DAVIS--A team of five graduate students from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology will compete Tuesday, Nov. 18 in the Entomological Society of America's student debates at the 62nd annual meeting in Portland, Ore. Their topic: neonicotinoids.
The team, captained by Mohammad-Amir Aghaee of the Larry Godfrey lab, includes Jenny Carlson, Anthony Cornel lab; Margaret "Rei" Scampavia, Neal Williams/Edwin Lewis lab; Ralph Washington Jr., Steve Nadler lab; and Daniel Klittich, Michael Parrella lab.
Parrella, professor and chair of the department, serves as their advisor and coach.
UC Davis, which won the overall championship last year, will debate the Auburn (Alabama) University team, comprised of Olufemi Ajayi, Adekunle Adesanya, Julian Golec, Matt Burrows, Scott Clem, and alternate Zi Ye. Associate professor David Held advises the team.
Auburn will present information that neonicotinoids are causing the death of bees essential for pollinating our food crops, and that the use of neonicotinoids should end. UC Davis is the con team and will present evidence to the contrary.
The theme of the Entomology 2014 Debates is “Management Strategies: Solutions to Grand Challenges.”
In addition to neonics, other team topics are:
- The calls for the end of invasion biology are justified; this field should be replaced by the ecology of species redistribution. Washington State University vs. Louisiana State University.
- What is the single best tool to reduce malaria cases throughout the world? Florida A&M University vs. Kansas State University
The captain, Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, is heavily involved in ESA. He has been part of the debate and Linnean Games teams for four years. “Our debate team record has been 2-1 since 2011 and in 2013 we won 1st place for best team,” he said. He has participated in the student 10-minute paper competitions for four years, covering such topics as Lygus bug movements in bush beans, efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis spp. galleriae against rice water weevil, and preliminary research on winter flooding effectiveness against rice water weevil. He won first place for his winter flood presentation in 2013.
Aghaee is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate working on rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus) management in California rice. The majority of his dissertation research is dedicated toward developing alternative management options for growers. “I have examined the use of Bacillus thuringiensis spp. galleriae as a biopesticide for rice water weevil and explored the mechanisms of winter flooding rice fields as a cultural control against weevil larvae. I am currently examining the possible role of silicon augmentation as a means of increasing rice tolerance to weevil damage and the potential threat of Brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys) to California rice.
He has secondary interests in post-Renaissance European history and contemporary Middle Eastern politics. He explores some of these themes in his freshman seminar titled "Bugs, Germs, and Steel: A History of Entomology in Warfare" where he and his colleagues teach students how basic scientific research and ecology has influenced human conflicts and technological progress. Outside of entomology, his leisure activities include oil painting, language acquisition, and culinary specialization in Persian and Indo-Pakistani cuisines.
ESA president Frank Zalom, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, will preside over the 62nd annual meeting of the ESA, which meets Nov 16-19 in the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore.
More than than 3,200 insect scientists have already registered, according to the ESA's communications program manager, Richard Levine. It is expected to be one of the largest entomology meetings in recent memory.
"The Northwest, with its natural beauty and location at the edge of the Pacific rim, is an ideal place to reflect on our Entomology 2014 theme: Grand Challenges Beyond Our Horizons," said Zalom, in an ESA news release "This year, ESA will be launching an effort to identify the most important challenges to which our discipline can make significant contributions.
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.
Professor Diane Ullman will receive ESA's distinguished achievement award in teaching. This is the highest honor that the 7000-member ESA presents to its outstanding teachers.
Ullman earlier was named the recipient of the outstanding teaching award from the Pacific Branch of ESA. Ullman chaired the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 2004-2005, and served as an associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. from 2005 to 2014. (See more information.)
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)
Hamby received her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis in March 2014, studying with major professor Frank Zalom. She has just accepted a position with the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Starting in November, she will be an assistant professor of sustainable agroecosystems and will be involved in integrated pest management research, extension, and teaching.
Hamby's expertise includes sustainable integrated pest management strategies for various insect pests. Her dissertation research, titled "Biology and Pesticide Eesistance Management of Drosophila suzukii in Coastal California Berries," covered monitoring, yeast associations, chronobiology, chronotoxicity of insecticides, and the implications of this work to managing a recent invader, the spotted wing drosophila.
The Comstock award is the highest honor given to a graduate student. Hamby will be one of six honored at the national meeting. The others are:
- Eric Bohnenblust, Eastern Branch
- Rebecca Dew, International Branch
- Michael McCarville, North Central Branch
- Amber Dawn Tripodi, Southeastern Branch
- Nathan Lord, Southwestern Branch
Zalom praised Hamby's "established record of excellence in research, mentorship, and leadership." Kelly also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study molecular mechanisms of target site resistance to insecticides in this system. In 2011, she was awarded the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology from the ESA Pacific Branch.
Hamby received all three of her academic degrees from UC Davis, compiling a near perfect grade point average. 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, making the dean's honors list.
Hamby has published as a lead author in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Experimental and Applied Acarology, Journal of Economic Entomology, and PLoS ONE. She co-authored recently published articles in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (the open-access journal of the Genetics Society of America), Environmental Entomology, and Acta Horticulturae, and articles submitted to the Journal of Applied Entomology and PLOS Biology.
A member of ESA since 2009, with membership in both the Plant-Insect Ecosystems section and the Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicolgy sections, Hamby has attended and presented at four ESA annual meetings, and two PBESA meetings. She was invited to present papers in symposia at both the 2012 and 2013 National ESA meetings, and in a symposium at the 2012 PBESA meeting. Hamby has also presented papers at two international conferences including an invited symposium paper at the XXIX International Congress of Entomology in Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist and distinguished professor at UC Davis, is president of the 7000-member ESA and will preside over the Portland, Ore., meeting, ESA's 62nd annual meeting.
This is the second consecutive year that a UC Davis graduate student has received the Comstock award. Last year Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate who studies with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, received the award. The list of UC Davis recipients:
2014: Kelly Hamby
2013: Matan Shelomi
2008: Christopher Barker
1983: Elaine Backus
PBESA is comprised of 11 western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming), parts of Canada and Mexico, and seven U.S. territories.
The award memorializes John Henry Comstock (1849-1931), an American entomologist, researcher and educator known for his studies of scale insects and butterflies and moths, which provided the basis for systematic classification. Comstock was a member of the faculty of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., for most of his career, except for his service as a chief entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1879-81).
The UC Davis team, captained by Matan Shelomi and coached by Extension research entomologist Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a very close game, 50 to 20.
Team members are four doctoral candidates Shelomi, Rei Scampavia, Jenny Carlson and Danica Maxwell. Shelomi studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey; Scampavia with major professors Edwin Lewis and Neal Williams; Carlson with major professors Anthony Cornel and Greg Lanzaro; and Maxwell with major professors Michael Parrella and Edwin Lewis.
“All 50 points were won by Rei, our MVP--most valuable player--for the day,” Shelomi said.
The rounds continue on Tuesday, Nov. 12. (See schedule)
The Linnaean Games are college bowl-style games based on entomological facts and insect trivia.
Shelomi and Carlson represented UC Davis last year at the nationals. Others on last year’s team were doctoral candidates Kelly Hamby, studying major professor Frank Zalom; and Kelly Liebman, studying with major professor Tom Scott.
Some of the sample questions the UC Davis team answered correctly Sunday:
“According to the recent American Entomologist, two popular insects whose numbers are decline are the boney bee and what?”
“In a 2011 paper a new species of Halictidae, Lasioglossum gotham, was described. From what city was it discovered and what is its proposed common name?”
New York City and the Gotham Bee
“What is the name of the society devoted solely to the conservation of endangered invertebrates?”
The Xerces Society
“What are the two families of truly eusocial bees?”
Answers: Apidae and Halictidae
The UC Davis Linnaean Team won the right to compete in this year's ESA competition after winning second place at the Linnaean Games hosted by the Pacific Branch of ESA (PBESA). First-place honors went to UC Riverside team. The UC Davis team that placed in the PBESA included Shelomi and Scampavia; Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, who studies with Larry Godfrey; and Alexander Nguyen, an undergraduate entomology major student who volunteers at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
The UC Davis team has won either first or second place in the PBESA Linnaean Games since 2010. They won the regional championship in 2012 and 2011, and second in 2010.
In last year’s national finals, held in Knoxville, Tenn., UC Davis lost to the University of Wisconsin, which went on to compete in the finals. The University of Georgia took home the trophy.
The Linnaean Games are named for Swedish-born Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), a renowned taxonomist, ecologist and botanist.
ICE 2016 is expected to be the largest gathering of scientists and experts in the history of the entomological sciences, with an expected attendance of more than 6,000 delegates, Brown said. The Congress will be co-located with ESA's 64th annual meeting, along with other scientific society meetings. The latest global research on insect science will be presented under the theme, "Entomology without Borders.”
"ICE 2016 will provide a dynamic forum for the exchange of the latest science, research and innovations among entomologists all around the world,” Brown said. “Research shared will cover every aspect of the discipline and will bring thousands of experts together from every corner of the globe, many in person in Orlando and others remotely through the latest technologies. Students and early career scientists will have an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their research in front of a global audience, to compete in global competitions, and will make important connections to last a lifetime."
"This event, supported by other international initiatives ESA has in the works, will help us significantly broaden the awareness of the science and society around the world, help us build more collaborative partnerships, and aid us in providing access for our members and others around the globe to the latest research and science," he said.
The ICE 2016 Organizing Committee will be co-chaired by Walter Leal, professor of entomology at UC Davis, and Alvin M. Simmons, a research entomologist with the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, S.C.
The ESA is the largest organization in the world, serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA has more than 6,400 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government.
For more information on ICE 2016, contact Rosina Romano, ESA director of meetings, at email@example.com or call (301) 731-4535 x3010. --Richard Levine, ESA.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
That's what moderator Michael Klein, The Ohio State University, said when he introduced Harry K. Kaya, emeritus professor of entomology and nematology, at a special seminar in his honor at the 2011 Entomological Society of America meeting.
The seminar, "Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Their Biology, Ecology, and Application. A Tribute to the Dynamic Career of Harry K. Kaya," took place Nov. 15 at the ESA's 59th annual meeting, held in the Reno/Sparks Convention Center.
Organizing the event were Lynn LeBeck, executive director, Association of Natural Bio-Control Producers (ANBP), Clovis; Ed Lewis, professor of entomology and nematology and acting chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology; and David Shapiro-Ilan, research entomologist, USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).
Michael Klein, adjunct associate professor at The Ohio State University, moderated the seminar. Kaya worked on international research projects with Klein, who recently retired from the Horticultural Insects Research Laboratory, part of the USDA/ARS Application Technology Research Unit, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio
LeBeck echoed the feelings of the attendees when she praised Kaya as a top-notch researcher and as "a warm human being." She recalled the "many years of fun times and great research experiences with him."
LeBeck was one of dozens of people paying tribute to him and/or presenting a lecture at the special seminar.
Internationally recognized for his contributions to insect pathology and insect nematology, Kaya specialized in the utilizations of nematodes for biological control of insect pests; interaction between nematodes and other biological control agents; and general insect pathology (protozoan, viral and fungal diseases of insects).
One of the founders of the journal Biological Control, Kaya is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (2007) and the co-editor of the first and second editions of Field Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology, Application and Evaluation of Pathogens for Control of Insects and other Invertebrate Pests.
Scientists billed on the tribute program were:
Parwinder Grewal and Ruisheng An, The Ohio State University, "Cooperative Endurance and Pathogenesis: a Story of the Nematode and Bacteria Partnership"
Don Strong, UC Davis"Top Down Islands in a Bottom-Up Foodweb Sea: Native EPNs and Rootfeeders of Lupine"
Mary Barbercheck, Pennsylvania State University, "Hunter and Hunted: Entomopathogenic Nematodes in the Soil Food Web"
Larry W. Duncan, University of Florida, "Ecology and Conservation of Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Florida Citrus Groves"
Davis Shapiro-Ilan, USDA-ARS and Edwin Lewis, UC Davis, "Putting the Worms to Work: Application Technology for Entomopathogenic Nematodes"
James F. Campbell, USDA-ARS, Edwin Lewis of UC Davis and David Shapiro-Ilan, USDA-ARS, "Entomopathogenic Nematode Infection Behavior: from Mechanism to Adaptive Value"
Ho Yul Choo, Southern Forest Research Center, "Practical Use of Entomopathogenic Nematodes against Greenhouse Insect Pests"
Ramon Georgis, Brandt, "Commercialization of Entomopathogenic Nematodes: an Industry Perspective."
Kaya later said he was overwhelmed the outpouring. He sent the following note to the organizers: "I thank the organizers, Drs. Lynn LeBeck, Michael Parrella, Michael Klein, Ed Lewis, and David Shapiro-Ilan, for putting together this special symposium for me. I know it took a lot of effort in organizing the symposium, inviting speakers, and having a reception afterwards. I appreciate their efforts very much. I must say, however, that the speakers gave me too much credit when it was my students, post-doc, visiting scientists and collaborators who did the research and often came up with the research ideas and concepts. I was most privileged in having such dedicated students, researchers, friends, and colleagues around me and always having the great support of the department."
Harry K. Kaya
Kaya received B.S. and M.S. degrees in entomology from the University of Hawaii, and a Ph.D. in insect pathology from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked briefly as an entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (New Haven) before accepting a professorial position in the Department of Nematology and Department of Entomology at the University of California, Davis in 1976.
He served as chair of the Department of Nematology from 1994-2001, and was treasurer (1992-1996), vice president (2000-2002) and president (2002-2004) of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology (SIP). He is especially proud of his students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting international scientists, who have excelled in entomology, insect pathology or nematology.
He is one of the founding editors of the journal Biological Control, and is currently Editor-in-Chief. Dr. Kaya has received a number of awards from ESA, SIP, and the Society of Nematologists. (From the Entomological Society of America website on his selection as an ESA Fellow, updated October 2007)