Klittich, who grew up in the nursery business, will receive a two-year $10,000 scholarship, or $5000 per year. The scholarship is awarded to a master's or doctoral candidate studying horticulture or a related field and seeking a career as a researcher, scientist or educator.
Klittich, who plans to receive his doctorate in entomology in 2016, aspires to be a floriculture scientist and educator.
"I am very excited," he told AFE. "Support from the industry is a very meaningful and appreciated honor." He said he is grateful for the opportunity to "help the industry move forward" with his work on pest control and management."
The scholarship, established in 2010, is funded by contributions to AFE from the floral industry, the Ecke family and other sources.
Klittich's research focuses on increasing plant resistance to herbivorous and improving integrated pest management (IPM) programs in horticulture and floriculture. He is currently analyzing the effects of silicate fertilizers on leafmining pests in chrysanthemum and gerbera production systems.
"I intend to continue this research by testing silicate fertilizers in field trials at production facilities and on new crops," he told AFE. "This scholarship will help with technical aspects in the laboratory and allow me to travel and do more field work."
"The end goal of any applied research project should be to give useful, needed information to growers and industry personnel," Klittich said.
"Danny has given many presentations of his research at grower meetings in California as well as at regional and national programs under the auspices of the Entomological Society of America," wrote nominator Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
“He has written several successful grant proposals, has a number of practical publications and he is committed to a research/extension career focused on the floriculture/nursery industry," Parrella noted. Klittich has also collaborated with growers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, including Ocean Breeze International, Pyramid Flowers, Inc., and GroLink Chrysanthemums.
"We have been impressed with his practical and technical knowledge and his experience with research projects,” wrote Rene Van Wingerden and Phil Soderman of Ocean Breeze in their recommendation letter. “Daniel has an excellent understanding of the needs of agriculture/horticulture growers.”
Klittich, from Fillmore, Ventura County, is a graduate of Fillmore High School and valedictorian of the Class of 2006. As a youth, he worked at his family's nursery, Otto and Sons Nursery, Inc., Fillmore. He was also active in 4-H and Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
Klittich received his bachelor degree in entomology from UC Davis in 2010. Following his graduation, he worked in the Parrella laboratory, helping to maintain the greenhouses and experimental plants and assisting with pesticide efficacy trials on several crops and pests including spider mites, leafminer and mealbugs. He enrolled in the doctorate program in 2012 and continues his work in the Parrella lab. He is the current president of UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association.
Active in the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Pacific Branch of ESA, Klittich was a member of the UC Davis championship team that won the national ESA student debate in 2014 and 2013. The 2014 topic dealt with whether the agricultural use of neonicotinoids should be banned, while the 2013 topic centered on whether to use GMOs to increase food security in regions where the technology is not universally accepted.
In addition, he is a frequent invitational speaker at ESA meetings. He presented a scientific talk on “Role of Invasive Arthropods in Introducing New Pathogens to the Pacific Branch” (2013 PBESA meeting, South Lake Tahoe) and “Influencing oviposition and feeding site selection of Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) (2014 ESA meeting, Austin, Texas).
Klittich serves as a teaching assistant for a UC Davis entomology class on "Natural History of Insects" and co-organized a freshman seminar in 2013 on "Insects in Industry."
The American Floral Endowment is dedicated to advancing the industry through funding floriculture research, educational grants and scholarships. More than $15 million has been funded toward research projects benefiting the entire industry, and more than $600,000 has been funded in scholarships designed to attract and retain the future leaders of the industry.
(Editor's Note: Lori Ostrow, communications specialist with the American Floral Endowment, contributed to this news story.)
Spotlight on Danny Klittich
Klittich, who is starting his third year as a doctoral student in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, studies with major professor Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the department.
The T-shirt, publicly available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting EGSA, is golden yellow with a black illustration. Graduate student and T-shirt project coordinator Margaret “Rei” Scampavia is taking orders at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sizes range from youth small to adult double X.
Klittich says he's not an artist but has always had an interest in honey bees. He was a member of the UC Davis graduate student team that won the student debate championship, Nov. 18, at the Entomological Society of America's 62nd annual meeting in Portland, Ore. The team debated neonicotinoids, defeating Auburn (Alabama) University team. UC Davis successfully argued the con side of “Neonicotinoids Are Causing the Death of Bees Essential for Pollinating our Food Crops. The Use of Neonicotinoids Should End.” The team, captained by Mohammad-Amir Aghaee of the Larry Godfrey lab, also included Jenny Carlson, Anthony Cornel lab; Ralph Washington Jr., Steve Nadler lab; Margaret "Rei" Scampavia, Neal Williams/Edwin Lewis lab.
Klittich, from Fillmore, is a graduate of Fillmore High School and valedictorian of the Class of 2006. He grew up in the nursery business, working at his family's nursery, Otto and Sons Nursery, Inc., Fillmore. During his youth he was active in 4-H and Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
Klittich plans to receive his doctorate in 2016. His career goal: to pursue a career in pesticide and IPM research either in the private sector or in the California University System as a farm advisor.
In addition to the honey bee t-shirt, EGSA is offering other T-shirts, most available for $15. Popular EGSA shirts depict a dung beetle, “They See Me Rollin'”; a “cuddling moth” for infants and toddlers; a weevil shirt, “See No Weevil, Hear No Weevil, Speak No Weevil”; and “The Beetles” shirt, of four beetles crossing Abbey Road, reminiscent of The Beatles pictured on their Abbey Road album. All can be ordered from Margaret “Rei” Scampavia at email@example.com.
NEWS BRIEF: April 8, 2014
UC Riverside went on to win the championship, defeating Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. Both the winning team and the runner-up team will represent the Pacific Branch at the ESA meeting, Nov. 16-19 in Portland, Ore. The winning ream receives $500 to offset travel expenses. President of the ESA is integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, professor of entomology at UC Davis.
At the 2013 PBESA meeting, UC Riverside took first, and UC Davis, second.
The 2014 UC Davis team members, advised by Extension specialist Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who participated in the semi-finals were:
- Matan Shelomi, doctoral student who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey
- Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, doctoral student who studies with major professor Larry Godfrey
- Rei Scampavia, doctoral candidate in the Edwin Lewis and Neal Williams lab
- Alexander Nguyen, an undergraduate student majoring in entomology who is an undergraduate researcher in the Bruce Hammock lab
- Alternate: Danny Klittich, doctoral student who studies with Michael Parrella (Klittich is also president of the Entomologiy Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
In the preliminary competition, Klittich served as a team member with Shelomi, Aghaee, and Nguyen.
The Linnaean Games is a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomology-based facts with four-member teams. Each must be in a degree program (bachelor's, master's or doctorate) or have completed a degree within one year of the contest.
Each team scores points by correctly answering a question posed by the moderator. There are two types of questions: toss-ups and bonuses, with each question worth 10 points.
One of the questions in the preliminary games: "Edward Knipling developed a new insect control technique. What was the insect he worked?"
Answer: "Primarily the screwworm fly with the sterile insect technique (SIT)."
Among the other questions asked of the various teams:
Question: What three hexapod orders comprise the "entognatha?"
Answer: Protura, Collembola and Diplura.
Question: Who is the current ESA President?
Answer: Frank Zalom
Question: What is the Arizona state Insect?
Answer: The two-tailed swallowtail butterfly, Papilio multicaudata
Question: Who wrote the poem "To A Louse," which opens with this stanza:
"Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place."
Answer: Robert Burns.
UC Riverside correctly answered the Arizona state insect question in the UCR-WSU championship match. UCR also answered the entognatha question, although UC Davis knew the answer, too.
The Zalom question was asked during another two teams' match.
The Burns question was a bonus for UC Davis, but the team did not know the answer.
- University of Arkansas and Mississippi State University; their topic was "What is the Best Individual Solution to Preserving the World's Current Biodiversity?"
- Oklahoma State University and Louisiana State University; their topic was "Using Citizen Scientists to Collect Data in Scientific Experiments?"
The rules posted on the ESA website:
Total time for each debate will be approximately 45 minutes.
1. For each topic, there will be a five-minute unbiased introduction. This neutral introduction will be assigned to someone other than the two teams in a particular debate.
2. Following the unbiased introduction, there will be a seven-minute statement by the first team outlining their plan to implement the given topic. Only during this seven minute presentations are teams allowed to use Powerpoint slides. The PPT slides can contain text and only two colors (including background and text).
3. This will be followed by a three-minute cross-examination by the second team. This is an opportunity for the second team to clarify points made by the first team. This time is only for clarification, not for the actual debate.
4. The second team then gives their seven-minute statement. Ideally, they will anticipate some of what the first team has to say and will have enough data researched to be able to show the flaws and problems with the first team's plan. The second team usually does not present an alternative plan, as the status quo is often the alternative.
5. The first team will then have an opportunity for a three-minute cross examination of the second team's argument. This time is also only for clarification.
6. Two-minute second team rebuttal
7. Two-minute first team rebuttal
8. Two-minute second team rebuttal
9. Two-minute first team rebuttal
10. Questions from the judges and the audience (10 minutes)A panel of judges evaluates each team’s argument, which is limited to only 15 of their references. It is submitted to the Student Affairs Committee chair prior to the meeting. Following the meeting, the team has the chance to revise its manuscript, which is then compiled for submission to the American Entomologist journal.
Matan Shelomi, who is studying for his doctorate in entomology with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, captains the 2013 UC Davis Linnaean Team. Others on the team are Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, doctoral student of research entomologist Larry Godfrey; Rei Scampavia, doctoral student who studies with major professors Edwin Lewis and Neal Williams; and Danica Maxwell, who is studying for her master's degree with major professors Michael Parrella, chair of the Department of Entomology, and Edwin Lewis, vice chair. Larry Godfrey serves as the coach.
Linnaean Games are college bowl-style games based on entomological facts and insect trivia. Team members respond to the moderator's questions by buzzing in with the answers. The preliminary rounds conclude with the finals, set for Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The UC Davis Debate team is captained by Aghaee and coached by Parrella. Team members are Shelomi, Danny Klittich, doctoral student of Parrella; and Irina Shapiro, a doctoral student of Lewis. The UC Davis debaters have been assigned the "con" side of the debate, "Using GMOs to Increase Food-Security in Regions Where the Technoogy is Not Universally Accpeted." They will be facing Auburn University, Alabama, which has been assigned the "pro" side. The event takes place at 3:49 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The UC Davis Linnaean Team won the right to compete in the 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, Aghaee, Scampavia, and Alexander Nguyen, an undergraduate entomology major student who volunteers at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Shelomi and Aghaee are veteran competitors in the Linnaean Games.
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.
Also at the ESA meeting, Shelomi will be honored as the recipient of the John Henry Comstock Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA.