Professor Diane Ullman today announced the list of noon-hour spring seminars hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. All seminars will take place on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. from March 30 through June 1 in Room 230 of Wellman Hall. (This is a change of venue from the winter quarter.)
The seminars, chaired by Ullman, are open to all interested persons.
The schedule as of April 25:
“Flowers feed the world, keep us healthy and make us smile,” says Buchmann, who received his doctorate in entomology in 1978 from UC Davis and is a longtime pollination researcher and adjunct professor in the departments of entomology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.
But flowers, especially red roses, the most commonly gifted flower on Valentine's Day, can't hold a candle to what most people never think about—that flowers feed the world, thanks primarily to honey bees, bumble bees, syprhid flies and other pollinators.
“Because pollinated and fertilized blossoms turn into nutritious fruits and seeds, these invaluable foodstuffs keep the world's 7.2 billion people from starvation,” Buchmann points out. “These resulting fruits also feed birds, bears and other wildlife.”
And flowers make us a smile. “Give someone flowers, and they flash a genuine Duchenne smile,” Buchmann promises. “Rutgers psychologist Dr. Jeanette Haviland-Jones has infused subliminal amounts of rose and gardenia vs. manmade scents into room air. Subjects use more enjoyment words and were more likely to approach or touch a stranger when the floral scents were present. Flowers may counteract the semiochemicals for fear, anger and anxiety that humans seem to constantly be emitting.
Other reasons for flowers, all detailed in his book, just released Feb. 9 in paperback by Simon & Schuster, include:
- Tasty and Nutritious. “Although the calories from starchy cereals and grain crops feed the world, we enjoy and need the ‘nutraceuticals' and antioxidants inside colorful cranberries, blueberries, oranges and apples,” he says. “They keep us healthy and happy.
- Edible flowers. “Some flowers--that is, roses, some marigolds--are great as edible garnish and foods.” His book relates “which ones can be eaten and what they taste like."
- Humans might never have evolved, or survived. “Early hominids certainly recognized that flowers were the harbingers of tasty fruits. Without flowers, perhaps no people today.”
- As costly as gold. “Saffron is the world's costliest spice and the subject of countless fake imitations,” Buchmann says. “The spice is the dried styles from crocus blooms. Hand-picking and the fact that this represents such a tiny fraction of the entire plant, make it so costly and precious.”
- For inspiration and romance. “Flowers have inspired generations of poets, writers and artists. Their myriad shapes, colors and scents enrich our lives with beauty. Their sexuality and alluring scents bring romance into our lives.”
- Most ancient. The world's earliest known flower is the 8-inch tall fossil Achaefructus that grew in China 130-160 million years ago. “It turns out that these and other early blooms were puny runts,” Buchmann says. “They wouldn't win best of show ribbons in any flower show.”
- Flowers in the service of science. “Without Gregor Mendel's crossing experiments with the humble garden pea, we wouldn't have learned about the laws of inheritance when we did. “
Buchmann has published more than 150 scientific articles and 11 popular nonfiction books, including The Forgotten Pollinators (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist) with Gary Nabhan. His book, Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive, is a National Science Teachers' Association Outstanding Science Trade Book. He's also written a children's book The Bee Tree (with Diana Cohn), described as the true story of a family of honey hunters in peninsular Malaysia.
Buchmann's major professor at UC Davis was Robbin Thorp, now a distinguished emeritus professor of entomology who continues his research on native bees. Both continue to teach the annual American Museum of Natural History “The Bee Course,” along with several other colleagues.
"Steve has been on the cutting edge of many areas of pollination biology," Thorp said. "He jumps on to new ideas with great enthusiasm and explores them in depth. He has been a leader in areas like buzz pollination, the contribution of electrostatics in pollen harvesting by bees, and adaptations in bees that collect oils from specialized flowers. He raised important issues about the conservation of bees in co-authoring the benchmark book, The Forgotten Pollinators, a decade before colony collapse disorder in honey bees captured the attention of the media and general public. He enjoys new technologies and exploring ways they can be applied to pollination research. At the annual Bee Course in Arizona, he provides a very popular demonstration of life within carpenter bee nests."
Buchmann wears a number of hats. He assists documentary filmmakers as a “bee and flower wrangler,” and served as the chief scientist for the 2013 Disneynature film Wings of Life, narrated by Meryl Streep. He also produced a short film Honey for the Maya, which can be seen on YouTube.
Besides writing and his beloved buzz pollination research (funded by a National Science Foundation Grant), Buchmann enjoys macro and landscape photography, along with making small fine art bronzes in a Tucson foundry.
The former UC Davis doctoral student remembers “walking up and down the stairs to my office in the old insect museum in Briggs Hall; and chatting with botanist/evolutionist Dr. Ledyard Stebbins; studying the pollination of shooting stars (Dodecatheon) near Lake Berryessa, the area that is now the Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve; and riding “back and forth to UC Berkeley and the UC Davis libraries on the free library shuttle.”
He did field work for his doctorate in Arizona, California, Wisconsin and Panama (Barro Colorado Island), and recalls the “wonderful mentorship of Dr. Robbin Thorp and the late Grady Webster.”
And flowers? Yes, many memories of flowers. He fondly remembers “roaming the serpentine rock outcrops of Napa Valley and inhaling the wonderful wine-like floral aroma of western spicebush (Calycanthus occidentalis) and “opening flowers of Dutchman's pipe festooning trees near Lake Berryessa, “to find their fungus gnat pollinators.”
Zalom was notified of the honor this week for his “significant contributions to insect science” by Royal Society president J. A. Pickett and secretary A.K. Murchie. He joins the ranks of eminent scientists including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.
The Royal Entomological Society plays a national and international role in disseminating information about insects and improving communication among entomologists. Founded in London in 1833, it is a successor to a number of short-lived societies dating back to 1745. In 1885 Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the society. In the centennial year of 1933, King George V added the word "Royal" to the title of the organization.
Zalom is served as president of the Entomological Foundation in 2015 as it transitioned to a formal affiliation with the ESA. He has been heavily involved in research and leadership in integrated pest management (IPM) activities at the state, national and international levels. He directed the UC Statewide IPM Program for 16 years (1986-2002).
Zalom, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, focuses his research on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as international IPM programs.
The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom has developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls and use of less toxic pesticides, that have become standard in practice and part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.
As a member of the UC Davis entomology department since 1980, Zalom has published more than 330 refereed papers and book chapters, and more than 380 technical and extension articles. The articles span a wide range of topics related to IPM, including introduction and management of newer, soft insecticides, development of economic thresholds and sampling methods, management of invasive species, biological control, insect population dynamics, pesticide runoff mitigation, and determination of host feeding and oviposition preferences of pests.
The Zalom lab has responded to a number of important pest invasions in the last decade, with research projects on glassy-winged sharpshooter, olive fruit fly, a new biotype of greenhouse whitefly, invasive saltcedar, light brown apple moth, and the spotted wing Drosophila. They are currently working on two pest problems recently discovered in California, grapevine red blotch associated virus and brown marmorated stink bug.
Zalom is also a fellow of the ESA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and California Academy of Sciences. He also served as vice chair of his department.
Highly honored for his work, Zalom has received ESA's “Recognition Award” and "Excellence in Extension Entomology Award," the Entomological Foundation's “Award for Excellence in IPM,” an award sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and given for “the most outstanding contributions to IPM” as well as its “IPM Team Award” as part of the seven-member UC Almond Pest Management Alliance IPM Team, and the “C. W. Woodworth Award” from the Pacific Branch of the ESA in 2011, its highest recognition. Additional notable honors Zalom has received include the “James H. Meyer Award” from UC Davis for teaching, research and service, the “Outstanding Mentor Award” from the UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research, and a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship.
His appointment was announced this week by Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter.
Nadler chaired the Department of Nematology for six years, until the two departments merged in 2011. He succeeds Michael Parrella, who has accepted a position as the dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
“Steve is an exceptionally strong researcher and teacher and has considerable administrative experience,” said Parrella, who served as chair from 1991-1999 and from 2009-2015. “I am confident he will continue to move the nationally ranked Department of Entomology and Nematology forward. It is good to know that I am leaving the department in very good hands.”
“I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the Department of Entomology and Nematology,” Nadler said. “The department has remarkable faculty, and I look forward to working with them and our dedicated staff and students to advance our research, teaching and extension goals.”
The Department of Entomology and Nematology was recently ranked as the top program of its kind in the United States and has an annual budget of almost $20 million. The department has 21 ladder-rank faculty, 40 graduate students, an undergraduate major with 40 students and oversees the undergraduate animal biology major with more than 300 students.
Nadler joined the UC Davis faculty in 1996 as an associate professor and associate nematologist, advancing to professor in 2001. He was named chair of the Department of Nematology in May 2005 and held that leadership position until June 2011.
Nadler researches the molecular evolutionary biology of free-living and parasitic nematodes and teaches undergraduate classes in parasitology and nematology, and a graduate class in molecular phylogenetic analysis.In 2013 he was awarded the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal by the American Society of Parasitologists; this is the society's highest research honor. His research program is well funded by the National Science Foundation. He is a co-author (with L. S. Roberts and J. Janovy, Jr.) of Foundations of Parasitology (9th edition, McGraw Hill), globally the most widely used undergraduate parasitology textbook.
“Much of my recent evolutionary research,” Nadler said, “has focused on nematodes of the suborder Cephalobina, a group that includes numerous bacterial-feeding species in soil, but also some parasitic taxa hosted by invertebrates. My current NSF research is designed to discover and characterize nematode biodiversity in soil by applying high-throughput sequencing of individual nematodes and metagenetics.”
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Nadler received his bachelor of science degree, cum laude, in biology in 1980 from Missouri State University, Springfield. He holds a master's degree (1982) and a doctorate (1985) in medical parasitology from Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans.
He did postdoctoral research from 1985 to 1986 as a National Institutes of Health research trainee in the Experimental Parasitology Training Program, Center for Parasitology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, followed by two years as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research associate at Louisiana State University's Museum of Natural Science, Baton Rouge.
Nadler joined the biological sciences faculty at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, as an assistant professor in 1990. He was promoted to associate professor in 1995.
Active in the American Society of Parasitologists (ASP), Nadler served as the organization's president from 2007 to 2008. He is an associate editor of Systematic Parasitology; subject editor of Zookeys (molecular systematics and phylogeny); and a member of the editorial board of Parasitology (British).
The Bohart Museum's gift shop includes a variety of gifts, including jewelry, t-shirts, posters, notecards, insect-collecting equipment, and new and used books.
The EGSA is offering its newest line of t-shirts, a design featuring a long-legged wasp (new species!) on a penny-farthing and other favorites, all created by graduate students or undergraduate students affiliated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Here's what's available at the Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane.
- Earrings and necklaces (with motifs of bees, dragonflies, moths, butterflies and other insects)
- T--shirts for babies, children and adults (walking sticks, monarch butterflies, beetles, dragonflies, dogface butterflies and the museum logo)
- Insect candy (lollipops with either crickets and scorpions, and chocolate-covered scorpions)
- Insect-themed food, Chapul bars made with cricket flour, and flavored mealworms and crickets
- Insect collecting equipment: bug carriers, nets, pins, boxes, collecting kits
- Plastic insect toys and stuffed animals (mosquito, praying mantis, bed bug and others)
- Handmade redwood insect storage boxes by Bohart Museum associate Jeff Smith
- Posters (Central Valley butterflies, dragonflies of California, dogface butterfly), prints of selected museum specimens
- Books by museum-associated authors:
The Story of the Dogface Butterfly (Fran Keller, Greg Kareofelas and Laine Bauer), Insects and Gardens Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology (Eric Grissell), Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Region (Art Shapiro), Butterfly Wish (Steve Stoddard, pen name S.S. Dudley), and multiple dragonfly books by Kathy Biggs.
- Notecards of bees and other pollinators by Kathy Keatley Garvey and Mary Foley Benson's wasp and caterpillar art
- Bohart logos (youth t-shirts, stickers and patches
- Used books
- Gift memberships
- Naming of insect species
“I wanted an insect that would be able to put its abdomen on the seat and have long enough legs to reach the pedals,” she said. She solved the dilemma by creating a “new species” of wasp and drawing the majority of votes from faculty, staff and students to win the annual contest. The result: “Hymenoptera on Bicycle.”
“I love the new design and think it translated very well on the t-shirts,” said EGSA treasurer and entomology graduate student Cindy Preto of the Frank Zalom lab. “ I expect it to be a great seller.”
It can be ordered in unisex heather navy with white lettering ($15 for small, medium, large, extra large and 2x); youth navy with white print ($15 for small, medium and large); and women's cut, heather red with light yellow print ($17 for small, medium and large).
The t-shirts from years past, all favorites, include "The Beetles" (reminiscent of The Beatles' Abbey Road album), a weevil (See no weevil, hear no weevil, speak no weevil), a dung beetle, honey bee and comb, and a "wanna bee."
Among the other favorites is "Entomology's Most Wanted." Former graduate students Nicholas Herold and Emily Bzydk featured "bug shots" (a take-off of "mug shots") of the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae), the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) bed bug, (Cimex lecturalius), and the housefly (Musca domestica).
Another gift could be for a beekeeper. Extension apiculturist Elina Niño and staff research associates Bernardo Niño and Charley Nye and graduate student Tricia Bohls are teaching beekeeping classes and those who wish to surprise a beekeeper or a prospective beekeeper with a gift—a workshop—can do so. Check out the list of courses.