The distinction recognizes outstanding professors who have achieved the highest level of scholarship, in that they are globally recognized for their research and also known for their excellence in teaching. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology has four other distinguished professors: nematologist Howard Ferris and entomologists Bruce Hammock, Frank Zalom and Thomas Scott.
Carey, whose work spans four decades, is considered the world's foremost authority on insect demography; a worldwide authority on the demography and invasion biology of tephritid fruit flies, particularly the Mediterranean fruit fly; and a preeminent authority on biodemographics of human aging and lifespan. He is also a pioneering force advocating the educational use of digital video technology, work that he is sharing throughout much of the state, nation and the world.
For 10 years, Carey served as the principal investigator and director of the multidisciplinary, 11-institution, 20-scientist program “Biodemographic Determinants of Lifespan,” which received more than $10 million in funding from the NIH/NIA from 2003 to 2013.
Carey has published more than 200 scientific papers and three books on arthropod demography, including the monograph Longevity (Princeton, 2003) and the “go-to” book on insect demography, Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993). His landmark paper on “slowing of mortality at older ages,” published in Science in 1992 and cited more than 350 times, keys in on his seminal discovery that mortality slows at advanced ages. The UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science cited this as one of “100 Ways in Which Our College Has Shaped the World.”
In his quest for developing concepts for estimating the age structure of insect populations, Carey discovered a new analytical property of life tables--known in demographic circles as Carey's Equality--that the death distribution in a life table population equals its age structure. It is a unique property of the life table that connects it to a stationary population. Scientists consider the discovery remarkable for two reasons: first, that it was unknown despite the 150-year history of the life table, and second, that it was discovered by an entomologist and not by any of the thousands of mathematicians, demographers or actuaries that study and apply them.
His groundbreaking paper documenting medfly establishment in California (Science 1991) generated what scientists described as much-needed discussion within the entomological community about definitions of eradication, the concept of subdetectable levels of invasive pests, and the need for a paradigm shift in invasion biology of economically and medically important arthropod pests.
Carey also is known for his involvement with the light brown apple moth eradication in northern California, testifying to the California Legislature, California Assembly Agriculture Committee, California Senate Environmental Quality Committee, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, California Roundtable for Agriculture and the Environment, Senator Migden hearings, Nancy Pelosi staff meetings, and California Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture. For his work involving the light brown apple moth, Carey was named “Hero of the San Francisco Bay” in 2008 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian along with botanist Daniel Harder, executive director of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, and horticulturist Jeff Rosendale, who operates a nursery in Soquel.
Carey chaired the systemwide UC Committee on Research Policy and served on the system-wide UC Academic Council. He currently chairs the 2014-15 Education Technology subcommittee of UC Davis Campus Council for Information Technology (CCFIT), which provides advice and recommendations to key UC Davis administration on educational and information technology and its use at UC Davis in support of instruction, research, administration and public service/
Another highlight of his digital technology work is his key role as an advisor of the nine-university CARTA (Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa). He recently delivered presentations in two African counties on the use of the digital technology in research, teaching and outreach. He was the only invitee from the United States to participate in the workshops, one held in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2014 and the other in Kampala, Uganda in July 2014.
An innovative teacher and scientist, Carey this year received a UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest honor given by the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), for outstanding accomplishments in entomology.
In his teaching and/or digital technology projects, Carey
- Encourages students to learn through creative, innovative ways, such as the student-produced, instructor-directed video productions, “One Minute Entomologist” and “How to Make an Insect Collection (the latter won an award from the Entomological Society of America)
- Offers an innovative, online course, “Terrorism and War,” through the Science and Society program. It was selected one of 27 courses, UC systemwide, to receive grand support ($75,000) from UC Online.
- Served as the pioneering and driving force behind the UCTV Research Seminars; he began video-recording seminars in his department several years ago and then encouraged video-recording on all the other nine UC campuses.
- Partnered with Assistant Professor Sarah Perrault in the University Writing Program to produce a playlist of 13 videos, Write Like a Professor; The Research Term Paper.
- Designed and taught “Longevity,” a 4-credit course based on his research program in the biology and demography of aging (biodemography). He also created a kinship video.
In addition, Carey has presented more than 250 seminars in venues all over the world, from Stanford, Harvard, Moscow, Beijing to Athens, London, Adelaide and Okinawa. He serves as associate editor of three journals Experimental Gerontology, Demographic Research and Genus.
A former vice chair of the UC Davis Department, the distinguished professor is a senior scholar at the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at UC Berkeley, and a fellow of four professional societies across several disciplines: the Entomological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences.
Carey received his bachelor's degree in animal ecology from Iowa State University; his master's degree in entomology from Iowa State University; and his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley. He joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980.
News Brief: March 16, 2013
The New York Times' report focuses on how the state "handled Mefly scares going back more than three decades," wrote Clyde Haberman.
The article begins:
"Ceratitis capitata. To a Muggle's ears, it sounds like an incantation from a Hogwarts wizard. If only the matter were whimsical.
Ceratitis capitata may be better known by its nonscientific name: the Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly to its friends. Only the Medfly has no friends, certainly not among fruit and vegetable growers, and certainly not among anyone interested in reasonably priced produce undamaged by these insects, whose eggs, hatched under the skin of, say, a tomato or a peach, develop into larvae that feast on the pulp. California, the nation's fruit basket, with a $40-billion-a-year agricultural industry, feels especially vulnerable. How that state has handled Medfly scares going back more than three decades is the focus of the latest installment of Retro Report, a series of documentary videos that take a second look at major news stories from the past."
Evans has worked as a research entomologist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Beltsville Bee Research Laboratory for 14 years. His projects have focused on a range of bee pests including bacteria, fungi, viruses and, mites, and beetles. He is especially interested in the immune defenses of bees toward these threats.
Evans was an early proponent of the Honey Bee Genome Project and helped recruit and organize scientists interested in applied genomics for bees. He has improved and applied genetic screens for possible causes of colony collapse disorder and is now heading a consortium to sequence the genome of the Varroa mite in order to develop novel control methods for this key pest.
Evans holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton and a doctorate in biology from the University of Utah.
The fall seminars, coordinated by faculty members Joanna Chiu and Brian Johnson, will be held every Wednesday noon through Dec. 11 in 122 Briggs Hall, except for Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Week, when no seminar will be held.
The complete list of fall seminars (with topics to be announced later):
Wednesday, Oct. 2 (cancelled due to government shutdown)
Research entomologist, USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD
Title of talk: "Bee Disease Resistance and Colony Health"
Wednesday, Oct. 9
Curator of entomology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
Affiliated with AMNH Division of Invertebrate Zoology and leads a group of researchers at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics,
Title of talk: “The Tree of Life is Dead, Long Live the Tree of Life”
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Neal Williams lab
Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis
Title of talk: "Parasites and Pesticides: Indirect Effects on Pollination Service"
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Director of Cornea and External Disease Service
Professor of Ophthalmology
Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science
UC Davis Health System, Sacramento
Title of talk: "Vision from Trilobites to Trichogammatids: How the Arthropods See"
Wednesday, Nov. 6
Department of Biological Sciences Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tenn.
Title of talk: “Cooperation and Conflict at the Plant/Insect Interface”
Wednesday, Nov. 13
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Title of talk: to be announced
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.
Title of talk: to be announced
Wednesday, Nov. 27
No speaker (Thanksgiving Week)
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Professor and director of Graduate Studies
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Title of talk: "Specificity and the Process of Biological Control Using Aphid Parasitoids"
Wednesday, Dec. 11
Entomologist at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, Rotterdam Area, Netherlands
Title of talk: "Generalist Predators and Biological Pest Control in Greenhouse Crops"
The seminars are scheduled to be video-recorded and posted on a later date on UCTV in a project coordinated by professor James R. Carey.
Aug. 6, 2013
(See sidebar on James Carey)
(Read PDF of research article)
DAVIS--Research published today in the highly respected international journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B clearly demonstrates that at least five and as many as nine species of tropical fruit flies, including the infamous Medfly, are permanently established in California and inexorably spreading, despite more than 30 years of intervention and nearly 300 state-sponsored eradication programs aimed at the flies.
The new study by a trio of scientists affiliated with the University of California, Davis, has significant implications for how government agencies develop policies to successfully manage pests that pose a threat to California's $43.5 billion agricultural industry.
“Despite due diligence, quick responses, and massive expenditures to prevent entry and establishment of these insects, virtually all of the fruit-fly species targeted by eradication projects have been reappearing in the same locations — several of them annually — and gradually spreading in the state,” said UC Davis entomology professor James Carey, an international authority on fruit-fly invasion biology and co-author of the study, which examined more than 60 years of state fruit-fly capture data.
“Regulatory policies as well as pest management and agricultural practices need to be revised to reflect the reality that these insects are here to stay. We need to develop long-term strategies to deal with these pests that are effective, safe for public and environmental health, and minimally burdensome to growers,” Carey said. “Fortunately, the multiple small populations of fruit flies in the state and the long lag times in the growth of these populations will give policymakers and planners time to develop a robust, science-based response.”
“This work is the most comprehensive analysis of populations of tropical fruit flies in California to date, and in any region worldwide,” said insect population biologist George Roderick, the William Muriece Hoskins professor and chair of the Division of Organisms and Environment at UC Berkeley and an expert on biological invasions who is not affiliated with the new study.
“The strength of the study lies in the use of multiple lines of evidence — population modeling, molecular genetics, ecological trapping, border control/airport detections — and that it studies the same phenomenon in 17 species,” Roderick said.
“The study has dramatic implications for California agriculture and the state’s international trading partners, and speaks to the urgent need to alter current eradication policies aimed at invasive species,” said horticultural entomologist Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Frank Zalom, incoming president of the Entomological Society of America and a UC Davis entomology professor, said the new study provides a “careful and systematic analysis of fruit-fly finds and presents a compelling argument that these detections represent continued reoccurrences of resident populations rather than re-invasions of California.”
“This study deserves serious consideration, and I hope that it helps lead to new discussions on a long-term approach for dealing with fruit flies and similar exotic pests by the United States and international regulatory authorities,” said Zalom, who is an expert on integrated pest management.
Carey notes that other U.S. states and European nations with conditions equally hospitable to fruit flies, as well as similar patterns of international travel and detections of fruit flies in cargo at ports of entry, do not have established fruit-fly populations.
“This combination of findings definitively rebuts the hypothesis that the multiple detections of many species of fruit flies in California each year are the result of repeated new introductions,” he said. “What we are detecting here are low-level, established populations.”
Carey collaborated with lead study author Nikos Papadopoulos, an entomologist at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and Richard Plant, a UC Davis professor emeritus of plant sciences and biological and agricultural engineering. Papadopoulos, the study’s lead author and an internationally renowned expert on fruit-fly demography and invasion biology, was formerly a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar at UC Davis.
"These findings may have wider implications regarding management of fruit-fly invasions that may go well beyond California,” Papadopoulos said. “This unique dataset can provide many fundamental answers regarding many aspects of invasion biology and related global policy.”
“We’re very confident that our results indicate that at least five and possibly several more fruit-fly species are established in California,” said Plant, who provided mathematical modeling and statistical analysis for the study.
The researchers applied computerized data-mapping technology to analyze historical fruit-fly detection data. Using this analysis, they determined that besides the olive fly, which is confirmed as established, the Mediterranean, Mexican, oriental, melon, peach and guava fruit flies are now also established in California.
Fruit-fly history in California
Tropical fruit flies have been a concern to California for nearly 60 years, with the first fruit fly discovered here in 1954. Since then, 11,386 individual flies, including adults and larvae representing 17 different fruit-fly species, have been detected in nearly all regions of the state.
Both adult and larval fruit flies pose a threat, with the larvae (maggots) actually burrowing into and damaging a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Because of the state’s geographic location and climate, California is considered particularly vulnerable to introduction and establishment of tropical fruit-fly populations. The pests were thought to be arriving either on cargo shipments or on infested fruits carried in by travelers from regions of the world where fruit flies were native or had become established.
State and federal agencies have for many years coordinated efforts to prevent the invasive fruit flies from establishing breeding populations in California and other vulnerable states. Such activities include restricting commodity imports from regions with ongoing fruit-fly outbreaks, requiring post-harvest treatments for produce grown in areas with established fruit-fly populations, maintaining large-scale fruit-fly monitoring programs for early detection, and release of sterile fruit flies to slow or prevent reproduction of the invasive flies.
The potential costs associated with established fruit-fly populations are substantial. For example, a 1995 study estimated that a confirmed Medfly establishment alone in California would result in $493 million to $875 million in annual direct costs, and the imposition of a related embargo on shipping fruits and vegetables from the state would cause an additional loss of $564 million. The state economy could lose $1.2 billion in gross revenue and more than 14,000 jobs, the earlier study suggested.
New study findings
In the new published study, the researchers report that several lines of evidence now indicate that the fruit flies have become self-sustaining and thus established in California, including:
- abrupt initial appearance of fruit flies in the mid-1950s, followed by many repeat detections;
- seasonality of fruit-fly appearances;
- northward spread of fruit-fly detections in the state;
- lack of new detections or introductions of fruit-fly species in most other at-risk regions of the United States and the Mediterranean; and
- multiple detections of several fruit-fly species in nearly the same California locations 20 to 50 years after they were first detected.
“Collectively, the data suggest that, much like other invasive species, tropical fruit flies can be present in low numbers for decades,” Carey said. “This ‘lag time,’ which is such a hallmark of invasion biology, explains why California can be harboring very small, established populations of these pests with only periodic captures that reveal their presence.”
He noted that two aspects of the fruit-fly invasions are advantageous for policymakers and planners: all detected fruit-fly species are extremely small and may continue to exist for years below detectable levels, and the fairly long lag times provide opportunities for developing new management protocols and programs.
Carey said that an immediate assessment should be made of the economic impact of having each species established in the state, projecting the individual and collective effects of the fruit flies for all affected California fruit and vegetable crops.
He also suggests that government agencies might increase fruit-fly monitoring, particularly in the Central Valley and California’s other agriculturally important areas; make contingency plans for future outbreaks; establish “fruit-fly-free” zones in the state to assure trading partners; and enable farmers to purchase crop insurance that would provide protection against losses due to fruit-fly crop damage or marketing restrictions.
In addition, California farmers and packers should consider the presence of established fruit-fly populations when developing their cropping plans and production strategies, he said.
In the scientific arena, Carey recommends that genetic analyses be developed for all of the fruit-fly species identified in the state, to determine whether single or multiple invasions of each species are occurring and identify new strains that might be introduced in the future.
Invasion biology expert Roderick from UC Berkeley projects that the new study will have a sustaining impact on both science and policy.
“I predict this paper will be remembered as much for its future impact on how science is used in developing strategies for pest management worldwide as for the conclusions it draws about the state of tropical fruit-fly populations in California,” he said.
The study was supported by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and internal funding from the University of California, Davis, and the Cooperative Research Program at the University of Thessaly, Greece.
About UC Davis
For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
- James Carey, Entomology, (530) 752-6217, firstname.lastname@example.org (Carey will be away from campus Aug. 6-10 but can be reached then by e-mail or on cell at (530) 400-8998.)
- Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, email@example.com
(Editor's Note: See James Carey's website for links to his work.)
Sixty-five years ago, we feared communism and nuclear war by nation states, he said. “Today's it's bombs in suitcases.” These are by “people who don't wear uniforms, who don't have “big weapon systems” and who “violate all rules of warfare.”
“U.S. security measures enacted 65 years ago aren't working and new security measures must be enacted,” Hart told entomology professor James Carey's 240-student class in a townhall-like forum.
Carey, who created the “terrorism and war” course, the first of its kind offered by the Science and Society Program at UC Davis, said Sen. Hart's lecture drew widespread response. "Sen. Hart's lecture and presence introduced students to new ways of thinking about national security in this country and beyond,” Carey said. “He gave them a very personal look at the world they are inheriting and how important their voice can be in shaping the future."
“These classes introduce students to critical thinking and important contemporary topics in science,” said Carey, professor and director of the Biodemographic Determinants of Lifespan.
Hart, speaking on "Developing a National Security Strategy for the 12st Century," said the “unprecedented burst of internationalism” from 1947 to 1949, including the formation of the United Nations, “prevented World War III, elevated our standard of living and we got together to talk. “
“The bad news is that we're still trying to govern the world using 65-year-old institutions. Times change and we have to adapt.”
“New realities cannot be addressed by military means alone,” Hart said, “and new realities cannot be addressed by one nation alone.”
The Commission, Hart said, “performed the most comprehensive review of national security since 1947, predicted the terrorist attacks on America, and proposed a sweeping overhaul of U.S. national security structures and policies for the post-Cold War new century and the age of terrorism.”
Hart said the attack on the Twin Towers could have been prevented if the U.S. had heeded the. Commission's strategic recommendations, such as “tightening our borders, monitoring the use of flight training and paying attention to foreigners.” He listed several “resistances” as to why the recommendations weren't followed:
--We had not been attacked on the mainland (between 1812 and 2001)
--We are a large island nation
--Then (1947-1974) we had a large, secure middle class
--Our economic and military superiority
--Our rugged individualism and suspicion of government planning
Four historic revolutions in the 21st century that have changed our world, he said, are globalization, information, erosion of national sovereignty and the changing nature of conflict.
Hart listed six ” new realities” of the 21st century that we must confront: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, threat of pandemics, climate change, failed and failing states, mass south-north migration, and radical fundamentalism and ethnic nationalism (terrorism).
“Immigration is a global problem, not an American problem,” Hart said. “People (throughout the world) are moving northward for a better standard of living.”
Mass migrations, he said, can lead to turmoil, diseases, food shortages, economic instability and the overthrow of governments.
“None of these new realities of the 21st century can be solved by the U.S. alone,” Hart declared.
Under his proposed “new security” framework, Hart said we must adapt military structures that shift from consumption to production, guarantee a well-educated and healthy work force, invest in innovation and research, contain climate change, halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, manage failing states and network security resources.
“We have to anticipate crises rather than react to them,” he said. “Use of force should be a last resort.”
He called for “transparency in policy and operations” and reminded the students that the U.S. ”is a republic, not an empire.”
Hart also advocated more sophisticated intelligence, protection of critical infrastructure pioneering in cyber-defense and that we pursue nano-technology.
What's sorely needed, he said, is a “global commons”—and “increased cooperation between the nation states” and the need to “promote common approaches to common interests.”
Hart lamented that the U.S. has become “a nation of consumers, not producers” and that “we have to find things we can do better than anyone else.”
China, he said, is financing our economy, including our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When asked during the question-and-answer session, if the United States will go to war with China over Taiwan, Hart responded: “China does not want a war with us or anyone. China is our biggest creditor.”
“The only way that China would invade the United States is to get their money back,” he quipped. “They loan us money and we buy all their stuff.”
Turning to terrorism, he said he is often asked: “Are we going to be attacked by terrorists again?
“Yes,” he said. “Will it be sooner or later? Sooner.”
Hart said that New York City, site of the Twin Towers attack and “10,000 people trained in homeland security,” is “10 times more prepared for terrorism than say, Denver, Cleveland or Dallas.”
The “Terrorism and War” class, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Social Sciences Building, will include a talk on the Central Intelligence Agency, “The Fog of War,” and “Liberation of Auschwitz” in the coming weeks. The course ends June 3.