The authors and their paper, “Drones: Innovative Technology for Use in Precision Pest Management,” will be recognized at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting, set Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Denver.
"On behalf of our team, first author Fernando lost Filho, a doctoral student in entomology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and a former UC Davis exchange student, will deliver the presentation at the ESA meeting," said de Lange, a former postdoctoral fellow in the Christian Nansen laboratory at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and now of The Netherlands.
Other co-authors are remote sensing expert Wieke Heldens of the German Aerospace Center, Wessling, Germany; and engineer and drone communication expert Zhaodan Kong, associate professor, UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
“Drones can be equipped with a range of attachments, such as sensors, pesticide sprayers, and natural enemy releasers, and can therefore contribute to more sustainable agriculture in various ways,” said de Lange, who assembled the team and serves as the corresponding author.
“They are highly versatile," she said, "and have great commercial potential.”
Their paper, one of the first-of-its-kind to summarize scientific literature on the use of agricultural drones for pest management, covers the use of drones with remote sensing equipment to detect pest problems from the air. It calls for the increased use of actuation drones, to provide solutions such as spraying pesticides and releasing biocontrol organisms.
JEE Award. Every year the editors-in-chief and editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE) and Environment Entomology along with ESA and Oxford University Press, select outstanding research publications for special recognition. The categories include Editors' Choice, Readers' Choice and Reviewers' Choice.
For the JEE Editors' Choice award, the editors-in-chief nominate papers based on citation, readership and Altmetric scores. The winners are determined by a vote of the JEE subject editors. JEE co-editors-in-chief are Frank Zalom, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology; Mike Brewer, entomology professor, Texas A&M University; and Nan-Yao Su, distinguished professor of entomology at the University of Florida. JEE is ESA's largest journal by publishing volume and the most-cited journal in entomology. (See ESA website.)
ESA announced the awards online. All of the winning papers are currently online.
Improving Crop Monitoring Procedures. “Early outbreak detection and treatment application are inherent to effective pest management, allowing management decisions to be implemented before pests are well-established and crop losses accrue,” the authors wrote in their abstract. “Pest monitoring is time-consuming and may be hampered by lack of reliable or cost-effective sampling techniques. Thus, we argue that an important research challenge associated with enhanced sustainability of pest management in modern agriculture is developing and promoting improved crop monitoring procedures.”
Drones can target pest outbreaks or hot spots in field crops and orchards, such as Colorado potato beetle in potato fields or sugarcane aphid in sorghum, the scientists pointed out. “Pests are unpredictable and not uniformly distributed. Precision agricultural technologies, like the use of drones, can offer important opportunities for integrated pest management (IPM).”
De Lange, who holds a doctorate in chemical ecology from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, joined the Nansen lab in 2016. Her research interests include plant-insect interactions, integrated pest management, chemical ecology and precision agriculture. She focused much of her research on California strawberries.
Zalom, praised as “an entomological giant” and “the consummate ambassador to entomology,” joins five other entomologists as Honorary Members. They will be honored at the ESA's annual meeting, Entomology 2021, set Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Denver.
“Honorary membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the society that has reached an extraordinary level,” an ESA spokesperson said. “Candidates for this honor are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by the ESA membership.”
“Dr. Zalom is phenomenal for his sustained service of leadership, research, teaching and mentoring, and in my opinion, he is one of the world's most influential, accomplished and inspirational entomologists,” wrote nominator James R. Carey, a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology and an ESA Fellow. ESA Honorary Member and ESA Fellow Philip Mulder, emeritus professor and former department chair at Oklahoma State University, noted: “Frank is and was the consummate ambassador to entomology throughout his entire career and around the globe on multiple occasions.”
A 47-year member of ESA, Zalom is an emeritus professor with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and currently a recall professor, continuing his work on IPM of tree, vine and fruiting vegetable crops through several major USDA and CDFA research grants he has received since retiring. Since his retirement, he has brought in more than $1 million in grants. Zalom is also working with Professor Rachael Goodhue, chair of the UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics Department on an ongoing pesticide policy research project involving "economic and pest management analyses of potential regulations in strawberry, tomato, and other fruiting crops" in collaboration with CDFA's Office of Pesticide Policy and Analysis.
Zalom served as the 2014 ESA president; 2015 Entomological Foundation president, and the 2002 Pacific Branch president. He has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Entomology since 2018. He also was the first editorial board chair (2008-09) of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, serving on the board until 2012.
The UC Davis entomologist has authored nearly 400 journal publications or book chapters, and more than 400 other publications. He holds two U.S. patents.
Passionate about moving science policy forward, Zalom served as ESA's Science Policy Committee Chair in 2015. In 2018, he co-organized a two-day summit, Grand Challenges in Entomology in South America, hosted by the Entomological Society of Brazil. The summit focused on invasive species, public health, and sustainable agriculture, and included invited leadership from all entomology societies in Central and South America. Zalom also co-organized the North American and Pacific Rim Invasive Insect and Arthropod Species Challenge Summit, jointly hosted by the entomological societies of America, Canada and British Columbia in Vancouver, BC in 2019.
Among his UC Davis recognitions are the Consortium for Women in Research Outstanding Mentor Award (2013), James H. Meyer Award (2004), and Academic Senate Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award (2017).
A native of Chicago, Frank moved to Arizona with his family at age 4. He received his bachelor's degree and master's degrees in zoology and ecology from Arizona State University, 1973 and 1974, respectively, and his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1978. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty as assistant professor before returning to UC Davis in 1980.
“Throughout his career the depth of his knowledge in IPM was matched by the strength of his commitment to teaching students and postdocs, as well as by the power of his dedication to helping growers in all areas of agricultural entomology,” Carey wrote. “A former Fulbright Scholar, Frank is both a visionary and dedicated entomologist who has devoted his life's work to advancing entomology and ESA programs. His expertise is in great demand from colleagues, agriculturists, policy makers, students and more. He is the consummate entomologist, intricately skilled and highly accomplished.”
Zalom is the fifth UC Davis scientist to be selected ESA Honorary Member. W. Harry Lange (1912-2004) received the award in 1990; Donald MacLean (1928-2014), the 1984 ESA president, won the award in 1993; Bruce Eldridge in 1996, and John Edman in 2001.
They will serve a four-year term, starting Jan. 1.
ISD publishes research on systematics, evolution, and biodiversity of insects and related arthropods, including comparative and developmental morphology, conservation, behavior, taxonomy, molecular phylogenetics, paleobiology, natural history, and phylogeography.
"Dr. Song and Dr. Bond are esteemed leaders in their areas of research, and their knowledge and experience with the evolving techniques in systematics, evolution, genomics, and beyond make them ideal for this role," ESA President Michelle Smith said in a news release issued Oct. 12. "My fellow ESA Governing Board members and I are pleased to welcome them aboard, and we look forward to seeing them build upon the excellent foundation that Dr. Cameron and Dr. Whitfield have established."
Launched in 2017, the journal is known as a premier publication for "cutting-edge research on systematics, evolution, and biodiversity of insects and related arthropods," the ESA news release related.
"Without question it's a real honor to be selected along with Dr. Hojun Song as one of the new co-editors of Insect Systematics and Diversity," Bond told ESA. "I am really excited to start working with such an incredibly talented group of associate editors, along with the managing team, that have already done the hard work establishing the journal as a go-to venue for publishing top-rate articles in insect and terrestrial arthropod evolution and systematics. I'll take this opportunity to ask the community to send us their ideas for future special topic issues!"
Bond joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty in 2018 from Auburn University, Alabama, where he directed the Auburn University Museum of Natural History (2011–2016), and served as professor and chair of the Auburn Department of Biological Sciences (2016–2018). He specializes in the evolutionary diversification of terrestrial arthropods, specifically spiders, millipedes, and tenebrionid beetles. (See Bond laboratory.)
Bond holds a bachelor's degree in biology (1993) from Western Carolina University, and two degrees from Virginia Tech: a master's degree in biology (1995) and a doctorate in evolutionary systematics (1999). He began his career as a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in 1990. His credentials include associate editor of Systematic Biology (2019–present) and editor of New World Mygalomorphae for Zootaxa (2016–present).
"I am honored to be selected as a new co-editor-in-chief of Insect Systematics and Diversity, and I am excited about the possibility of moving the field of insect systematics in this new capacity," Song told ESA. "The inaugural co-editors-in-chief, Drs. Sydney Cameron and Jim Whitfield, have done a tremendous job launching the journal. Dr. Bond and I have some big shoes to fill, but we will do our best to make sure that ISD continues to become an outlet for publishing the best work in insect systematics, evolution, and biodiversity."
Song holds three degrees in entomology: a bachelor's degree (2000) from Cornell University and both his master's (2002) and doctorate (2006) from Ohio State University. He began his career as a research fellow in 2006 at Brigham Young University, and then served as an assistant professor and curator of the Stuart M. Fullerton Collection of Arthropods, University of Central Florida, before joining the Texas A&M faculty in 2015. He was named editor-in-chief of the journal Insect Systematics and Evolution in 2014. He specializes in arthropod systematics, biodiversity and evolution. (See Song laboratory.)
ESA, founded in 1889, is the world's largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and others in related disciplines. With a membership of 7000, it is headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland.
UC Davis Resources:
- Spotlight on Jason Bond (UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology)
- A Spider Is Always Watching You! (Bohart Museum of Entomology Open House)
- Name That Spider: Meet Cryptocteniza kawtak (UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology)
Dr. Summers, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty since 1992, served 42 years as a research entomologist at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE), Parlier, Fresno County, part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). He joined the world-class research facility in 1970, the year he received his doctorate in entomology from Cornell University. He was stationed at KARE throughout his career, and served for a time as its director.
Dr. Summers was affiliated with the UC Berkeley faculty from 1970 to 1992, before joining the UC Davis faculty. Specializing in pest problems of field and vegetable crops, he developed economic thresholds and management strategies for more than a dozen pests, including the silverleaf whitefly. During his career, he authored more than 200 publications, including articles, book chapters and research papers, and delivered more than 800 presentations.
“Charlie was a true IPM entomologist and was one of the group of young faculty who contributed mightily to the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) when it was first getting off the ground and at its most vulnerable stage,” said Frank Zalom, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology who directed UC IPM for 16 years.
Developed Economic Thresholds for Important Pests
“He was quiet but contributed greatly in many ways,” Zalom said. “Charlie did indeed develop economic thresholds for several important pests. Economic thresholds are recognized as one of the foundations for IPM decision-making, but doing the field work to develop research-based thresholds is incredibly difficult and few researchers actually do this type of research anymore. It has become a lost art and, unfortunately, this type of work has also become under-appreciated except by IPM practitioners who are truly trying to reduce input costs for pest control.”
A Passion for IPM
“I remember first meeting Charlie Summers in Robert van den Bosch's lab when I was a graduate student,” recalled Mary Lou Flint, Extension entomologist emerita, Department of Entomology and Nematology and formerly UC IPM's associate director for urban and community IPM.
“He was already at Kearney, but I was working on a parasitoid of the spotted alfalfa aphid, so we had alfalfa aphids and parasites in common. And a passion for IPM. Charlie was really one of the original unsung promoters of IPM in California.”
“Charlie was a true dirt-kicking field entomologist of a stripe all too uncommon today,” said Flint who retired in 2014. “He was passionate about ecology-based integrated pest management and dedicated his career to forwarding the science of IPM.
“Charlie's research spanned many field and vegetable crops and he could always be called on to provide expertise about pest or beneficial arthropods on any of these crops, but I worked most closely with him on alfalfa,” she said.
“In the 1980s, in the early days of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management program, Charlie was a leader in developing, researching and promoting IPM programs for alfalfa," Flint related. "He played a critical role in coordinating and carrying out interdisciplinary research, training farm advisers, and promoting IPM programs to PCAs (pest control advisors) and farmers. He was one of the key players in the development of Integrated Pest Management for Alfalfa Hay released in 1982, which was the first of the UC Statewide IPM Program's IPM manual series of books that eventually covered 16 California crops. He was a fountain of information, and the book could not have been written without him."
Walter Bentley, now IPM entomologist emeritus, remembers meeting him at his job interview “at the old office on M street in Bakersfield on August 16, 1977. Like Pete Goodell, we ended up working together at Kearney. I would never have guessed that. Little did I know how he liked to play jokes." He remembers when Summers hung up a Big Mouth Billy Bass Singing Sensation plaque at Bentley's office entrance. "I will have to go out and play the tune, Take Me to the River, Drop Me in the Water."
Recipient of Charles W. Woodworth Award
In 2009, Summers received the prestigious Charles W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA), the highest honor awarded by the branch, which encompasses 11 U.S. states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming); several U.S. territories, and parts of Canada and Mexico.
At the awards ceremony, Summers drew praise for developing economic thresholds, determining at what point the cost of pest damage exceeds the cost of pest control. He "pioneered economic thresholds for seven pests in four crops, and developed management strategies for a combination of 28 crops, insect and disease pests," his nominators wrote. He also was praised for his research on the interactions among insects, diseases and weeds on alfalfa hay and how they individually and as a whole, influence yield and quality. His work led to improved best management decisions and decreased pesticide use.
In addition, Summers drew praise for his research on reflective mulches, used to delay and reduce aphid and whitefly infestations on squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes and other crops. He teamed with plant pathologist Jim Stapleton and vegetable crop specialist Jeff Mitchell, both based at Kearney.
In a UC Davis news story published March 25, 2009, Summers recalled: “In the mid-1990s, Dr. Stapleton and I embarked on a series of studies to determine if aphids, aphid-transmitted viruses, and silverleaf whitefly could be managed using plastic reflective mulches. Dr. Jeff Mitchell later joined our team. We evaluated a wide variety of crops as well as different types of mulches. We were able to manage all three of these pests without the need to rely on the use of insecticides.”
“Our studies have clearly demonstrated that the use of these mulches are effective in delaying the onset of silverleaf whitefly colonization and the incidence of aphid-borne virus diseases,” Summers said. “The data shows that marketable yields with summer squash, cucumber, and pumpkins grown over reflective mulch are higher than those in plants grown over bare soil, both with and without insecticide. We also determined that the use of reflective mulch, without insecticides, leads to significantly increased yields of fall planted cantaloupes.”
Another highlight of his career: his work on the biology of corn leafhopper and corn stunt spiroplasma. He proved that the corn leafhopper can overwinter in the San Joaquin Valley and that the pathogen, Spiroplasma kunkelii overwinters in it. “Before this research, it was assumed that tropical insects such as corn leafhopper could not overwinter in our temperate climate, but were reintroduced each year from Mexico,” Summers noted. "The findings led to better strategies for managing the pest and the pathogen."
Born Dec. 24, 1941 in Ogden, Utah, and a graduate of Davis High School, Kaysville, Utah, Charlie grew up on the family farm and “always knew” he wanted an agricultural career. At age 12, he decided to go to college “when I was at the wrong end of a short-handled hoe,” he told communications specialist Jeannette Warnert in a June 12, 2012 news story announcing his retirement.
He continually described his work at Kearney as his “dream job.”
“The job at Kearney was an absolutely perfect fit for me,” Summers told Warnert. “It was a dream job. I look forward to coming to work every morning and would sometimes shake my fist at the sun going down at night. I've loved every minute I've been here.”
Summers said that the objective of his job--to help farmers develop successful pest management strategies --stayed the same, but technological advances dramatically changed the way he did his work.
“We've had the advent of computer technology, the use of mathematical models, work that can now be done at the DNA level,” he said. “It's put a whole new face on our ability to do research.”
Following his retirement and the death of his wife, Beverly, Summers moved back to Utah to be with family and to pursue his favorite pastime, fly fishing.
“I'll be living 15 minutes from the Wasatch Mountains,” he told Warnert. “There's a lot of good fishing there.”
Summers was an Eagle Boy Scout, a pilot, an avid fly fisherman and hunter, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A graveside service took place Aug. 21 in the Plain City Cemetery, Plain City, Utah.
Survivors include his sister, Marilyn (John) Diamond and three nephews, four great-nieces and five great-nephews.
Dr. Charles Geddes Summers, 1941-2021
UC ANR Profile Page
UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
Pest Management Specialist Charles Summers Wins Prestigious Woodworth Award
Evolutionary biologist Jessica Gillung, who received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 2018 and is now on the faculty of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is the newly announced recipient of the Entomological Society of America's International Branch Early Career and Leadership Award.
At UC Davis, Gillung studied with major professor Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Gillung is now an assistant professor and director of the Lyman Entomological Museum at McGill, one of the largest insect collections in Canada.
The award recognizes her leadership in entomology at an early career level and includes a $2000 grant, which Gillung said she will use to fund a research project aimed at helping her female graduate students acquire training and experience in cutting-edge methods of phylogenetic and bioinformatics.
Gillung will be recognized at the International Branch meeting, to take place during ESA's annual meeting, “Entomology 2021,” set Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Denver, Colo. The conference is a hybrid meeting with both in-person and virtual presentations.
Before joining McGill's Natural Resources faculty in January 2020, Gillung served as a postdoctoral associate in the Bryan Danforth laboratory at Cornell University, where she researched evolution and diversification of aculeate Hymenoptera (stinging wasps, ants and bees).
In a letter of support, Kimsey described Gillung as an “absolute dynamo” who “excels in research, publications, teaching, leadership, public service and outreach programs. Her accomplishments, coupled with her trademark scientific enthusiasm, curiosity, commitment and passion, make one wonder: ‘Is this just one person?' Yes, and her name is Jessica Gillung, entomologist extraordinaire.”
Gillung, who received her UC Davis doctorate in December 2018, wrote a landmark dissertation on the evolution and taxonomy of parasitoid flies specialized in spiders. Her dissertation, “Systematics and Phylogenomics of Spider Flies (Diptera, Acroceridae),” encompassed genomics, phylogenetics, systematics, and comparative analyses. “Her work greatly increased our understanding of the biological patterns and processes that have shaped our planet's biodiversity,” Kimsey said.
“In her outreach programs with us at the Bohart Museum from 2013-2018, Jessica reached at least 20,000 people, no small feat!” Kimsey commented. The events included open houses, off-site programs, science presentations, summer camps, classroom activities, UC Davis Picnic Days, agriculture days, and fairs and festivals. Gillung also participated in the campus-wide UC Davis Picnic Days for five years, answering entomological questions from visitors ranging from toddlers to senior citizens and providing them with new insights and appreciation of insects.
A native of Brazil, Jessica is fluent in four languages: Portuguese, German, English and Spanish. Her global education, international teaching experience, and diverse background as a Latina woman in STEM “uniquely equip her to understand the barriers that underrepresented groups face,” Kimsey pointed out. At UC Davis, Gillung taught entomology classes and mentored students, nurturing their personal and professional aspirations. She was heavily involved in the UC Davis youth summer camps, and also taught two camps, in Spanish, at the Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School at Davis, Calif. for children of migratory workers.
Gillung earlier received four other ESA awards:
- Snodgrass Memorial Research Award. Entomological Society of America (2019)
- The Marsh Award for Early Career Entomologist. Royal Entomological Society (2019)
- Excellence in Early Career Award. Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch (2019)
- Student Leadership Award. Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch (2018)
“My current research includes unraveling the diversity, natural history and diversification of insects,” Gillung said, “and studying their evolutionary origins, patterns of phenotypic and biological diversity, using taxonomy, genomics, phylogenetic reconstuctions and comparative analyses.”