Dec. 17, 2009
The two are among 531 Fellows—eight from UC Davis--selected this year by their peers for their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications,” an AAAS spokesperson said today. The new Fellows, announced in the Dec. 18 edition of the AAAS journal Science, will receive a certificate and a rosette pin at the Fellows’ meeting on Feb. 20 in San Diego.
Karban was selected for “distinguished contributions to the field of plant-herbivore interactions, particularly for work on induced plant resistance and volatile cues used by plants” and Rosenheim for “distinguished contributions to the field of ecology, particularly for empirical and theoretical contributions to our understanding of insect predator-prey and host-parasitoid interactions.”
Rick Karban is “one of the distinguished, innovative and productive workers in the field of plant-insect interactions,” said nominator Robert E. Ricklefs, an AAAS Fellow and professor in the Department of Biology, University of Missouri, St. Louis.
“He has almost single-handedly developed the important field of induced resistance in neighboring plants through volatile chemical signals,” Ricklefs wrote. “This work has been published in a number of widely cited articles and summarized in the influential book, Induced Responses to Herbivory by Karban and Ian Baldwin (University of Chicago Press, 1997).”
Karban’s work has appeared in more than 100 publications. His research published in Science showed that induced plant resistance could reduce herbivore populations and could affect plant pathogens. His work published in Nature showed that feeding by periodical cicadas imposes periodical growth on their host trees; that herbivores can fine-scale their adaption to individual host plants; and that the function of plant “domatia” (structures that house predaceous arthropods) can help protect plants from herbivores and pathogens.
In recent years, Karban has worked on volatile communication between plants that affect their defenses against herbivores. He authored two books, Induced Responses to Herbivory (with Ian Baldwin) and How to Do Ecology (with Mikaela Huntzinger).
His other honors include the Ecological Society of America’s 1990 George Mercer Award for outstanding contributions to the field of ecology by a young scientist. Karban has graduated 14 graduate students or post-docs; 13 are professors at top institutions including UC Davis (3) and Cornell (3).
Karban joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1982. He received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Haverford (Penn.) College in 1977 and his doctorate in ecology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982.
“Although one hears much talk about the blending of applied and basic sciences, there are relatively few scientists who have the intellectual and operational reach to actually bridge the applied-basic gap,” Carey said.
Rosenheim focuses his research primarily on behavioral, population, and evolutionary ecology of parasitoid-host and predator-prey interactions and direct applications to biological control in agricultural ecosystems.
“My current research,” Rosenheim said, “includes work on predator ecology (predator-predator interactions and cannibalism); parasitoid ecology (evolution of egg limitation); life history evolution for organisms in unpredictable environments; and the application of ecoinformatics approaches to problem solving in agricultural insect ecology.”
Praised for excellence in teaching, Rosenheim won the 2009 College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Undergraduate “Excellence in Education” award, sponsored by the UC Davis Associated Students. Students nominate and select the recipients.
Rosenheim’s work has appeared in some 130 publications. He serves or has served on numerous editorial boards and distinguished research organizations. His credits include Annual Review of Entomology; Biological Control; Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata; Oecologia; Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society; guest editor, Ecology, and associate editor, Journal of Insect Science.
Rosenheim joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1990. He received his bachelor of science degree from UC Davis in 1983 with a double major in entomology and genetics, and his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley in 1987. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Hawaii, 1987-1989, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Israel from 1989 to 1990.
Other Fellows from UC Davis
This year’s list of AAAS Fellows also include six from UC Davis:
David G. Amaral, professor and research director, The M.I.N.D. Institute, selected “for contributions to the neuroscience of memory, emotion and social behavior and for leadership in translating neuroscience for the understanding and treatment of autism.”
Peggy Farnham, professor, UC Davis Genome Center, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine: “For distinguished contributions to the field of biology, particularly for genome-wide characterization of transcription factor binding sites and chromatin modifications.”
Susan Kauzlarich, professor of chemistry: “For distinguished contributions to the study of Zintl-type compounds, including discovery of unprecedented magnetic behavior and for her exceptional mentoring of underrepresented scientists and engineers.”
John R. Roth, distinguished professor, College of Biological Sciences: “For important and fundamental contributions to the understanding of bacterial genetics and metabolism.”
Katherine Whittaker Ferrara, professor of biomedical engineering: “For distinguished contributions in the field of biomedical ultrasonics and for exceptional service as founding chair of the department.”
Valerie Moroz Williamson, professor of nematology: “For distinguished contributions to our understanding of the molecular genetics of a plant endoparasitic nematode and a multi-phyla effective plant resistance gene.”
AAAS, founded in 1848, is the world’s largest general scientific society and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. It publishes the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee's institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer.
Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.
Seven AAAS Fellows in UC Davis Entomology Department
The UC Davis Department of Entomology now has a total of seven AAAS Fellows:
James Carey, elected in 2000
Bruce Eldridge, elected in 1981
Walter Leal, elected in 2006
Robert Page (emeritus professor at UC Davis and now at Arizona State University), elected in 2006
Thomas Scott, elected in 2007
Richard Karban, elected in 2009
Jay Rosenheim, elected in 2009
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 3, 2012
DAVIS--James C. Nieh, the biologist at UC San Diego who discovered the “stop signal” in honey bee colonies, will speak at the UC Davis Department of Entomology seminar on Wednesday, May 16 in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Nieh will discuss “The Role of Negative Signaling in a Superorganism: the Honey Bee Stop Signal" at his seminar from 12:10 to 1 p.m. It is scheduled to be webcast and then posted on UCTV within a two-week period. Host is Brian Johnson, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Nieh’s discovery, published in the Feb. 23, 2010 edition of the journal Current Biology, found that bees “head butt” to stop the waggle dancers from trying to recruit others to forage at a dangerous location. Earlier, bees may have been attacked by competitors or prey.
Nieh, who researches bee communication and cognition, studies many types of social bees, including honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees. Currently, his lab is interested in exploring the evolution of bee language, how bees communicate and recruit nestmates to food, and in how pesticides and disease affect bee behavior, navigation, and communication.
Born in Taiwan, Nieh grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor's degree at Harvard in 1991 and his Ph.D from Cornell University in 1997. He subsequently received a National Science Foundation-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Following his studies in Germany, he received the prestigious Harvard Junior Fellowship.
In 2000 Nieh joined the faculty in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego where he is currently a professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.
Related story: Biologist (James Nieh) Discovers Stop Signal
Coordinators of the spring seminars are Louie Yang and Joanna Chiu, assistant professors. All lectures will take place on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. The series, launched April 4, will continue through May 23.
In a webcast project coordinated by professor James R. Carey, the seminars will be videotaped and can be accessed at a later date on UCTV.
The complete list of speakers for the April 4-June 6 seminars:
April 4: Ian Pearse, who just finished his doctorate, working with major professor Rick Karban lab, UC Davis, will speak on "The Use of Non-Native Plants by Native Herbivores."
Host: Rick Karban, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 11: James Harwood, graduate student, James R. Carey lab, UC Davis,"Biodemography of Reproductive Senescence in Fruit Flies (Tephritidae): The Influence of External Conditions on Age Specific Reproduction and Lifespan"
Host: James R. Carey, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 18: Bryony C. Bonning, professor, Iowa State University, "Novel Toxin Delivery Strategies for Management of Pestiferous Aphids"
Host: Bruce Hammock, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
April 25: Vince Jones, professor, Washington State University. "How a 'Perfect Storm' of Technology, Legislation, and Applied Ecology Is Finally Leading to IPM in Western Orchards"
Host: Michael Parrella, professor and chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 2: Susan Cobey, bee breeder-geneticist at UC Davis and Washington State University, "Importation of Honey Bee Germplasm to Increase Genetic Diversity in Domestic Breeding Stocks"
Host: Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 9: Cancelled. Sonia Altizer's talk will now be June 6
May 16: James C. Nieh, professor of biology, University of California, San Diego, "Role of Negative Signaling in a Superorganism: the Honey Bee Stop Signal"
Host: Brian Johnson, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 23: Tara Thiemann, postdoctoral Scholar at UC Davis, William Reisen lab, "Survey of Culex Bloodfeeding Patterns in California"
Host: William Reisen, research entomologist, Center for Vectorborne Diseases, and adjunct professor, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology (PMI), School of Veterinary Medicine
June 6: Sonia Altizer, professor, University of Georgia, "Infection and Immunity in Migratory Species: Monarchs as a Global Case Study" (Rescheduled from May 9)
Host: Louie Yang, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
May 27, 2011
(Watch Carey's video on "How to Webcast a Research Seminar.")
DAVIS--Professor James R. Carey knows that the value of seminars is invaluable.
When the UC Davis entomology professor chaired the UC Systemwide Committee on Research Policy, he called for a strategic approach to record, broadcast and archive the hundreds of seminars that take place weekly on the 10 UC campuses. He presented his plan to the Systemwide Academic Council, received enthusiastic approval, and then launched a pilot program at UC Davis to field-test it.
Now, three years later, his strategic approach has become a groundbreaking reality. The UCTV Seminars project is online, free, and available to all.
Described as a higher-education milestone, it’s the first of its kind in the United States.
“This will not only help the UC system become a scholarly resource, but will fulfill our public service mission,” said Carey. “And the cost to capture these seminars is low--a one-time expenditure of about $200 for both the webcam and software.”
“One of the great intellectual achievements of the University of California is its ability to bring the best minds from within the university and across the world to our campuses to share ideas, spark innovation, and build collaboration,” said Peter Siegel, UC Davis chief information officer and vice provost for information and educational technology. “As Professor James Carey has demonstrated through some of his most recent work, technology offers exciting new opportunities for expanding and re-inventing these conversations.”
“Each campus,” Siegel said, “has multiple opportunities each day for faculty, students, and colleagues to join in the great dialogue that ensues within their academic seminars, conferences and colloquia. “What if these rich and exciting dialogues weren't limited to the faculty on a single campus, but in fact were available to everyone?”
“With the UCTV Seminars, we open a new chapter in providing this access not only to the citizens and policy makers of California, but to colleagues literally around the world,” Siegel said. “I am excited to see our innovative faculty at UC Davis participating in this launch and, even more, I look forward to the growing impact of the University of California in identifying and solving the many difficult challenges that face our world.”
Professor Robert Powell, chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate, agrees.
“I was sitting on the Systemwide Academic Council when Jim, as chair of the Systemwide Committee on Research Policy proposed this,” Powell said. “It was warmly received. We need every tool at our disposal to keep the high quality of UC academic programs during our unprecedented budget crisis. Jim has been especially creative in making knowledge at the forefront of scholarship available to researchers on all UC campuses for a minimal investment.”
Carey described seminars as “a treasure trove” and “one of the most forceful and efficient mechanisms for transmitting scholarly information.”
“It takes an enormous amount of time, energy and recourses just to plan a seminar,” Carey said. “It is foolish not to invest small amount of additional time to capture and post.”
The lead author of a piece published Jan. 10, 2010 in the international journal Public Library of Science (PLoS), Carey called for a UC Research Seminar Network to link seminars across the 10-campus UC system as a way to share knowledge and address financial and time constraints. It would “encourage speaker sharing, reduce travel, augment outreach and provide electronic feeds for on-demand streaming and archiving,” he wrote.
Carey said some 300 to 500 seminars take place every week across the 900 departments or programs in the UC system. This translates to more than 10,000 seminars annually, he said, and includes not only weekly departmental seminars, but monthly or quarterly talks in distinguished scholar lecture series and annual university lectures by eminent faculty.
The PLoS paper, the first ever published in the journal by the UC Academic Senate Committee, included authors from all 10 campuses, also a first.
An added benefit of the UCTV Seminars is that the general public can listen to the recordings at no cost. “Most UC research is funded by the taxpayers,” Carey said, “so it can be argued that the public should have direct if not immediate access to the results.”
“After all, we are a public university,” Carey said, “and there is no reason why the public should not have access to the information presented, ranging from cutting-edge health and medical knowledge to high school students interested in science, politics and so forth.”
Among the UC-affiliated campuses posting seminars so far: San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, and the UC Washington Center (UCDC). Topics range from Lake Tahoe to evolution to electronic teaching.
"This is one of those resources that is so obvious, so useful, that we can only shake our head in wonder that we did not have it years ago," said Alexander Harcourt, UC Davis emeritus professor of anthropology and ecology. “Missed a seminar? Missed a diagram in a seminar? Missed thinking about what the speaker was saying because you were concentrating so hard on writing it down? With UCTV Seminars, you no longer need to miss anything."
When Carey launched his pilot program on the UC Davis campus, the webcasting encompassed 49 seminars, including 16 in the Department of Entomology, eight in the Graduate Group in Ecology and Evolution, and 25 from a two-day conference hosted by the Humanities Digital Institute.
“The audiences were universally supportive of the webcasting operation with no evidence of distractions due to the presence of the Camtasia-webcam system,” Carey said.
Both he and UCTV officials recommend Camtasia to record the seminars due to user friendliness, low cost, compactness and portability. The Camtasia-webcam combination provides two video captures: one of the slides and the other of the speaker. “This way the content is clear,” Carey said. “It is a huge mistake to try to capture both in same viewing frame as in video camera. This is basically hassle-free and easy to operate.”
“After a modest investment of $200 for both the software and a good webcam, there are no other costs for recording the seminars and uploading them to UCTV Seminars,” said Carey, who recorded a “how-to” video on how to record a seminar. (Watch Carey's video on "How to Webcast a Research Seminar.")
Carey said he hopes the launching of the UCTV Seminars “will provide strong encouragement for researchers, seminar chairs, department heads, and others to video capture and share their seminars as well as visit this website.”
Then, they can upload them on UCTV Seminars. “UCTV did an incredible job launching the UCTV Seminars and providing leadership,” Carey said. “Although the UCTV Seminars project is new, UCTV has been gathering and disseminating UC programs for more than a decade. Now we have the UCTV Seminars online and all in one place, not spread across individual campuses.”
Carey said he is especially pleased that academia is catching up with modern technology. “Academia is slow to adopt video, thus this development will encourage greater use of this technology that virtually all other sectors of our modern society are using in communication,” Carey said. “There are many domains in which these seminars can be used, not only for on-demand viewing but in digital textbooks and teaching.”
“I envision the UCTV Seminars becoming part of a nationwide, worldwide network,” Carey said.
See archived webcasts by UC Davis Department of Entomology
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
It was named the best Web site for the quarter and is now in the running for best of the year. Nominations remain anonymous.
It initially won one of four awards presented in the environmental category for the fourth quarter.
Wrote the reviewer: “Ahh, the sweet taste of honey! Without the humble bee, we would not be able to enjoy it. While only the honey be produces the honey, other pollinators ensure that we have a viable ecology by pollinating flowers, fruit trees and other plants that are necessary for the existence of other wildlife. The story of this small, necessary, and sometimes misunderstood creature is fascinating. Its purpose, its life, its habitat and its possible demise, everything you could want to know is presented on this website.”
“The learning opportunities abound. The site presents itself in a visually pleasing manner with excellent photography and interesting articles. It is a joy to visit. This site is definitely deserving of the Talking Hands Award.”
The Talking Hands Award, launched in 1986, pays tribute to Web sites that follow Section 508, which encourages sites that are more accessible to people with disabilities.
Based on a UC Davis template, the Laidlaw site was launched Aug. 13 and is the work of Webmaster Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the Department of Entomology. Assisting with the design were Neal Williams, assistant professor of entomology, and Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Lynn Kimsey, professor and vice chair of the department and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
“It's a work in progress,” said Garvey. Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology who maintains an office in the Laidlaw facility, is identifying the native bees and other pollinators. Plans call for posting hundreds of photos on the Web site.
The site currently includes links to Extension Apiculturist Eric Mussen's newsletter, from the UC Apiaries and his Bee Briefs; research information; a news section; events; information about honey bees and native bees; pollination; instruction; a kids' zone; links; publications; outreach; frequently asked questions; a photo gallery of honey bees and native bees; and information about the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Home from the World War II battlefields, he enrolled in Compton Community College and then the University of California, Berkeley.
A family friend promised him a job in his termite control business once he finished his studies.
His college associates, however, couldn't envision “Vern and termites” in the same sentence.
Neither could he.
“There were better things to do in life than crawling under a house looking for termites,” quipped Burton, who is known for his wry sense of humor.
So began a 38-year career that would encompass 10 years as a Kern County Farm Advisor and 28 years as an Extension entomologist affiliated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
During his career, Burton, now 85, worked with crops such as alfalfa, beans, cotton, potatoes, small grains and sugar beets and helped resolve pest problems through integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and close associations with university researchers.
Burton enjoyed working with researchers like noted alfalfa seed expert Oscar Bacon, now a retired professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. “I'd help identity problems in the field and take them back to the researchers.”
“I always enjoyed helping people in ag and urban settings with their insect problems,” Burton said, “or their perceived problems.”
Tuber worms in potatoes? Check. Lygus bugs in seed alfalfa? Check. Spider mites on dry beans? Check. Nematodes in cotton? Check. Green peach aphids in sugar beets? Check. Burton helped recommend the guidelines in several of the Statewide IPM Program's commodity manuals. His collaborative research also appears in California Agriculture and other publications.
When Burton retired in December 1988, then Cong. Vic Fazio lauded him for his outstanding contributions to California agriculture, particularly in the field of IPM. In remarks entered into the congressional record on Jan 4, 1989, Fazio said that Burton “contributed greatly to California agriculture and to the University of California's mission for excellence in agricultural research, education and public service.”
“Mr. Burton's outstanding contributions include the development of innovative methods and strategies for nematode control in cotton, which have improved production while reducing pesticide use. He also aided in the development and establishment of treatment thresholds for green peach aphid on sugar beets and established and supervised the cotton pest management program in the San Joaquin Valley in the 1970s. That work resulted in the appropriation of permanent federal funds for an integrated pest management program.”
Fazio noted that over the years, Burton “has provided support and guidance to county programs conducted by Farm Advisors through field test pilot activities, recommendations, and suggestions for problem solutions, and printed information and participation in educational programs. He has also helped disseminate education and informative entomological information to a diverse clientele in agricultural and urban areas throughout the state.”
That he did.
“Vern was dedicated to California growers, and worked tirelessly to provide new and useful information to them,” said IPM specialist Frank Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. “He understood the research-extension continuum better than most people ever could, having served the university as an extension entomologist in the county and also here on campus.”
Also active in entomological organizations, Burton served as president and secretary-treasurer of the Northern California Entomology Club and as secretary-treasurer of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America.
Vernon Burton began life as a city boy in the Cornhusker State; he was born June 3, 1924 in Omaha, Neb. He spent his childhood in several states: Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois before his father, in the tire business, moved his family to Los Angeles in 1939.
Young Vern joined the Army fresh out of high school and completed basic training in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, where he would meet his future wife, Charlotte.
His three years in the Army proved to be “a great educational experience and quite an adventure for someone just out of high school.” He landed in Marseille, France on Dec. 15, “the day the Germans launched the Battle of the Bulge. “I went overseas as a squad leader and came back as a platoon sergeant,” he recalled.
Burton attended Compton in 1946-1948, completing lower division requirements before enrolling at UC Berkeley. He interrupted his UC Berkeley studies in April 1951 to accept a Kern County Farm Advisor position, which he held until September 1960. He completed his 1960-1988 career an Extension entomologist based at UC Davis. He holds a master's degree from LSU.
Burton and his wife, a retired 20-year accountant with the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Department, now live in the University Retirement Community, Davis, where they've resided since 2004. The couple raised two daughters and spoiled four granddaughters, now branched out in Washington, D.C., Boston, Sacramento and Guerneville.
“I've been surrounded by females all my life and it hasn't hurt a bit,” he said, in typical Vern Burton-humor.
In his early retirement years, he served as a lieutenant governor in 1992-93 of Division 7, Kiwanis International; worked four years in the UC Davis Medical Center gift shop and helped with the Kiwanis Family House at the Med Center. He traveled with his family, played golf and fished.
A favorite activity since childhood was “to get up early and go fishing in the morning and fry it for breakfast the same day.”
Extension Apiculturist Eric Mussen, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1976, remembers Vern as a “dedicated scientist with a terrific sense of humor.” They shared office space with two other scientists on the third floor of Briggs Hall.
Vern claimed that bees would always single him out for special attention, Mussen said.
Said Burton: “Whenever I'd watch a honey bee demonstration in alfalfa and clover fields (which bees pollinate), honey bees would find me and deposit their stinger. I'd stay out of the fields if they just moved in the honey bees.”
“There's a place for honey bees in this world and I acknowledge that,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.
Today Burton occupies his time enjoying life with his wife, reading mysteries, using his computer (“I used to be scared to death of computers and since my retirement, I've become friends with it”), playing computer card games (bridge, poker and hearts) and watching occasional sports on TV, especially professional golf and football (he played football in high school) and college baseball and basketball.