Myfany Turpin, Ph.D
University of Sydney, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Title: Grub's Up! The Category of Edible Insect Larvae in Central Australian Aboriginal Languages
Hosts: Scott Carroll and Jenella Loye
Amanda Koltz, Ph.D
Washington University, Department of Biology
Title: Species Interactions and Ecosystems in a Changing World
Host: Emily Meineke
Maria Onyango, Ph.D
New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Centre
Title: The Impact of Zika Virus Infection on the Metabolites and Microbiome of Aedes albopictus
Host: Geoffrey Attardo
Anjel Helms, Ph.D
Texas A&M University, Department of Entomology
Title: The Smells of Dinner, Death, and Danger: How Organisms Navigate Multitrophic Interactions in a Chemical World
Host: Ian Grettenberger
Xianhui (Nitrol) Liu, Ph.D
UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Title: How Does the Time of Eating Affect our Circadian Physiology? (exit seminar)
Host: Joanna Chiu
Peter DiGennaro, Ph.D
University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department
Title: Gaps in Molecular Plant Nematology
Host: Shahid Siddique
Andre Kessler, Ph.D
Title: Chemical Information Driving Plant Interactions and Community Dynamics
Host: Rick Karban
For more information or for technical issues, contact Grettenberger at email@example.com
When UC Davis professor Jason Bond discovered a new genus of trapdoor spiders at Moss Landing State Park, Monterey County, and named the genus Cryptocteniza, he launched a “naming-of-the-species” contest.
The contest, beginning in mid-May and ending June 1, drew more than 200 suggestions from all over the world.
And now, Bond and fellow entomologists have selected a winner.
Entomologist Kirsten Pearsons, an alumnus of UC Davis who received her doctorate in entomology in August from Pennsylvania State University, submitted the winning name, “kawtak.”
So it's official: the trapdoor spider--or what Bond calls “the new endangered living fossil found on a sandy beach on a seashore along California's central coast"--is Cryptocteniza kawtak.
“The derivation of the specific epithet is Native American – from the Mutsun word for seashore,” said Bond, a noted spider authority and the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The Mutsun Indians lived near Mission San Juan Bautista.
In a forthcoming scientific journal article on the spider's phylogeny, evolution, biogeography and discovery, Pearsons will be credited with naming the species.
One of his co-authors helped select the name: Bond's former doctoral student Chris Hamilton, a Native American Chicksaw who is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology, University of Idaho, Moscow. “Chris was involved in crafting the name and etymology.”
“I have also named other California spiders in the past for Native American groups and feel strongly that such new species names are an elegant connection California, to the land and its native people, “ Bond said.
The UC Davis professor said the Cryptocteniza kawtak is “morphologically distinct and geographically isolated from other related genera, with its closest phylogenetic relatives found much further to the east in New Mexico and Arizona.”
Trapdoor spiders are so named because they construct their burrows with a corklike or wafer trap door made of soil, vegetation and silk.
Bond discovered the female spider in 1997, and figured at the time it might be a new genus. But despite repeated trips to the site, he could not find a male for 22 years. The male proved elusive until pitfall trap sampling in the fall of 2019.
It is rare to find a genus in the field, the professor said. The usual place is in museum collections.
Bond believes the genus is found only in that area, but thinks it may be closely related to a genus found in New Mexico and Arizona. “It is quite plausible that this genus was once likely far more widespread across California and the American Southwest, with potentially greater past species diversity throughout its larger hypothetical ancestral range,” he said
In their journal article, the five-member team reconstructed the spider's evolutionary history: its extinction following the Miocene epoch, 23.03 to 5.3 million years ago and the establishment of a Mediterranean climate. “Owing to its phylogenetic distinctiveness, incredibly narrow distribution and age, we show that Cryptocteniza meets all the criteria of an ‘Endangered Living Fossil' and is consequently of grave conservation concern,” Bond said.
The other three co-authors are Bond lab members, doctoral student Rebecca Godwin and project scientist James Starrett; and Joel Ledford, an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences. Ledford interview Bond on May 18 for his Tree of Life-UC Davis YouTube channel. (Watch it online.)
The group opted for no public vote on the spider name, as it might result in something similar to “Boaty McBoatface,” the winner of a contest to name a British polar research vessel.
Of the genus name, Cryptocteniza, Bond says that the adjective “hidden or secret” is prefixed to Cteniza, the Greek feminine noun “comb.” The latter refers to the comb-like rastellum (row of stiff spines on the chelicera) common in taxa and formerly assigned to the spider family Ctenizidae (e.g., Eucteniza). The prefix refers to both the diminutive form of the rastellum and the seemingly “hidden in plain sight” nature of the genus, he says.
Bond credited Vera Opatova, a postdoctoral fellow in his lab, with helping to formulate the genus name.
Pearsons said that when she proposed the name, this is what she wrote: "Kawtak means "on the seashore" in the Mutsun language. Before the Spanish arrived, the moss landing area was home to the Mutsun people (http://amahmutsun.org). Today, tribal members and linguists are working to revitalize the Mutsun language, so this could be a small way to recognize this effort and to recognize their ties to the Monterey Bay. Also, it just sounds nice following the genus name!"
For her doctorate, Pearsons (she studied with major professor John Tooker at Penn State), explored how pest management affects arthropod decomposers and decomposition in field crops. She received her bachelor of science degree in environmental toxicology in 2015 from UC Davis.
At UC Davis, Pearsons served as a peer advisor in the Department of Environmental Technology for nearly two years. She also worked in the summer of 2014 as a student intern in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road.
Zoom links and times will be announced for each speaker, he said.
Gil Rosenthal, Texas A&M
“Mate Choice and its Consequences for Speciation and Hybridization”
Host: Gail Patricelli
Nandita Garud, UCLA
“Rapid Adaptation in Natural Populations: Lessons from Drosophila and the Human Microbiome”
Host: Kate Lane
Sarah Fitzpatrick, W. K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University
“Linking Evolution and Demography through Genetic Rescue of Small Populations”
Host: Erin Calfee
Jenny Ouyang, University of Nevada, Reno
“Ecology and Evolution of Physiological Traits in a Changing World”
Host: Thomas Coombs-Hahn
Gillian Bowser, Colorado State University
“Ecological Racism: The Blindness to Environmental and Social Justice in Ecological Research”
Host: Frederick Nelson
Alison Feder, UC Berkeley
“Probing Tumor Evolutionary Progression through Space and Time”
Host: Matt Osmond
Ellen Damschen, University of Wisconsin
“Local and Landscape Influences on Plant Community Dynamics in a Changing World”
Host: Susan Harrison
Anurag Agrawal, Cornell University
“Ecological and Evolutionary Effects of Suppressing Insect Herbivores in a Long-term Field Experiment”
Host: Danielle De La Pascua
Thanksgiving, No Seminar
Emily Darling, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York City
“Big Data on Coral Reefs for Ecology, Conservation, and International Policy”
Host: Brooke Benson
Susana Wadgymar, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina
“Can Assisted Gene Flow Rescue Populations that are Threatened by Climate Change?”
Host: Elena Suglia
Despite COVID-19 pandemic precautions and constraints, the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), headquartered at the University of California, Davis, has certified its first-ever Master Beekeeper: Amy Hustead of Grass Valley, a veteran beekeeper who also happens to be the first and only beekeeper in her family.
Hustead, president of the Nevada County Beekeepers Association and a veterinary technician, recently passed the Master-level beekeeper certification process.
CAMBP, founded and co-directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. It offers three levels of certification (Apprentice, Journey and Master). Niño launched the first Apprentice class in 2016.
Hustead's passion is education and outreach, said Niño and CAMBP manager Wendy Mather.
Hustead's Master Capstone project involved teaching two, three-hour online CAMBP classes (“Planning Ahead for Your First Hives,” and “Working Your Colonies.”) She designed, developed and successfully delivered "Intermediate Backyard Beekeeping," an in-depth, online, four-hour course on science-based beekeeping for the hobbyist and sideliner. Topics included winter and spring preparation, swarm prevention, active swarming, splits and nucs (nucs, or nucleus colonies, are small colonies created from larger colonies), diseases, nutrition, maximizing honey production, and harvesting honey, wax, propolis and pollen.
Amy Hustead, a wife, mother of 9-year-old twin boys, and a seven-year beekeeper, said she really enjoys CAMBP. “It has allowed me to meet some really excellent beekeepers. I plan to continue to teach classes and help educate people on the biology of bees.”
What fascinates Hustead about bees? “When I was in college I studied sociobiology, which is a field of biology that explains social behavior in terms of evolution,” she said. “I have always been fascinated by the cross section of evolution and behavior. Bees are the epitome of social insects. Everything they do is for the good of the whole.”
“I dabbled in homesteading when I first moved to the foothills, and like a lot of people, started out keeping chickens. I think I wanted to get goats but my husband was not on board, so I decided to get bees instead.”
As a veterinary technician, she works in low-cost spay and neuter programs. "I also volunteer with an organization that provides veterinary care to pets of homeless and low-income people in the Sacramento area."
Bees keep her occupied at several locations. “I have between 15-20 personal colonies at three different locations,” Hustead related. ”I also manage a few colonies for other people.”
As it turns out, this year is not a good year for bees. “Mostly my bees aren't doing well this year,” she said. “The nectar flow was non-existent, and the recent fires haven't helped. For the first year ever I am harvesting no honey from my yard at home.”
Hustead home-schools her twins. “I am very serious about home-schooling my kids, and part of our curriculum is extensive travel.” The Hustead family has visited a number of states in the nation, and has already been to Mexico, Ireland, Costa Rica. “We are planning a Europe trip as soon as possible.“
“This year, despite COVID-19 constraints, the California Master Beekeeper Program continues its mission of using science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping, by moving its courses and exams online,” Mather said.
CAMBP's current 53 Apprentice candidates will take their online exam Sept. 12. To pass, they must score at least 75 percent. “Candidates will upload videos or partake in 'live from their apiary' Zoom sessions to satisfy the requirements of the practical rubric,” Mather said.
The Journey-level candidates have completed the online written portion of their certification and their videos and Zoom practicals are in progress. “So far, we're proud to announce that all 15 Journey level candidates scored above 80 percent on their written exams, and their videos and Zoom practicals are looking great!” Mather commented.
The Master level usually takes an average of five years to achieve. Some candidates choose to remain as Apprentice or Journey-level beekeepers. CAMBP offers pre-approved Master Capstone Tracks, but also encourages candidates to follow their passion if their favorites are not on the list, which includes:
- Native Bees and Pollinator Gardens
- Commercial Beekeeping
- Scientific Research
- Education and Outreach
- Policy for Honey Bees and Native Pollinators
Seven Master-Level Candidates
The seven Master-level candidates for the 2020-21 season are pursuing a variety of projects, including mapping drone congregation areas, authoring a book on the history of honey in ancient Greece, establishing a pollen library for the state of California, starting a commercial beekeeping business, and training a “detector dog” in the apiary.
To maintain active status as a Master Beekeeper with CAMBP, members are required to perform and log 25 hours of BEEs (Beneficial Education Experiences). Hustead will perform a minimum of 25 volunteer hours annually. Her volunteer service, at the minimum, is valued at $25.43 per hour or about $600 per year.
“Amy will have no problem doing that as she's active as the president of her local beekeeping club,” Mather said, “and she mentors many new beekeepers to help them become science-based stewards and ambassadors of honey bees and beekeeping.”
The ESA governing board elected Rosenheim and nine other entomologists as Fellows for their outstanding contributions in research, teaching, extension and outreach, administration or the military. The Fellows' Class of 2020, comprised of five men and five women, will be recognized at ESA's virtual annual meeting, Entomology 2020, Nov. 11-25.
"Jay's substantial contributions to basic and applied entomology are world-renowned, and clearly merit his election as a Fellow of the ESA," said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Rosenheim, who joined the UC Davis entomology faculty in 1990, is internationally known for his research on the ecology of insect parasitoids and predators, insect reproductive behavior, and the application of big data, or "ecoinformatics," methods in agricultural entomology.
“Rosenheim's work has shown that the structure of insect communities is more complex than the archetypal model of three discretetrophic levels, under which predators eat only herbivores and herbivores eat only plants," ESA wrote in a news release. "Instead, widespread predator-predator interactions (intraguild predation), omnivory, and cannibalism create rich and diverse dynamics that can either enhance or disrupt biological control. Rosenheim has also worked to introduce big data techniques to agricultural entomology. By harnessing the decentralized data gathering efforts of farmers, field scouts, and consultants, large data sets can be created and analyzed to reveal important relationships between pests, natural enemies, and crop performance. Rosenheim's research has also examined how organisms evolve to balance multiple factors that can emerge as limits to reproductive success, and how this shapes insect and plant reproductive traits.”
Rosenheim and two other faculty members of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology--associate professors Louie Yang and Joanna Chiu-- are co-founders and co-directors of the Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology, a mentored research program for undergraduates. Founded in 2011, the program has now trained more than 100 undergraduate researchers.
A native of Yorktown, N.Y, where he developed an interest in biology while exploring the vernal pools behind his Hudson River Valley home, Rosenheim holds a bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis (1983) and a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley (1987). Rosenheim served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii, and then studied as a Fulbright junior researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
The UC Davis distinguished professor has authored more than 160 peer-reviewed publications. In 2009, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Highly honored for his teaching and mentoring, Rosenheim received teaching awards from the Associated Students of UC Davis and the UC Davis Academic Senate, and the 2018 Distinguished Student Mentoring Award from the Pacific Branch, ESA. He has mentored 34 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are pursuing careers in the private sector, conservation nonprofits, journalism, and academia.
When he was nominated for the Pacific Branch award, his former students praised him for his excellence, kindness and dedication. The awards packet included such comments as “best teacher on campus,” “kind and patient,” and “someone who cares about us and our future.” A former graduate student described Rosenheim as a “successful scientist with a brilliant and inquisitive mind.” Another wrote that he is “one of the most dedicated and effective teachers” he's ever encountered. The ultimate compliment: “Someday I hope to be able to teach and inspire students as well as Jay does.” The Pacific Branch represents 11 states, seven U.S. territories, and parts of Canada and Mexico.
Rosenheim, named a UC Davis distinguished professor in 2018, joined ESA in 1983. He serves on the editorial board of the journals Biological Control and Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, and as a subject-matter editor of Ecology and Ecological Monographs.
Locally, he serves as the volunteer faculty representative for the Jepson Prairie Preserve, a Dixon-area site renowned for its vernal pools. The preserve is owned by the Solano Land Trust, which manages the site with UC Davis, the Nature Conservancy and Jepson Prairie Docents.
Rosenheim and his wife, Shulamit Glazerman, are the parents of four children: Hillel, 20, a student at the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton; Leah, 18, soon to begin her studies at SUNY Binghamton; and Eitan, 16, and Meirav, 14 of the family home in Davis.
Other newly elected ESA Fellows are
- Carol Anelli, professor, Department of Entomology and the Honors and Scholars Program at Ohio State University
- Carolina Barillas-Mury, head of the Mosquito Immunity and Vector Competence Section, National Institutes of Health, and formerly with Colorado State University
- David Dame, former medical entomologist with the Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a former independent consultant
- Richard Hellmich, lead scientist with the USDA–ARS, Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Laboratory, and affiliate professor of entomology, Iowa State University
- Philip Koehler, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of Florida
- Catherine Loudon, vice chair and senior lecturer, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine
- Corrie Moreau, Martha N. and John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity at Cornell University in the Departments of Entomology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Ithaca, N.Y.
- James Truman, emeritus professor of biology, University of Washington (UW); former group leader at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Northern Virginia; and now a UW researcher at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, San Juan Island, Puget Sound.
- Susan Weller, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor of entomology at University of Nebraska–Lincoln
ESA, founded in 1889 and headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, is the world's largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Its members are affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. See list of ESA Fellows.
(ESA contributed to this news story)