DAVIS--Crowds will "explore the diversity of life" at 13 museums or collections during the seventh annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day on Saturday, Feb. 17. The event, set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. is free and open to the public.
Displays will range from ancient dinosaur bones to live praying mantises, from hawks to honey bees and from California condor specimens to carnivorous plants. Last year's Biodiversity Museum Day drew more than 4000 visitors to campus.
This is a family friendly, science-based event, said Biodiversity Museum Day chair Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology. All 13 museums or collections are within walking distance on campus except for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road and the Raptor Center on Old Davis Road. Openings vary from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m.
The following will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
- Arboretum and Public Garden, Good Life Garden, next to the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Science Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- Paleontology Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
The following will be open from noon to 4 p.m.:
- Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds
- Design Museum, 124 Cruess Hall, off California Avenue
- Botanical Conservatory, Greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Bee Biology Road, off Hopkins Road (take West Hutchison Drive to Hopkins)
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, Yang said, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. In the event of rain, alternative locations are planned for the outdoor sites. Maps, signs and guides will be available at all the collections, online, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay.
Capsule information about each museum or collection:
The Arboretum and Public Garden display will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Good Life Garden, next to the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Science Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus. It will join two other collections: Phaff Yeast and Viticulture and Enology. The Arboretum activities will be interactive; Learning-by-Leading Students are creating the content that will be featured on the day of Biodiversity Day. Coordinator: Melissa Cruz, outreach and leadership program coordinator.
Bohart Museum of Entomology
The Bohart Museum of Entomology will be open from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, off LaRue Road. The Bohart is the home of a global collection of nearly 8 million insect specimens. Highlights will include the 500,000-specimen butterfly/moth collection, curated by entomologist Jeff Smith; display of praying mantises, including orchid mantises, by UC Davis entomology student Lohit Garikipati; and a Belize insect collection display by Smith and fellow Bohart Museum associates Fran Keller and Dave Wyatt from their latest expedition. "You'll be able to see the tremendous diversity of butterflies, moths and mantids, and talk to the scientists who have just returned from there," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "There will be orchids and orchid bees connecting the Bohart Museum's work with plant biology and science."
California Raptor Center
The California Raptor Center on 1340 Equine Lane, Davis, just off Old Davis Road, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A living collection of non-releasable raptors will be on exhibit. The center's educational ambassador birds will be out "on the fist" in the fenced yard by the museum, so visitors can get a close look at wild raptors while talking to the volunteers and learning about the magnificent birds of prey that live in this area, said Julie Cotton, volunteer and outreach coordinator. The on-site museum, recently renovated, features redesigned exhibits and a new touch-screen display. Coordinator: Julie Cotton, volunteer and outreach coordinator.
Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology
The Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, in Room 1394 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane (off LaRue Road) will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors can view the bird and mammal museum specimen taxidermy demonstrations; explore the research collections with museum docents; see the newly acquired California condors on display, and see other specimens on display, including Papua New Guinea birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, primates and marine fishes. Note that strollers are not allowed in classroom or museum, they can be parked them under adjacent stairwell. Visitors are also asked to wash their hands before entering museum. Coordinator: Andrew Engilis Jr., director.
The Paleobiology Collection will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road. Visitors can view fossil specimens dating from as old as 550 million years ago to more recent animal skeletons. Paleontology graduate students in invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology will answer questions and provide interesting factoids. Coordinator: Mark Deblois, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Phaff Yeast Culture Collection and Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection
These collections will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus. Visitors can learn about the importance of microbes in research, biotechnology, and food and beverages, and about the proud history of two of the world's prominent microbe collections. The Phaff Yeast Culture Collection is part of the Department of Food Science and Technology department, and the Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection is part of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Visitors can see and smell dozens of yeast species, learn how yeasts and bacteria are important for making fermented foods and beverages (even clothes can be made from microbes), taste vegemite, marmite and kombucha tea; learn about cutting edge research using these microbe collections; and tour the UC Davis teaching winery and brewery.
The microbe collection activities will be in the Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery, Winery and Food Processing building, which is in the southwest area of the complex of orange buildings at Old Davis Road and Hilgard Lane. Coordinators: Kyria Boundy-Mills, Phaff collection curator and specialist, Food Science and Technology, and Lucy Joseph, Viticulture and Enology collection curator and senior museum scientist.
The Department of Anthropology Museum in 328 Young Hall will be open from noon to 4 p.m. The Anthropology Museum curates collections of archaeological, ethnographic, biological and archival materials. The theme is "Year of the Dog" and there will be a scavenger hunt for kids to find all the hidden dogs in the exhibits, and people can test their skills as an ancient hunter and toss an atlatl dart or learn to make a tool from volcanic stone, says zooarchaeologist Christyann Darwent. The Anthropology Museum curates collections of archaeological, ethnographic, biological and archival materials. The museum maintains a teaching collection that includes casts and reproductions of artifacts from a variety of prehistoric human groups. Coordinator: Christyann Darwent, associate professor.
The Design Museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. in Room 124 of Cruess Hall. Professor Timothy McNeil and curator Adrienne McGraw will staff the exhibit, It's Bugged: Insects' Role in Design, which explores the connections between people and insects. This is a special opening just for Biodiversity Museum Day. (The exhibit opened Jan. 8 and continues through April 22; regular hours are weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.) "It's Bugged" includes art from hornet nest paper; beetle-gallery sculptures, and insect-themed clothing from the Department of Design faculty and graduate students; and insect specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology and insect photos from UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. Coordinators: Timothy McNeil, professor, and Adrienne McGraw, exhibition curator.
The Botanical Conservatory
The Botanical Conservatory, greenhouses on Kleiber Hall Drive, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors can expect a multi-sensory experience of a plethora of plants primarily from the tropical and subtropical biomes. Featured plants and displays include the always popular carnivorous plants, fruiting specimens of Chocolate (Theobroma) and Coffee (Coffea), various Amorphophallus species at various stages of leaf and possibly flowering individuals, an assortment of cacti, succulents and other desert dwellers, and finally an assortment of winter blooming South African Bulbs to further entice the senses. Coordinator: Ernesto Sandoval, collections manager.
Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium
The Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium, open from noon to 4 p.m. in Room 1026 of the Sciences Laboratory Building, central campus (off Kleiber Hall Drive), will exhibit Hmong medicinal and culinary herbs. Viewers can view and identify plants under the microscope and watch plant pressing and mounting demonstrations. A kids' area activity will include pressed plants/glue/paper. Coordinator: Ellen Dean, curator.
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee demonstration garden next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, Bee Biology Road, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Activities include catch-and-release bee viewing and making "Feed the Bees" seed cookies. The haven was installed in the fall of 2009. A six-foot-long bee sculpture, Miss Beehaven, by artist Donna Billick, co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, anchors the haven. Other art, coordinated by entomology professor Diana Ullman, co-founder and director of the Art/Science Fusion Program, and Billick, also graces the haven. Guests will see bee condos occupied by leafcutter bees and mason bees. Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, has recorded more than 80 different species of bees in the garden. Coordinator: Christine Casey, academic program management officer.
The nematode collection will open from noon to 4 p.m. in the Science Laboratory Building, central campus (off Kleiber Hall Drive). Visitors can expect to see live and preserved nematode specimens. Highlights include the huge jars of whale intestinal worms. Nematodes, also called worms, are elongated cylindrical worms parasitic in animals or plants or free-living in soil or water. They exist in almost every known environment. The many different species eat everything from bacteria and fungi to plant and animal tissue. Coordinator: Corwin Parker, nematology doctoral student.
For further information about the Biodiversity Day, access the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website.
Williams will receive an award of $25,000 to be used in support of his research, teaching and public service activities. He will serve as a Chancellor's Fellow until July 1, 2020, Katehi said.
The program, established in 2000 to honor the achievements of outstanding faculty members early in their careers, is funded in part by the Davis Chancellor's Club and the Annual Fund of UC Davis.
His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of bees and other pollinator insects and their interactions with flowering plants, especially in light of changing landscapes. His work is particularly timely given concern over the global decline in bees and other pollinators.
Colleagues praise him for being a gifted scientist doing groundbreaking fundamental research and as an effective communicator of research findings to California agriculture, especially the almond industry.
Williams joined the UC Davis faculty in 2009 and received tenure as an associate professor in 2013. He received his doctorate in evolution and ecology from State University of New York, Stony Brook.
More information on the Fellows, from Dateline
That's the topic of a special conference--open to the public –set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9 at the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane. UC Davis researchers and state officials will address the crowd, announced conference coordinator Dave Fujino, director of the UC Davis-based California Center for Urban Horticulture.
“We are pleased to have such a knowledgeable lineup of UC Davis researchers who will clarify the issue of impact of neonicotinoid impacts on pollinators by summarizing and presenting the past and current science-based research,” Fujino said. “We are also fortunate to have additional presentations on the regulation guidelines on neonicotinoids and their role in controlling invasive pests in California, and a diverse group of stakeholders participating in a panel discussion on the neonicotinoid issue.”
Neonicotinoids, recently implicated in the worldwide die-off of pollinators, including honey bees, are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Considered important in the control of many significant agricultural and veterinary pests, they target the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. “Neonics,” as they're called, are commonly used on farms, and around homes, schools, and city landscapes.
Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, will provide an overview of the current use of neonicotinoids and the role of honey bees in California agriculture. Six other speakers are scheduled, along with a panel discussion.
The speakers include:
- Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, who will discuss “California Pesticide Regulation of Neonicotinoids”
- Nick Condos, director of the Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division, California Department of Food and Agriculture, “Neonicotinoid Risks Associated with Invasive Species Management”
- Karen Jetter, associate project economist, UC Agricultural Issues Center, “Trends in Neonicotinoid Usage in California Agriculture and the Control of Invasive Species”
- Margaret “Rei” Scampavia, a doctoral candidate who studies with major professors Neal Williams and Ed Lewis of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, “Past Neonicotinoid and Bee Research”
- Elina Lastro Niño, Extension apiculturist based at the Harry H. Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, “Current Neonicotinoid and Bee Research.”
The California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) will co-host the event with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Sponsors include California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC), a trade organization founded in 1911 to promote and protect the California nursery industry; Four Winds Growers, based in Winters, Calif.; Scotts Miracle-Gro, a company headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, and known as the world's largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products; and Monrovia, a horticultural craftsmen company headquartered in Azusa, Calif.
At the close of the conference, Fujino will preside over a panel discussion on neonicotinoid issues and concerns. Questions and answers from the audience will follow. The panel is to include a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, and representatives from the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, Home Depot, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bayer CropScience and the American Beekeeping Federation.
The registration fee of $50 will include lunch, as well as the post-conference social hour. To register, access the CCHU website at http://ccuh.ucdavis.edu/public/copy_of_public/neonicotinoid-pollinator-conference-2015/neonic or contact CCUH representative Kate Lincoln at email@example.com or (530) 752-6642.
The European Union recently adopted a proposal to restrict the use of three pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for a period of two years. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that by January 2016, it will ban the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides and the use of crops improved through biotechnology throughout the 150 million acres managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System.
DAVIS--Research entomologist Jay Evans of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS) will speak on "What's It Like Inside a Bee? Genetic Approaches to Honey Bee Health" from 12:10 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4 in 122 Briggs Hall.
The seminar, sponsored by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be hosted by the Marin County Beekeepers.
"Honey bees are the preferred agricultural pollinators worldwide, and are important natural pollinators in Europe, Asia, and Africa," Evans says in his abstract. "The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is both aided and abused by humans, leading to a worldwide distribution on one side, and alarming regional die-offs on the other. Primary causes of honey bee colony death range from inadequate nutrition to stress from chemical exposure and maladies caused by a diverse set of parasites and pathogens."
"Often, domesticated honey bees face two or more stress agents simultaneously. Genetic approaches are being used to determine and mitigate the causes of bee declines. Genetics screens are available for each of the major biotic threats to bees, and screens have been used to determine risk levels for these threats in the field. Thanks to extensive analyses of the honey bee genome, tools are also available to screen bees for heritable traits that enable disease resistance, and to query the expressed genes of bees to infer responses to chemicals and biological stress. This talk will cover genetic insights into honey bee health, disease resistance and susceptibility to chemical insults."
Evans received his undergraduate degree in biology at Princeton and his doctorate in biology from the University of Utah. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Georgia, where he became interested in honey bees. After a brief project on queen production at the University of Arizona, he joined the USDA/ARS as a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD.
He is especially interested in insect immunity and in the abilities of social insects to evade their many parasites and pathogens. He focuses his projects on a range of bee pests including the American foulbrood bacterium, small hive beetles, nosema, viral pests and varroa mites.
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.
The next UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminar will be:
Title of Seminar: "Bee Genes, Behavior and Adaptation"
Professor, Department of Biology
Using state-of-the-art genome sequencing and bioinformatics, the researchers resolved a long-standing, unanswered evolutionary question. Scientists previously thought that ants and bees were more distantly related, with ants being closer to certain parasitoid wasps.
Ants, bees and stinging wasps all belong to the aculeate (stinging) Hymenoptera clade -- the group in which social behavior is most extensively developed, said senior author and ant specialist Phil Ward, professor of entomology at UC Davis.
"Despite great interest in the ecology and behavior of these insects, their evolutionary relationships have never been fully clarified. In particular, it has been uncertain how ants—the world’s most successful social insects—are related to bees and wasps," Ward said. "We were able to resolve this question by employing next-generation sequencing technology and advances in bioinformatics. This phylogeny, or evolutionary tree, provides a new framework for understanding the evolution of nesting, feeding and social behavior in Hymenoptera."
“With a phylogeny or evolutionary progression that we think is reliable and robust, we can now start to understand how various morphological and/or behavioral traits evolved in these groups of insects, and even examine the genetic basis of these phenotypic changes,” Chiu said.
Johnson, whose lab studies the genetics, behavior, evolution and health of honeybees, noted that the study showed that ants and bees are more closely related than previously thought.
The scientists combined data from the transcriptome -- showing which genes are active and being transcribed from DNA into RNA-- and genomic (DNA) data from a number of species of ants, bees and wasps, including bradynobaenid wasps, a cuckoo wasp, a spider wasp, a scoliid wasp, a mud dauber wasp, a tiphiid wasp, a paper wasp and a pollen wasp; a velvet ant (wasp); a dracula ant; and a sweat bee, Lasioglossum albipes.
Of particular interest was the finding that ants are a sister group to the Apoidea, a major group within Hymenoptera that includes bees and sphecid wasps (a family of wasps that includes digger wasps and mud daubers).
The UC Davis results also provide a new perspective on lower Cretaceous fossil Cariridris bipetiolata, originally claimed to be the oldest fossil ant. Scientists later reinterpreted it to be a spheciform wasp.
“Our discovery that ants and apoids are sister taxa helps to explain difficulty in the placement of Cariridris,” the authors wrote in the paper, “and suggests that it is best treated as a lineage close to the root of the ant-apoid tree, perhaps not assignable with certainty to either branch.”
The scientists discovered that the ancestral aculeate wasp was likely an ectoparasitoid, which attacks and paralyzes a host insect and leaves its offspring nearby where they can attach to the outside of the host and feed from it.
The research drew financial support from UC Davis.