She studies with major professor Jason Bond, the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Godwin delivered her presentation—her first ever at an ESA meeting--on “Phylogeny of a Cosmopolitan Family of Morphologically Conserved Trapdoor Spiders (Mygalomorphae, Ctenizidae) Using Anchored Hybrid Enrichment, with a Description of the Family Halonoproctidae Pocock 1901.”
Godwin competed against nine other presenters in her category, "Graduate Student 10-Minute Presentations: Phylogenetics" (within the ESA Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Section).
As a prize winner, she received a year's membership to ESA and a certificate. Overall, the ESA program drew 265 scientific sessions featuring 2,430 oral and 569 poster presentations with presenters from 68 different countries, according to Joe Rominiecki, ESA manager of communications. The submissions in the student competitions totaled 773, he said, adding “A student may enter both the Student 3-Minute Presentation Competition and the Student Poster Competition.”
Godwin's dissertation research deals generally with trapdoor spiders in the family Ctenizidae. “These spiders are distributed across the globe, on every continent but Antarctica,” she noted. “They create silk-lined burrows with cryptic trap doors in which they spend their entire lives. Broadly, I am studying the evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships among the members of the Ctenizidae, and describing a large amount of previously undocumented diversity along the way. Specifically, my dissertation addresses the monophyly of the family, phylogeography of two genera, Hebestatis and Bothriocyrtum, which occur in the California Floristic Province, and a revision of the genus Ummidia in North and South America.”
The abstract of her ESA presentation:
“The mygalomorph family Ctenizidae previously had a world-wide distribution and contained nine genera and 135 species. However, the monophyly of this group had long been questioned on both morphological and molecular grounds. We use Anchored Hybrid Enrichment (AHE) to gather hundreds of loci from across the genome for reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships among the nine genera and test the monophyly of the family. We also reconstruct the possible ancestral ranges of the most inclusive clade recovered.”
“Using AHE, we generate a supermatrix of 565 loci and 115,209 bp for 27 individuals. For the first time, analyses using all nine genera produce results definitively establishing the non-monophyly of Ctenizidae. A lineage formed exclusively by representatives of South African Stasimopus was placed as the sister group to the remaining taxa in the tree, and the Mediterranean Cteniza and Cyrtocarenum were recovered with high support as sister to exemplars of Euctenizidae, Migidae, and Idiopidae. All the remaining genera—Bothriocyrtum, Conothele, Cyclocosmia, Hebestatis, Latouchia, and Ummidia—share a common ancestor. Based on these results, we elevated this clade to the level of family. Our results definitively establish both the non-monophyly of the Ctenizidae and non-validity of the subfamilies Ummidiinae and Ctenizinae. We formally described the family Halonoproctidae Pocock 1901 and infer that the family's most recent common ancestor was likely distributed in western North America and Asia.”
Godwin holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology (2004) and a master's degree in wetland biology (2011) from Auburn (Ala.) University. She joined the doctoral program at Auburn University in 2016 and transferred to UC Davis this year, joining her major professor Jason Bond, a seven-year Auburn faculty member who chaired the Department of Biological Sciences, and curated arachnids and myriapods at the Auburn University Museum of Natural History.
Godwin will be among those participating in the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on "Eight-Legged Wonders" on Saturday, March 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. The Bohart is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. She was featured in a recent article in the Savannah Morning News, Georgia, on trapdoor spiders.
This was the inaugural meeting of the Grand Challenges in Entomology Initiative. ESA is committed to thinking and acting more globally, enhancing its influence by establishing a science policy program, identifying attainable challenges for entomology that could lead to sustainable solutions for some of the world's important insect-based problems, and more effectively communicating what entomologists do to improve the human condition. At the invitation-only Summit, the participants explored “three broad issues of major global importance to which entomology can make a unique and powerful contribution”:
- Sustainable agriculture – global hunger, food security, and natural resources preservation
- Public health related to vector-borne diseases
- Invasive insect species – global trade, biodiversity, and climate change
ESA president May Berenbaum, professor and department head, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Zalom welcomed the crowd.
Zalom co-chaired the Summit with
- Silvia Dorn, professor of applied entomology, ETH Zurich; past president of the Swiss Society of Phytomedicine; and fellow of the ESA, Royal Entomological Society, and International Society of Horticultural Sciences.
- Le Kang, director of the Institute of Zoology and president of Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences; current president of the Entomological Society of China; and fellow of ESA and TWAS (formerly Third World Academy of Sciences)
- Antônio R. Panizzi, senior scientist, Embrapa and professor, Federal University at Curitiba; and former president of the Entomological Society of Brazil
- John Pickett, Michael Elliott Distinguished Research Fellow at Rothamsted Research; immediate past president of the Royal Entomological Society; and fellow of ESA and Royal Entomological Society
Introductory comments on behalf of the co-chairs emphasized that “leadership meetings such as this one provide an opportunity for connectivity among the world's entomology societies."
This was the very first International Entomology Leadership Summit at an ICE meeting. It was aimed at connecting leaders from the entomological community worldwide and discussing how entomologists "can make unique and powerful contributions toward solving some of the world's insect-based problems, a goal that can be achieved only through collaborative, international efforts," officials said. The last ICE meeting held in the United States (Washngton, D.C.) took place 40 years ago.
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, co-chaired ICE 2016 with Alvin Simmons, research entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS), U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina.
Leal said that 6,682 delegates from 102 countries attended the historical ICE 2016 meeting in Orlando. “Alvin and I were very glad to hear about the level of satisfaction: 87 percent,” Leal said, adding that "we worked very hard to prepare for the Congress and promised it would be a historic event: mission accomplished!”
Doctoral candidate Roberta Tognon, who studied with integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will present a research paper from the Zalom lab at the Brazilian Entomological Society meeting March 16.
Tognon's presentation is on “Learning and Memory of Telemonus podisi Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) to Chemical Compounds from Halyomorpha halys Stal (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs. She studies with major professor Josue Sant'Ana of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.
Both of the professors are attending the meeting.
Chemical ecologist Jeff Aldrich, an adjunct faculty member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology (now retired from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service lab at Beltsville, MD.), is also a co-author on her paper.
Zalom traveled to Brazil to attend the Zika summit, which just ended. He was on stage at the Brazilian Entomological Society opening session to present a major award, as he did two years ago. Zalom is a past president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America (ESA).
Canada's CDC covered the Zika summit and issued this report, headlined "Entomologists Bather in Brazil to Stop Zika Mosquito." Grayson Brown of the University of Kentucky, also an ESA past president and an organizer of the event, is quoted in the news story.
This is the third consecutive year that a UC Davis graduate student has won the prestigious award, the highest student award given by PBESA. Kelly Hamby of the Frank Zalom lab, won it in 2013; and Matan Shelomi, a graduate student in the Lynn Kimsey lab, Bohart Museum of Entomology, won it in 2012.
Aghaee, a fifth year Ph.D. candidate working on rice water weevil management in California rice, will receive the award at PBESA's 99th annual meeting, set April 12-15 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and will present a talk on the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus. He will be among the six Comstock recipients, all winners from their individual branches, honored at the national ESA meeting, Nov. 15-18, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Pacific Branch of ESA encompasses 11 U.S. states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming); several U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; and parts of Canada and Mexico.
“Mohammad took on a very difficult project for his dissertation research,” said Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey, who nominated Aghaee for the award. “His project deals with the most important invertebrate pest of rice in California, the rice water weevil. The challenges arose not only from working in the rice system--wading through mud for hours--but also from working with this insect that cannot be reared in the laboratory and which has one generation per year. Therefore, all the field studies had to be conducted within the short window of time each year.”
Aghaee received his bachelor's degree in environmental sciences, genetics and plant biology in 2010 from UC Berkeley, with high distinction. He obtained his master's degree in entomology from UC Davis in 2012, and expects to receive his doctorate in December 2015.
Aghaee fostered his interest in entomology through his employment as an undergraduate research assistant at UC Berkeley in the lab of aquatic entomologist Vincent Resh. Aghaee also traces his interest in entomology and pest management to his family's large garden, where they grew vegetables and fruits.
When he joined the Godfrey lab, Aghaee was awarded the competitive UC Davis Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship. His other honors include the William and Kathleen Golden International Agriculture Fellowship, and vegetation management award and a field studies scholarship. He teaches or serves as a teaching assistant for entomology classes and is a past president of the Entomology Graduate Student Association.
“Mohammad has a passion for public speaking and debating stemming from his involvement in the Berkeley Model Nations Alumni Association, starting in 2006, which organized crisis simulations for high school students around important political events,” Godfrey said.
Aghaee and Godfrey recently published an open-access article appearing in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management that discusses the rice water weevil's life history and invasion biology, as well as management strategies and future directions of research. They told the story of the weevil since it was first identified as a pest in 1881 by C. V. Riley and L. O. Howard. They then discussed reasons why it has been able to spread so rapidly — up to 36 kilometers per year in some cases — which is partly because of its ability to reproduce asexually.
“This invasive ability is aided by a particular and peculiar aspect of this weevil's biology, the fact that a small percentage of the population in its native range reproduces by parthenogenesis,” they wrote.
The most harmful insect pest of rice in the United States, it causes yield losses of up to 25 percent. Adults inflict damage by consuming leaf tissue, and the larvae feed on the roots of rice plants. A native of the southeastern U.S., the rice water weevil invaded Japan in 1976, Korea in 1980, China in 1988, and Italy in 2004.
Aghaee maintains secondary interests in post-Renaissance European history and contemporary Middle Eastern politics. He explores some of these themes in his freshman seminar titled "Bugs, Germs, and Steel: A History of Entomology in Warfare" where he and his colleagues teach students how basic scientific research and ecology has influenced human conflicts and technological progress. Outside of entomology, his leisure activities include oil painting, language acquisition, and culinary specialization in Persian and Indo-Pakistani cuisines.
The Comstock award memorializes John Henry Comstock (1849-1931), an American entomologist, researcher and educator known for his studies of scale insects and butterflies and moths, which provided the basis for systematic classification. Comstock was a member of the faculty of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., for most of his career, except for his service as a chief entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1879-81).
Zeroing in on the Rice Water Weevil
UC Davis Debate Team Wins ESA Championship
The award will be presented at PBESA's 99th annual meeting, set April 12-15 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. PBESA encompasses 11 Western U.S. states, plus several U.S. territories and parts of Canada and Mexico. Carey's nomination then will advance to the national level of ESA.
“Dr. Carey is not only considered the most technologically innovative and creative classroom teacher on the UC Davis campus, but his expertise is highly regarded throughout the UC statewide system,” wrote nominator Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “He crafted a groundbreaking model for 21st century instruction, and his presentations are in high demand statewide, nationally and globally. His presentations have taken him from UC Davis to UC Irvine to the University of Alabama, and beyond, including Germany, Korea, Denmark, France and Africa.”
“Dr. Carey uses synergistic strategies to develop video-based learning methods for faculty research programs, professional networks and outreach programs,” Parrella said. “He has developed ‘what-you-need-to-know' videos to increase writing and speaking skills and technical fluency, as well as to understand such subjects as copyright and fair use laws. All are geared for ease of learning and increased knowledge retention.”
Carey last year received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award from the UC Davis Academic Senate, an honor given to internationally recognized professors who excel at teaching.
When asked his philosophy of teaching, Carey said: “My philosophy of teaching is inseparable from my philosophy of scholarship. Students need to know the big picture to understand the pixels. They need to zoom in and zoom out so that they can consider the details I present in class in the context of larger conceptual and operational frameworks.”
Japanese exchange student Yuku Masada, enrolled in his Longevity course, praised him for his “creativity of coursework, unmeasurably broad knowledge and enthusiasm for mentoring.”
Another student, Julia Schleimer, described his Longevity course as “one of the best course I've taken at Davis. I've learned a tremendous amount of content material about the lifespan and aging, and have been equally inspired by your teaching methods. I especially respect the value you place on empowerment through education and research.”
Wrote student Anna Liu (Longevity course): “You came prepared to each lecture, excited and passionate to teach us about your areas of expertise and that helped me really learn and retain a lot more material than I would have otherwise. One of the stand out things I will remember is how to effectively write a research paper (thanks to the great guidelines and TA help!) and also the current aging trends (which I which completely unaware of). I especially loved how you used a variety of resources (Skype, online quizzes, and interesting readings) to help us have a good general overview of longevity and aging - it really helped me stay on top of the material!”
Carey's technological accomplishments include chairing the UC Academic Senate University Committee on Research Policy, and describing a framework or “road map” for using low-tech, low-cost, and easy-to-use video captures of seminars to increase research synergy across the 10 UC campuses. Carey advocates that seminars be “public”; that the tax-paying public be able to view the seminars for free. The result: the University of California TV Station (UCTV) used the roadmap to create the UCTV Seminars. To date, the website has tallied some 7 to 10 million seminar downloads.
Carey, who advises the systemwide UC Online and chairs the UC Davis Educational Technology Committee, also teaches faculty, staff and students how to create short, to-the-point videos, and how to record seminars. He himself has created 125 mini-videos. His 12-minute video covering 15 digital ideas and teaching continues to draw national and international attention (University of Virginia, United Nations Population Division, Denmark, France, Germany and Korea). He has delivered presentations from UC Davis to UC Irvine, and from the University of Alabama to overseas.
For the past three years, Carey has taught video instruction methods for the 9-university Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (Nairobi twice; and Kampala and Uganda once) and did so again in March. (See his video handbook at http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/206961.pdf)
He taught a UC Davis chemistry "how to make one-minute videos on the properties of the elements in periodic tables." The result: 540 one-minute videos, probably a world record.
Some of his major accomplishments in video technology:
Write Like a Professor: The Research Term Paper. To meet the considerable challenge of teaching writing to classes of 250 students, Carey created a playlist of 13 videos “Write Like a Professor: The Research Term Paper.” It is posted at the UC Davis library website.
Video-Capturing Talks and Course Enrichment Videos. In order to provide the most up-to-date, cutting edge information to his students, Carey video-captures either his own talks or presentations by the most prominent scholars.
One Minute Entomology. Carey innovated the concept of the “one minute expert” by launching student-produced videos that are 60 seconds in length. To date, students taught by Carey and two colleagues have produced more than 125 “One Minute Entomology” videos; most are posted on the entomology website. In this ongoing project, students learn entomology, insect identification, succinct writing and speaking, best practices for slide presentation, peer review and teamwork.
How to Make an Insect Collection. Carey taught undergraduate and graduate students how to gather information and produce short videos for “How to Make an Insect Collection.” The award-winning project, considered by the 7000-member Entomological Society of America, as the best of its kind on the internet, includes a playlist of 11 short videos showing different aspects of insect collecting--from use of nets and hand collecting to pinning mounting and labeling. It is available on the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology website.
Longevity Course. Carey designed this course and teaches the biology and demography of aging (biodemography). Due to its popularity, enrollment increased from 14 students in 1999 to 250 last year.
Terrorism and War. This course, offered by Carey through the Science and Society program, was one of 27 UC systemwide courses to receive grant support ($75,000) from UC Online. Co-instructor John Arquilla, professor and chair of the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, praised Dr. Carey in a recent email: “I have spent my professional life dealing with issues of war and peace, strategy and policy and can say without hesitation that Professor Carey's skill, thoughtfulness, and dedication have come together to create a truly path-blazing course of instruction. It can and should become a model for general education courses in this field of inquiry, not only throughout the UC system, but throughout the country.”
Carey, considered the preeminent global authority on arthropod demography, has authored more than 250 scientific articles. He is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, the California Academy of Sciences. Carey is the first entomologist to have a mathematical discovery named after him by demographers—The Carey Equality—which set the theoretical and analytical foundation for a new approach to understanding wild populations.
More information about his work is on his website.