 7000-member organization, founded in 1889. He's the second UC Davis entomologist to hold the office. The first was Donald McLean (1928-2014), emeritus professor and former chair of the department.
Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist, has selected his theme as "Grand Challenges Beyond Our Horizon," a perfect theme for a meeting in the Great Northwest.
Richard Levine, communications program manager for ESA, says that more than 90 symposia are planned and will cover such topics as bed bugs, honey bees, monarch butterflies, ticks, native pollinators, pesticide regulations, biological control, integrated pest management, genetically-modified crops, invasive species, forestry, entomophagy, organic farming, insect-vectored diseases, and more. In addition, there will be 1,750 papers and posters, Levine reports.
- Beyond Pesticides: The Conundrum of Bed Bugs
- Insects as Sustainable and Innovative Sources of Food and Feed Production
- Recovering Monarch Butterfly Populations in North America: A Looming Challenge for Science, the Public, Industry, and Legislators
- Classical Biological Control of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål)
- Nutrition and the Health and Behavior of Wild and Managed Bees
- Contributions of Mosquito Research to Science & Society
- Entomological Comics and Their Importance in Education and Culture
- RNAi: Emerging Technology to Overcome Grand Challenges in Entomology
- IPM: An International Organic Farming Strategy on Invasive Insect Species
- New Frontiers in Honey Bee Health Economics: Incorporating Entomological Research and Knowledge into Economic Assessments
UC Davis will have quite a presence at the meeting. Among the scientists to be honored at the ESA meeting are three from UC Davis: Professor Diane Ullman and doctorate recipients Kelly Hamby (2014) and James F. Campbell (1999)
Kelly Hamby, recipient of the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA, will be honored, along with the other Comstock award winners from the other branches. (See more information)
Research entomologist James F. Campbell, who earned his doctoral in entomology from UC Davis in 1999, will receive a special recognition award. The award, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, recognizes entomologists who are making significant contributions to agriculture. Campbell is a research entomologist with the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Service of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Manhattan, Kansas. (See more information)
Three professors who received their doctorates in entomology in the 1980s from UC Davis are among this year's 10 elected Fellows.
- Nilsa A. Bosque-Pérez, professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences at the University of Idaho. She received two degrees from UC Davis: her master's degree in 1981 and Ph.D. in 1985.
- Gary Felton, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at Penn State University. He received his doctorate from UC Davis in 1988. In 2010, he delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Lecture at UC Davis
- Murray B. Isman, professor of entomology and toxicology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He received his doctorate from UC Davis in 1981. In 2012, he delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Lecture at UC Davis
Many faculty and students will present talks or displays at the event.
Each participant will receive a copy of the 2014 ESA calendar, which features the work of insect photographers throughout the world.
A red flameskimmer dragonfly (Libellula saturata), taken by yours truly, is among the images. I bugged the bug. "Lib" perched on a bamboo stake near our fish pond and was not at all skittish when I walked up and asked "Okay if I bug you for a photo? After you polish off that sweat bee?"
In bug language, Lib said "Go ahead. Just get my best side, please."
So I did. Lib's best side. And then I wrote the requisite caption about this amazing dragonfly.
"The flameskimmer dragonfly (Libellula saturata) is native to western North America. It feeds on bees, flies, moths and other soft-bodied insects, catching them in flight and returning to a perch to eat. The males, about two to three inches long, are larger than the females. The males are firecracker red or dark orange, while the females are a medium to a darker brown. Adult dragonflies hang out at ponds, streams, ditches and at other water habitats. Females lay their eggs in warm ponds or small streams. The nymphs ambush their prey, feeding on insect larvae, including mosquitoes and aquatic flies. The nymphs also eat small fish, tadpoles and each other."
The UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) has decided to provide travel funds to entomology undergraduates who want to present their research at entomological associations.
So EGSA has established the Jude Plummer Travel Grant, so named because Plummer, a pest control manager in Florida, donated $50 “to be used for such a cause,” said EGSA president Jenny Carlson, a Ph.D. candidate in the Vector Genetics Lab.
This week EGSA announced the first recipient of the Jude Plummer Travel Grant: Daren Harris, who received his bachelor of science degree in entomology from UC Davis in December.
Harris will receive a travel grant of $300 to present his poster on the spotted wing drosophila at the 2013 meeting of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, set April 6-11 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nev.
Harris' poster is titled “Seasonal Trapping of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in a Multi-Crop Setting.” He works as a lab assistant in the Frank Zalom lab, studying with professor Zalom and Ph.D candidate Kelly Hamby.
“We will be providing an opportunity for UC Davis undergraduates to apply twice a year for a total of $300, depending on funds,” Carlson said. “We will have one in the winter and one in the fall.” Those who want to support the project can donate to the EGSA fund or buy entomology t-shirts.
Harris, who minored in fungal biology and ecology, plans to pursue a master’s degree in forest entomology. “I would like to study insect-fungus interactions with a focus on inoculation of forest pests with entomophagous fungi,” he said. “Many of these pests are gregarious so capture, inoculation and release of a few individuals may disseminate the pathogen to a large population.”
“My ultimate goal is to work with the USDA forest service. I would love nothing more than to make my living tromping around in beautiful north American forests."
Harris said he initially wanted to be a taxidermist. “As a child I had bookshelves filled with biological oddities and ‘specimens,’ including dead animals in jars of formaldehyde. My collection included everything from pet rodents to road kill. A high school biology teacher turned me on to entomology and I was hooked. The capture and curation of insects satisfied that childhood collection impulse, with the added bonus of frolicking through fields with a net.”
Some 200 freshmen at the University of California, Davis will present their research posters on career explorations from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 in Freeborn Hall.
The students will stand by their posters and answer questions from interested persons. At the end of the event, the audience will vote for the best poster, along with the second- and third-place winners.
“The students enjoy presenting their posters to interested viewers,” said entomologist Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) and professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Ullman, known for innovative teaching strategies, has played a fundamental role in developing CDG. In addition to her many other roles, she advises graduate students in both entomology and plant pathology.
Ulllman said the CDG students will present their research on a variety of topics, including animal/wildlife, food science/nutrition, biotechnology, and ecology/environment. The posters are part of the Career Discovery Seminar course led by the Internship and Career Center and Career Discovery fellows (graduate student mentors in the CDG Program).
David Rizzo, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, directs the Science and Society Program.
The CDG program is geared for:
--Undeclared/exploratory students who want to explore an array of career pathways and gain decision-making skills.
--Students with a declared major in CA&ES who want a head start on career development skills in their area of interest.
In the past, students have expressed a wide range of interests from becoming a forensic entomologist to becoming a super model (textiles and clothing program), Ullman said.
What better way to explore those careers with a poster and tell others what they've learned?
Speaking of careers, we remember when UC Davis student Heather Wilson entered her original video, "I Wanna Be an Entomologist," in the 2011 Entomological Society of America's You Tube Contest. Wilson, a UC Regents scholar and a technician/researcher in Frank Zalom's integrated pest management lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, meant it to be a parody of Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars' (I Wanna Be a) "Billionaire" video.
It didn't win, but it drew lots of attention! And so will the posters displayed tomorrow in Freeborn Hall.
Deep in the bowels of Briggs Hall on the UC Davis campus, entomology graduate student Kelly Hamby works on a pest that is giving growers fits: spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).
First detected in California in the fall of 2008, the fly has become an significant pest of berry and cherry crops, which have a combined farmgate value of $1.9 billion.
“My research is focused on the molecular biology and genomics of insecticide resistance in this fly,” said Hamby, who works in the lab of her major professor, integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
“It is closely related to the model organism Drosophila melanogaster for which much is already known, so I hope to draw from those studies to enhance mine. I plan to monitor the genomic changes as resistance develops in both the field and the lab, and use this information to help growers manage insecticide resistance. “
Her work has not gone unnoticed.
The Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA) is honoring her as the branch recipient of the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology. She'll receive a commemorative plaque at an awards luncheon on Tuesday, March 29 at PBESA's meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
The branch will then nominate and endorse her for the national award, to be given at the ESA's annual meeting Nov. 13-16 in Reno.
This is indeed a high honor.
PBESA encompasses 11 U.S. states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming); several U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; and parts of Canada and Mexico.
Hamby, pursuing her doctorate in entomology, is a graduate of UC Davis with a bachelor of science degree in environmental toxicology. In her fruit fly project, she works closely with molecular geneticist Joanna Chiu, a UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty member who specializes in molecular chronobiology.
"I greatly appreciate Joanna’s willingness to work with my students to add an exciting and useful new dimension to their work," Zalom said.
Dorothy Feir (1929-2008), the 1989 president of ESA, established the award as a tribute to her parents who, “at considerable self-sacrifice, "encouraged education and travel experience for their daughters,” she related.
Feir, who grew up in Missouri, received her doctorate in entomology from the University of Wisconsin in 1968; taught biology at St. Louis University, beginning in 1961; and was the first woman president of the now 6000-member ESA. ESA named her a fellow in 1993, an honor limited to only 10 persons a year.
Feir donated her multimillion estate to various institutions and organizations for the study of insects--so future entomologists can benefit.