All seminars will be in-person and will take place on Mondays at 4:10 p.m. in Room 122 Briggs Hall through Dec. 4, and also will be broadcast on Zoom. The exception: UC Davis doctoral alumnus' Charlotte Alberts' seminar on Nov. 13 will be Zoom only.
Pollination ecologist Neal Williams, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will introduce CaraDonna.
The Zoom link:
Research scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden and a professor of instruction at Northwestern University
Title: "Understanding the Dynamics of Plant-Animal Interactions in a Changing World"
Abstract: "Plant-pollinator interactions are ubiquitous and play an important role in ecosystem functioning across the globe. Critically, plants, pollinators, and their interactions face numerous threats in our changing world, including those related to climate change. However, our understanding of the consequences of these threats to plant-pollinator interactions has been hampered because we lack knowledge of the basic ecology of many of these organisms, and how their ecology responds to changing abiotic and biotic conditions. We will investigate these issues in this seminar."
Monday, Oct. 9
Associate professor and medical entomologist/geneticist, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Title: “The Mating Biology of Tsetse Flies – Insights into the Morphological, Biochemical, and Molecular Responses to Mating Stimuli in a Viviparous Disease Vector”
Abstract: "Research into the reproductive behavior of tsetse flies offers key insights into controlling diseases like African sleeping sickness. Unique among insects, these flies give birth to live offspring. During mating, males transfer a mix of sperm and other vital substances to the females. This study employs state-of-the-art techniques, including 3D scanning and genetic analysis, to monitor changes in the female fly's reproductive system over a 72-hour period post-mating. Findings indicate that mating sets off a chain of intricate changes in the female, affecting everything from biochemistry to gene activity. These changes prepare her for pregnancy and childbirth. The study opens up new avenues for understanding tsetse fly biology and offers potential strategies for disease control."
Anthony Domiano Vaudo
Research entomologist, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Title: "Pollen Nutritional ecology of Bee-Flower Interactions"
Abstract: "Pollen provides bees their primary source of protein and lipid macronutrients, essential for development, fitness, and resistance to stress. Yet, pollen macronutrient quality differs substantially among host-plant species. And thus, bees may be sensitive to their nutritional needs and differentially forage among host plants to obtain appropriate nutrition. In this presentation, I will highlight my research that has linked bumble bee host plant foraging preferences to pollen nutritional quality and individual and colony health. Using this as a theoretical framework, I will present recent research where I show that floral pollen nutritional quality can help explain the structure and patterns of bee-wildflower community interactions among diverse populations; and how this research can inform conservation practices. Finally, I will discuss how the quality of pollen that bees collect may differ between and remain consistent within species populations and help explain their history of floral preferences."
Monday, Oct. 23
Assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology Department
Title: "Disarming the Defenses of Resistant Pests: Rational Design of Inhibitors for ABC Transporter Proteins in the Varroa Mite"
Abstract: "Varroa mites pose a significant global menace to honeybee colonies, causing colony losses, ecological imbalances, and food scarcity. Escalating pesticide resistance in these mites necessitates innovative strategies to bolster acaricide effectiveness. Small molecule synergists that heighten mite susceptibility to acaricides offer a promising solution by amplifying chemical treatment efficacy, thus reducing overall pesticide demand. Present synergist development strategies primarily target metabolic enzyme inhibition to restore insect sensitivity to pesticides. Our research focuses on ABC efflux transporters, pivotal in cellular xenobiotic handling, as a new approach. We aim to establish a toxicokinetic pipeline to uncover novel synergists and validate their ability to increase Varroa mite vulnerability to existing miticides. By capitalizing on synergistic interactions between sensitizing agents and acaricides, we aim to equip beekeepers and regulators with a sustainable toolbox to combat Varroa resistance, ultimately fostering long-term honey bee well-being."
Monday, Oct. 30
Department of Biology, San Diego State University
Title: "Ring Species, Ring Speciation or a Ring of Species? An Example with California Mygalomorph Spiders."
Abstract: "Ring species can be defined as a chain of interbreeding populations which expands along two pathways around a geographic barrier, where terminal forms can coexist without interbreeding. A broken ring species model preserves the geographic setting and fundamental features of an idealized model but accommodates varying degrees of gene flow restriction through evolutionary time. Members of the genus Calisoga are distributed around the Central Valley of California, and previous genetic studies have shown that this is a lineage-rich complex of mygalomorph spiders, with evidence to suggest that Calisoga might be a case of ring speciation. Here we examine broken ring species dynamics in Calisoga spiders, using UCEs and mitogenomes we test key predictions of timing, ancestry, connectivity and terminal overlap. I will discuss why ring species should not be viewed as homogeneous entities, but rather as heterogeneous units with different predicted evolutionary dynamics in different geographic parts of the ring."
Monday, Nov. 6
Research Microbiologist at the USDA-ARS United State Horticultural Lab in Fort Pierce, FL.
Title: "Managing Soilborne Pathogens and Pests with Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD)"
Abstract: "Growers consider soilborne disease management one of their main production issues. It is estimated that members of the soilborne pest complex (SPC), weeds, nematodes, fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, account for 10-20% crop loss annually worldwide. Methyl bromide was used to manage the SPC, however, it was discovered that it contributed to ozone depletion, thus was banned worldwide. Currently, no registered alternative chemical fumigant is as effective as methyl bromide for SPC management. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is biologically based alternative to soil fumigation. ASD consists of amending the soil with a labile carbon source, tarping the soil with a plastic film, and watering the soil under the film to field capacity. During the ASD process the soil microbiome undergoes populations shifts and various anti-microbial compounds are produced. ASD has shown to be as effective as methyl bromide SPC management. This presentation will discuss the history of ASD and current research."
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Title: "Assassin Fly (Diptera: Asilidae) Systematics and Predator Ecology"
Abstract: "Assassin flies (Diptera: Asilidae) are a diverse family that plays an essential ecological role as top aerial and venomous predators. Little is known about the evolution of their predatory habits. This study provides a novel phylogenetic hypothesis of Asilidae along with prey preference and ancestral state reconstruction in a maximum likelihood framework. This study is based on 176 assassin fly species, 35 Asiloidea outgroup species, 3,400 prey preference records accumulated from literature and museum collections, and approximately 7,913 bp of nuclear DNA from five genes (18S and 28S rDNA, AATS, CAD, and EF-1a protein-encoding DNA) and mitochondrial DNA from one gene (COI). Of the 12 asilid subfamilies included in the analysis the monophyly of six was supported. We used ancestral state reconstruction and stochastic character mapping to test whether a polyphagous arthropod predator is the ancestral state for Asilidae. Assassin flies are polyphagous arthropod predators, with specialized arthropod prey preferences evolving 20 independently across the Asilidae phylogeny. I will also summarize my other dissertation chapter, a review of Nearctic Saropogon with a new species description."
Monday, Nov. 20
Etienne GJ Danchin
Evolutionary biologist working with genomes: INRAE (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment) senior scientist and scientific leader of the GAME team (Genomics and Adaptive Molecular Evolution) at ISA (Institut Sophia Agrobiotech), in Sophia-Antipolis, on the French Riviera.
Title: "Parasitic Success in the Absence of Sex: What Have We Learned from Nematode Genomes?"
Abstract: "Root-knot nematodes are devastating plant parasites of worldwide importance. Interestingly, species that cause most damages reproduce entirely asexually. These nematodes are extremely polyphagous and have a wide geographic range. Theoretically, in the absence of sexual recombination animal species have lower adaptive potential and are predicted to undergo genome decay. To investigate how these species can be successful parasites on many hosts and in many places around the world, we have sequenced and analyzed their genomes. Out analysis confirmed these species are polyploid hybrids and the combination of several genotypes from different species might provide them with a general-purpose genotype. However, this does not explain how with a theoretically fixed genotype these species are able to overcome resistance genes or adapt to a new host. Therefore, we analyzed genomic variability across different populations and the possible mechanisms underlying genomic variations. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of our findings."
Monday, Nov. 27
Senior Scientist in the Institute of Plant Sciences, The Volcani Center, Israel
Title: "Improving Cross-Pollination in Deciduous Fruit Trees"
Abstract: "Tree crops belonging to the Rosaceae, such as almond, pear, apple, and sweet cherry, depend on cross-pollination by insects to set fruit. The primary pollinator of the crops is the honey bee (Apis mellifera). However, due to harsh climatic conditions during flowering, limited movement of bees between cultivars, low preference of the bees for flowers of the target crop, and limited overlap in flowering between the cultivars, pollination is a primary factor limiting yield. Our group has tested multiple approaches to mitigate this problem: Using 'Pollen dispensers,' sequential introduction of beehives to the orchards, selection of honeybee strains with higher preference for the target crop, introduction of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies and phosphorous fertilization to increase nectar secretion and improve crop-flower attractiveness. I will summarize the effects of those methods on fruit set and yield in apples, almonds, and pears."
Professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, and associate dean in the Division of Biological Sciences
Title: "Danger, Dopamine, and Dance: New Insights from the Magic Well of Honey Bee Communication"
Abstract: "Karl von Frisch referred to the waggle dance as the 'magic well' for the insights that it provides not only on honey bees, but on the general cognitive complexity that social insects are capable of. New research demonstrates that the neurotransmitter, dopamine, the “pleasure molecule” plays a similar hedonic role in honey bees as it does in many vertebrates, regulating the perception of danger and the anticipation of food rewards as revealed in the excitatory waggle dance and the associated, inhibitory stop signal. I will also discuss new data showing that the honey bee waggle dance is partially learned and has elements that may be culturally transmitted. Together, these findings, demonstrate that the waggle dance can teach us a great deal about shared cognitive mechanisms and the importance of social learning across taxa."
For seminars technical issues, contact Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johnson, a leading expert on the behavior, genomics and evolution of honey bees, is the author of a newly published book, “Honey Bee Biology,” released June 6 by Princeton University Press. Johnson joined the UC Davis faculty in 2011 after conducting postdoctoral research at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley. He focuses his research on the behavior, evolution, theoretical biology and genomics of the honey bee.
“Our lab studies the genetics, behavior, and evolution of honey bees,” Johnson writes on his website. “We use experimental and theoretical approaches to all the questions we explore. Current work in our lab focuses on the evolution and genetic basis of social behavior using comparative and functional genomics, task allocation using behavioral and theoretical approaches, and honey bee health using a combination of genetics, epidemiology, and physiological approaches.”
Nematologist and plant pathologist Shahid Siddique, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and coordinator of the department's seminars for the 2021-22 academic year, has announced the list of fall quarter seminars, which begin Sept. 29 and conclude Dec. 1.
All will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Pacific Time, and will include both in-person and virtual seminars.
"We we have an exciting list of seminars that includes both national and international speakers," Siddique said.
The in-person seminars will take place in Room 122 of Briggs Hall, located off Kleiber Hall Drive. These seminars will be recorded for later viewing.
Three of the seminars will be virtual. "Virtual seminars will be accomplished using the Zoom meeting software package," Siddique related. A Zoom link will be provided a week before the seminar.
First on tap will be the exit seminar of doctoral candidate Hanna Kahl of the lab of UC Davis distinguished professor Jay Rosenheim. She will speak on "Herbivory of Citrus Fruit by European Earwigs in California" at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29. This will be an in-person seminar.
No seminar will be held Nov. 3, which conflicts with the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), set Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Denver, Colo. Many faculty attend the annual meeting.
The seminars are open to all interested persons.
Siddique joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology in July 2019 after serving as a research group leader for several years at the University of Bonn, Germany. Research in the Siddique lab focuses on basic as well as applied aspects of interaction between parasitic nematodes and their host plants. "The long-term object of our research is not only to enhance our understanding of molecular aspects of plant–nematode interaction but also to use this knowledge to provide new resources for reducing the impact of nematodes on crop plants in California."
For further information on the seminars, contact Siddique at email@example.com.
You're in luck. You can access (for free) the newly uploaded UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's fall and winter seminars, 2019-2020. Each spans about an hour long.
Community ecologist Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, coordinated the seminars. Thanks also to Hyun Suk Shin and George Terry and crew for videoing them and/or uploading them on the web.
Fall Quarter, 2019
Sept. 25, 2019
James Nieh, professor, Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, Department of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego
Topic: "Animal Information Warfare: How Sophisticated Communication May Arise from the Race to Find an Advantage in a Deadly Game Between Honey Bees and their Predators" (See lab website)
Host: Brian Johnson, associate professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Link to Seminar
Nathan Schroeder, assistant professor, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Topic: "Endless Worms Most Beautiful"
Host: Shahid Saddique, assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Link to Seminar
John Mola, doctoral candidate, Neal Williams lab, Graduate Group in Ecology
Exit seminar: "Bumble Bee Movement Ecology and Response to Wildfire." Mola specializes in bee biology, pollinator ecology and population genetics.
Host: Neal Williams, professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Link to Seminar
Rebecca Irwin, professor of applied ecology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
Topic: "The Role of Floral Traits in Pollination and Bee Disease Transmission." She specializes in the ecology and evolution of multiple-species interactions, pollination biology, and species invasions
Host: Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Link to Seminar
Julián Hillyer, director of the program in career development and associate professor of biological sciences, Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation, Nashville, Tenn.
Topic: "Not So Heartless: Functional Integration of the Immune and Circulatory Systems of Mosquitoes"
Host: Olivia Winokur, graduate student, Chris Barker lab
Link to Seminar
Takato Imaizumi, professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle
Topic: "Circadian Timing Mechanisms in Plant-Pollinator Interaction"
Host: Joanna Chiu, associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology
Link to Seminar
Don Cippollini, director of environmental sciences and professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University
Topic: "The Potential for Host Switching via Ecological Fitting in the Emerald Ash Borer-Host Plant System"
Link to Seminar
Dec. 4, 2019
Jackson Audley, doctoral candidate who studied with the late Steve Seybold
Topic: "Semiochemical Interruption of Host Selection Behavior of the Invasive Walnut Twig Beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis."
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020
Karen Menuz, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Topic: "Molecular Basis of Insect Olfaction"
Host: Walter Leal, distinguished professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a former chair of the entomology department
Link to seminar
Wednesday, Jan. 22
Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, University of Cambridge, UK
Topic: Effector Gene Birth in Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: Furnishing the Immunity and Development-Altering 'Tool Box'
Host: Shahid Siddique, assistant professor
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, Jan. 29
Elizabeth Crone, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
Topic: "Why Are Monarch Butterflies Declining in the West?"
Hosts: Neal Williams, professor; Rachel Vannette, assistant professor
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, Feb. 5
Andrew Young, postdoctoral scholar at California Department of Food and Agriculture, Pest Diagnostic
Topic: "The Natural History of Syrphidae: From Pollinators To Parasitoids"
Host: Lynn Kimsey, professor and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology
Link to seminar
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Mercedes Burns, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Topic: "Reproductive Diversity And Sexual Conflict: Opilionid Mating From The Female Perspective"
Host: Jason Bond, professor and Schlinger Chair in Insect Systematics
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, Feb. 26:
Faculty Flash Talks (featuring series of faculty members, including Rachel Vannette, Ian Grettenberger, Shahid Siddique, Geoffrey Attardo, Jason Bond)
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, March 4
Brendon Boudinot, doctoral candidate, Phil Ward lab, exit seminar
Topic: "Morphology and Evolution of the Insects, and the Ancestors of the Ants"
Host: Phil Ward, professor
Link to Seminar
Wednesday, March 11
Mary Salcedo, postdoctoral researcher, Virginia Tech
Topic: "Hydraulics in an Insect Wing: How Venation Pattern Affects Circulation"
Host: Rachel Vannette, assistant professor
Link to Seminar
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology has booked associate professor of biology Tim Linksvayer of the University of Pennsylvania for a seminar on “Genomic Signatures of Social Evolution in Social Insects" on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The seminar, open to all interested persons, takes place from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
"Eusociality in ants, bees, wasps, and termites is a major evolutionary innovation, yet the genomic basis of sociality is largely unknown," Linksvayer says. "I will discuss recent and ongoing research in my lab focused on elucidating the genetic basis and evolution of social traits and social systems in ants and honey bees."
"We study the genetic and behavioral underpinnings of complex social systems in order to understand how these systems function and evolve," he says on his website. "We are especially interested in how social interactions affect genetic architecture and trait evolution."
Access his website and you'll see a pharaoh ant. "We use social insects, such as the pharaoh ant, as a study system because they are exemplar social systems and are also well-established models for research in social evolution, behavioral genetics, and collective behavior."
This is the second of the fall seminar series hosted by the department. The seminars began Sept. 27 and will conclude Dec. 6. Assistant professor Rachel Vannette is coordinating the seminars.
Oct. 11: (Cancelled as of Oct. 4) “Multitrophic Mediation of Plant Perception of Herbivores” by Gary Felton, Pennsylvania State University, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis
Oct. 18: Exit seminar by Leslie Saul-Gershenz, doctoral candidate, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Oct. 25:"Ecoinformatics and the Curious Case of Katydids in California Citrus" by Bodil Cass, UC Davis
Nov. 1:“Mating Distruption of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter by Playback of Natural Vibrational Signals in Vineyard Trellis” by Rodrigo Krugner of the U.S,. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)
Nov. 8: Exit seminar by doctoral candidate/ecologist Ash Zemenick, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Nov. 15: “Revelations from Phasmatodea Digestive Track Transcriptomics” by Matan Shelomi, National Taiwan University, who received his doctorate in entomology from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Nov. 22: Thanksgiving week; no seminar
Nov. 29; “Ant Social Parasites Repeatedly Evolved Reproduction Isolation from Their Hosts in Sympatry” by Christian Rabeling, Arizona State University
Dec. 6: “Root Knot Nematode and Associated Pathogen Resistance” by Phil Roberts, University of Riverside
The Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired by professor and nematologist Steve Nadler, is world renowned for its quality research, education and public service. Globally, it is ranked No. 7 by The Times Higher Educational World University Rankings for its teaching, research, international outlook and industry outcome. Its facilities include the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, and its mosquito research program based at UC Davis and the Kearney Agricultural Research and Center in Parlier.
Faculty are globally recognized for their expertise in insect demography, systematics and evolutionary biology of ants, pollination and community ecology, integrated pest management, insect biochemistry, molecular biology, and the systematics and evolutionary biology of nematodes. The graduate program offers master's and doctoral degrees. The teaching and research faculty includes some 40 professional entomologists and nematologists.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology has announced the list of speakers for the fall seminars. Agricultural entomologist and seminar coordinator Christian Nansen said the topics include everything from soapberry bugs to monarchs.
Instead of the previous noon-hour seminars, however, there's a change in the time: they're from 4:10 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 122 of Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Doctoral candidate Meredith Cenzer will speak on "Ecological and Evolutionary Interactions Between Soapberry Bugs (Jadera Haematoloma) and Their Host Plants" at the next UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminar, set from 4:10 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5 in 122 Briggs Hall. This is her exit seminar.
Soapberry bugs are a classic evolutionary example of how rapidly insects can switch hosts, adapting from a native to an invasive plant, she says.
Her newly published UC Davis research shows that soapberry bugs have not only lost adaptations to their native host plant but are regionally specializing on an invasive host. (Read about her latest publication here.)
The October-November schedule:
Wednesday, Oct. 5:
Meredith Cenzer, doctoral candidate, Louie Yang lab
Topic: ""Ecological and Evolutionary Interactions Between Soapberry Bugs (Jadera Haematoloma) and Their Host Plants" (exit seminar)
Wednesday, Oct. 12:
Howard Ferris, professor of nematology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Roles of Nematodes in Soil Ecology and Soil Health"
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Justin Whitehill, postdoctoral research associate
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Topic: "Carbon Castles and the Physical Defense of Conifers Against Insect Invaders"
Wednesday, Oct. 26
Marek Borowiec, doctoral candidate, Phil Ward lab
Topic: "Genomic Data and the Tree of Life: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns of Army Ant Evolution" (exit seminar)
Wednesday, Nov. 2
Sandy Olkowski, doctoral candidate, lab of Thomas Scott (now emeritus professor of entomology)
"Temporal Inconsistency of Dengue Fever Surveillance in Iquitos, Peru" (exit seminar)
Wednesday, Nov. 9
Hugh Dingle, emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic:"Monarchs in the Pacific: Contemporary Evolution or Local Ecology?"
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Diane Ullman, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Thrips Salivary Glands: The Relevance of Tissue Tropism and Gene Expression to Tospovirus"
Wednesday, Nov. 30
Phil Ward, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Topic: "Exploring the Ant Tree-of-Life"
Wednesday, Dec. 7
Francis Ratnieks, professor of apiculture, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
"How Can We Help Bees Via Research? The Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health and Well Being."