Of the 14 awards, UC Riverside scored four; UC Davis, three; Washington State University, two; University of Arizona, two; Arizona State University, one; and USDA-ARS, two.
UC Davis-affiliated awards include two in the professional category, and one in the student category.
- Honey bee geneticist Robert E. Page Jr. won the top award, the C. W. Woodworth Award. (See news story). He is the 12th UC Davis entomologist to win the award, first presented in 1969. Previous UC Davis recipients:
1978: William Harry Lange Jr. (1912-2004)
1981: Harry Laidlaw Jr. (1907-2003)
1987: Robert Washino
1991: Thomas Leigh (1923-1993)
1998: Harry Kaya
2009: Charles Summers (1941-2021)
2010: Walter Leal
2011: Frank Zalom
2014: James R. Carey
2015: Thomas Scott
2020: Lynn Kimsey
- Community ecologist Louie Yang won the Distinction in Student Mentoring Award, an award first presented in 2012. (See news story) He is the third UC Davis faculty member to receive the award. Previous UC Davis recipients:
2018: Jay Rosenheim
2020: Robert Kimsey
- Research scholar Gary Ge of the UC Davis Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology, won the second annual Dr. Stephen Garczynski Undergraduate Research Scholarship. (See news story) Previous UC Davis recipient:
2022: Gwen Erdosh
In the United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
U.S. Territories: American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Islands, Wake Island
In Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon
In Mexico: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora
The complete list of winners is posted here.
Ge, who studies with Professor Louie Yang of the Department of Entomology and Nematology and UC Davis Distinguished Professor Art Shapiro of the Department of Evolution and Ecology, researches the American Apollo butterfly (Parnassius clodius) as a model to study how microclimatic conditions affect cold-adapted insects.
Ge will be honored at the annual PBESA meeting, April 2-5 in Seattle, which encompasses 11 Western states, plus Canada and Mexico and U.S. territories. Ge will receive a $1000 award for travel expenses and a waived registration fee. Last year UC Davis student Gwen Erdosh, also of RSPIP and a research scholar with the Yang lab, won the inaugural Garczynski scholarship.
Ge serves as a research assistant with Shapiro's Central California Butterfly Population and Diversity Trends Study. He works with Yang as a project manager and a research assistant on his Milkweed Phenology Study.
“Gary is a remarkable student with an excellent understanding of the butterflies he is studying," said Yang, who researches monarch butterflies and milkweed phenology and nominated Ge for the award. "Over the years, he has applied his longstanding enthusiasm for these butterflies to ask insightful questions about the thermal ecology of cold-adapted organisms under global warming. Gary has also demonstrated the determination and resilience required to overcome unexpected barriers and to see his research through to completion. He is a skilled and thoughtful scientist with the ability to make valuable contributions to ecology, and I've been happy to have had a chance to work with him.”
Ge just finished writing a National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) grant proposal. The results are expected to be announced in April.
His hypothesis: "that mid-elevation populations of P. clodius have the best cold tolerance as overwintering eggs. The main factor behind this is snow cover. Snow cover is known to provide significant insulation to whatever is underneath, usually creating higher microclimatic temperatures under the snow than above. At mid-elevations, the winter temperatures are lower than at low elevations, and the snow cover is supposedly less and more unstable compared to higher elevations. This means the mid-elevation populations are likely exposed to the coldest winter temperature, and have locally adapted to it.”
Ge said he is testing his hypothesis “partly by looking at the supercooling points (SCPs) of diapausing eggs in different populations. The SCP indicates the freezing temperature of the egg, so it should be close to the lower lethal temperature. So, the population with the lowest average SCP would be the most cold-tolerant. I got some preliminary results recently indicating the SCP of the mid-elevation eggs is around -30 °C, which is pretty cold! On the side I am also testing the egg SCP of a Parnassius behrii population. This is a California endemic. It would be cool to see how their thermal tolerance differ from that of P. clodius as P. behrii is only found in high-elevation habitats (mostly around and above 9,000 feet).”
“The genus Parnassius is prone to global warming due to its affinity for alpine and arctic habitats, and several species are considered to be threatened," Ge said.
Shapiro, who has monitored butterfly populations across central California for the last 50 years, says that “Parnassians are a group of cold-adapted Northern Hemisphere butterflies that are becoming increasingly important as objects of physiological, ecological and evolutionary study. They are only likely to grow more important in the context of climate change. Thus, Gary's study is very timely and should attract plenty of attention! It is demanding given the rigorous conditions in which they breed and develop, and he is likely to learn a lot that will facilitate future lab and field studies.”
On his research website, Art's Shapiro's Butterfly site, Shapiro says that P. clodius is “common to abundant Lang Crossing up to Castle Peak; not at Sierra Valley. Common at Washington, near the lower elevational limit of its range. Higher-altitude specimens are consistently smaller than at Washington and Lang. The male of this species generates a large waxy vaginal plug (the sphragis) that prevents the female from mating again (though other males do try). It does not, of course, interfere with egg-laying! Both sexes visit Yerba Santa, Coyotemint, and a wide variety of other flowers. At lower elevations this is a typical species of cool, mesic mixed forest, often along streamsides and at the bases of cliffs. At higher elevations it occurs in moist conifer forest and along streams and the edges of meadows. It does not hilltop. One brood, May-June (low) and June-August (rarely later) (high). Larval host plant Bleeding Heart, genus Dicentra (Fumariaceae, now put in Papaveraceae). Larvae are crepuscular-nocturnal except on cloudy, cool days and mimic poisonous millipedes.”
Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology (RSPIB). Co-founded and directed by Professors Jay Rosenheim, Joanna Chiu and Yang, RSPIB helps students learn cutting-edge research through close mentoring relationships with faculty. The program, launched in 2011, crosses numerous biological fields, including population biology; behavior and ecology; biodiversity and evolutionary ecology; agroecology; genetics and molecular biology; biochemistry and physiology; entomology; and cell biology. The goal: to provide academically strong and highly motivated undergraduates with a multi-year research experience that cultivates skills that will prepare them for a career in biological research.
Ge, born in Beijing, China, attended elementary school in New York City, middle school in Singapore, and high school in Hawaii, and now California for college. “This allowed me to have experience with a range oflepidopterans and ants and termites as well—social insects are my other favorite group.” He anticipates receiving his bachelor of science degree at UC Davis this year and hopes to enroll in graduate school at UC Davis.
He developed his passion for Parnassius during middle school. “When I was visiting my extended family in Tibet, I saw this small white butterfly flying through the seemingly lifeless alpine scree habitat at an elevation of around 1,5000 feet. I later found out that it was a Parnassius species and got immediately intrigued by the fact that they are mostly specialist of alpine and arctic habitats, living in some of the world's coldest and most hostile environments. Since many of the genus members have habitats restricted to mountain tops above the tree line, our P. behrii is an example, climate change--rising tree lines-would leave them nowhere to go. This makes better understanding the ecology of this genus utterly important.”
The scholarship memorializes Stephen Garczynski (1960-2019), a research geneticist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Wapato, Wash.,"who had an unmatched passion for mentoring undergraduate students in their research," according to the PBESA website. "Steve helped students by serving as a role model with his contagious energy and drive, his ability to teach and convey his scientific knowledge, and by encouraging students to be creative and innovative in their work. The purpose of this merit-based award is to honor students for their accomplishments in research, and to support and encourage them to present their work at a branch or national ESA meeting."
"Louie is known for being a strong advocate for his students and fostering creative and critical thinking," wrote nominator Steve Nadler, professor and chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. "Whether they be undergraduates, graduates, high school students or members of the community, he engages and challenges students in his lectures, in the lab, and in the field. He attends to the unique needs and interests of each student, respecting their perspectives and ideas. He epitomizes what makes a great professor and advisor: his command of the subject matter, his ability to stimulate discussions and involvement, and his kindly concern for their education, welfare, and success."
The award will be presented at PBESA's annual meeting, set April 2-5, in Seattle. PBESA encompasses 11 Western states, plus parts of Mexico and Canada and U.S. territories.
Yang, who received his bachelor's degree in ecology and evolution from Cornell University in 1999, and his doctorate in population biology from UC Davis in 2006, joined the UC Davis faculty in 2009. Since then, he has mentored an estimated 300 persons, including three PhD students who have graduated from his lab; his current five students; 20 undergraduates associated with his lab; students in three UC Davis graduate groups, Entomology, Graduate Group in Ecology, and Population Biology (40), and 140 community members (nearly all high school students), in the Monitoring Milkweed-Monarch Interactions for Learning and Conservation (MMMILC) project.
In providing her support, Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES), wrote: "Professor Yang is an enthusiastic advisor/mentor, he has a strong commitment to student diversity, and he is dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and career goals. He has developed (or co-developed) innovative programs that provide guided mentoring experiences that encourage students to explore their individual skills and interests. These programs and Professor Yang's guidance provide critical pathways for recruiting and retaining undergraduate students in STEM fields. Professor Yang has made valuable contributions to student success in our college and campus-wide and we are proud to strongly support his nomination for the PBESA Distinction in Student Mentoring Award."
Professor Yang has welcomed and mentored students from UC Davis and from around the country with the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program and the UC Davis-Howard University Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Ecology and Evolution Graduate Admissions Pathways (EEGAP) program.
He co-directs and mentors students in the Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology (RSPIB), a campuswide program that he and Professors Jay Rosenheim and Joanna Chiu co-founded in 2011 to help students learn cutting-edge research through close mentoring relationships with faculty. The program crosses numerous biological fields, including population biology; behavior and ecology; biodiversity and evolutionary ecology; agroecology; genetics and molecular biology; biochemistry and physiology; entomology; and cell biology. The goal: to provide academically strong and highly motivated undergraduates with a multi-year research experience that cultivates skills that will prepare them for a career in biological research.
Rosenheim, a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, praised Yang's innovative teaching. "Some years ago, as part of my department's standard program of mentoring pre-tenure faculty, I had the privilege of visiting Louie's ENT105 course to observe his teaching methods. His class sessions were impeccably organized, his presentations deeply insightful, and the discussions highly engaging. Louie alternated lectures with class sessions in which large blocks of time were devoted to structured debates. For the debates, Louie drew names at random and assembled two 3-person teams of students, one arguing the 'pro' side of the issue, the other arguing the 'con' side. After an initial period when positions were presented and rebuttals given, the whole class was invited to join in the discussion. What was truly remarkable was the high level of participation that Louie is able to elicit, both during the debates and during his lectures. Louie inspires the confidence of his students, and they reciprocate with their willingness take risks during class by contributing, even when discussing topics that are new to them.This is not an easy thing to accomplish; Louie's ability to gain such strong student participation is perhaps the strongest evidence of Louie's talent in connecting with students.I was so impressed with the success of Louie's methods that I decided to incorporate structured debates into one of my own classes as well."
Professor Yang primarily teaches Insect Ecology and Field Ecology. Since joining the UC Davis faculty, he has taught some 665 students. Unsolicited comments on Rate My Professors all show him as “awesome.” Wrote one student: “Professor Yang is enthusiastic, engaging, and overall, one of the best professors I have had. I got the feeling that he wanted to connect with us as ecologists and future scientists, not just as students. He was great at 'show, not tell' and used videos, demonstrations, and discussions to great effect.”
Yang believes that “science progresses by confronting our assumptions, ideas, and hypotheses with data. This dynamic process of confrontation requires a powerful combination of logic and objectivity that is widely recognized as the domain of science. However, the raw material of scientific creativity—the fundamental wellspring for the scientific process—depends on variability in the way people think about how the world works. This diversity of human perspectives allows the scientific community to ask new questions, imagine new solutions to problems, and reconsider entrenched assumptions—all of which accelerate scientific progress. New ideas are the engine of science and that is why I encourage diversity in science.”
In his research, Yang is involved in monarch conservation science and planning in collaboration with the Western Monarch Conservation Science Group, US FWS, the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, Monarch Joint Venture, Environment Defense Fund, the Monarch Summit in DC. Yang was interviewed about his monarch-milkweed research on Science Friday, National Public Radio, in February 2022.
He launched the Monitoring Milkweed-Monarch Interactions for Learning and Conservation (MMMILC) project in 2013 for high school students in the environmental science program at Davis Senior High School or those associated with the Center for Land-Based Learning's Green Corps program. Their tasks: monitoring milkweed-monarch interactions in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Yang organized and led a 135-member team, all co-authors of the paper, “Different Factors Limit Early- and Late-Season Windows of Opportunity for Monarch Development,” published in July 2022 in the journal Ecology and Evolution. The 107 co-authors included high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and community members. (See News Story)
Other student-involved publications include:
- A Meta-Analysis of Single Visit Pollination Effectiveness Comparing Honeybees and Other Floral Visitors, American Journal of Botany, November 2021
- The Complexity of Global Change and its Effects on Insects, Insect Science 2021
- Species-Specific, Age-Varying Plant Traits Affect Herbivore Growth and Survival, Ecology 2020
- Artificial Light Increases Local Predator Abundance, Predation Rates, and Herbivory, Environmental Entomology, Sept. 26, 2019
In mentoring, Yang follows several goals:
- To be honest to the unique needs and interests of each student. He aims to assess the advising needs of each student individually, recognizing that these needs can change quickly. He listens and watches, tries not to make too many assumptions, and reminds himself to expect the unexpected. “Science is a human endeavor, and the same diversity of ideas and perspectives that fuels scientific progress means that each scientist needs different advising to succeed." In many cases he has found that the primary task of mentorship is helping students “identify the questions that they want to ask. I seek to respect each student's unique perspective and interests, and to believe what they said.”
- To facilitate intellectual independence. His aim is to help students transition from being consumers of knowledge to becoming producers of knowledge. “This transition requires giving students the intellectual freedom to learn from their own decisions. I am to maintain appropriate humility when I provide advice; when working at the limits of available knowledge, I believe that we usually recognize the best decisions only in hindsight, and the best outcomes often result from a willingness to capitalize on unexpected events. “As a research advisor, I am committed to the long-term success of each student but encourage students to exercise their intellectual courage and curiosity, even at the risk of short-term failures. We develop as scientists by making our own mistakes, and using those mistakes to improve our judgment. I remind myself to allow enough gaps in my advising to allow students to learn first from their interactions with nature.”
- To learn from his students. “I believe that mentorship should be a two-way street, and I expect my students to develop the knowledge and confidence to teach me things that I don't know. As scientists, we are motivated by learning new things, and this is a model of advising that is intellectually engaging and sustainable over the long term. More important, it gives my students the opportunity to become experts and teachers, and to view themselves as intellectual colleagues and contributors.
The nomination packet for the Distinction in Student Mentoring Award included two group letters: one from current students and the other from alumni. Doctoral candidate Elizabeth Postema wrote in part: "I have been one of Louie's students since 2018, and could not have dreamed of a better mentor-mentee relationship. It is unusual, and truly special, to find a mentor that perfectly balances generous, unwavering support with a deep appreciation for his students' independence. Over the years, I have become convinced that Louie is able to warp spacetime; he appears to have more hours in the day than the average human. Regardless of how many projects he's taken on, essays he has to grade, or recommendation letters he's promised to write, he seems to always have an extra hour just to 'shoot the breeze' or think about new experiments. I can be assured of his quick reply to nearly any question, concern, or brainstorm; his turnaround on feedback is blindingly fast (e.g., detailed comments on 20+ pages of writing within a day or two); and I know I can poke my head into his office for advice at any point, even when he's in the middle of something important. This level of support has been remarkably consistent throughout my academic career--from my first year as a PhD student (when I was his only student) to now. His supportive advising style, almost paradoxically, allows his students to develop a high degree of independence and self-motivation."
RSPIB scholar Gwen Erdosh described him as an “incredible scientist, educator, and role model…He has always been there for all of his students, providing all the support we need to flourish as scientists. The most important lesson he has taught me is to always keep pushing forward with an experiment, and always be open to new ideas if one idea fails. He teaches us to see failure as an opportunity for improvement, and always think outside the box. He encourages students to pursue grad school and do their own research in his lab. He takes the time to meet with his students one-on-one to talk through experiments, ideas, and questions. He gives us opportunities to work with his graduate students and gain experience in the field. He is one of the best professors at UC Davis, by far, and it is a delight to be a member of his lab. I am grateful for all that Louie has done for me and the other students in his lab and classes.”
Alumna Meredith Cenzer, now a member of the University of Chicago faculty, wrote: "As an advisor, Louie is supportive, accessible, and engaged in helping his advisees meet their goals. He is responsive and committed to improving himself as a mentor of students at all levels. He fosters independent intellectual development in his advisees and was indispensable to my own growth as a scientist.”
Wrote alumna Shahla Farzan, a science podcast editor with American Public Media: “He supported me throughout my PhD, challenging me to think critically about the ways in which my research answered broader ecological questions. Later, when I decided to pursue a career in science journalism, he was enthusiastic and encouraging. Louie has nurtured and supported countless undergraduate and graduate students over the course of his career and I have no doubt he will continue to be a positive force in the field for many years to come."
Highly honored by his peers and students, Yang received the 2017 Eleanor and Harry Walker Academic Advising Award from CA&ES. In 2018, he received the regional (Pacific Region 9, California, Nevada and Hawaii) Outstanding Faculty Academic Advisor from NACADA, also known as the Global Community for Academic Advising, and then went on to win NACADA's international award for the Outstanding Faculty Academic Advising Award.
Yang writes on his website: "As a lab, we work to maintain an open, supportive and encouraging environment to do good science. We are open to multiple research areas and approaches, and encourage students and postdocs to develop their own innovative ideas and creative questions along the way. Our lab values straightforward communication, intellectual independence, determined problem-solving, constructive persistence, helpfulness, integrity, humility and humor. Although we aim to maintain a small lab group, we always welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students, postdocs and undergraduates. If you are interested in joining the lab, please send an email to Louie H. Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org."
The complete list of 2023 PBESA winners is posted here. The archived list of mentoring award recipients dates back to 2012 and includes UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, who won in 2020 and UC Davis distinguished professor Jay Rosenheim, the 2018 recipient.
“Dr. Page is a pioneering researcher in the field of evolutionary genetics and social behavior of honey bees, and a highly respected and quoted author, teacher and former administrator,” wrote nominator Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Page is the 12th UC Davis recipient of the award, first presented in 1969. His mentor, and later colleague, Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. (for whom the UC Davis bee biology research facility is named), won the award in 1981.
The PBESA awards ceremony will take place at its meeting, April 2-5, in Seattle. The organization encompasses 11 Western states, and parts of Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.
“One of Dr. Page's most salient contributions to science was to construct the first genomic map of the honey bee, which sparked a variety of pioneering contributions not only to insect biology but to genetics at large,” Nadler related. “It was the first genetic map of any social insect. He was the first to demonstrate that a significant amount of observed behavioral variation among honey bee workers is due to genotypic variation. In the 1990s, he and his students and colleagues isolated, characterized and validated the complementary sex determination gene of the honey bee; considered the most important paper yet published about the genetics of Hymenoptera. The journal Cell featured their work on its cover. In subsequent studies, he and his team published further research into the regulation of honey bee foraging, defensive and alarm behavior.”
A native of Bakersfield, Rob holds a bachelor's degree in entomology (1976), with a minor in chemistry, from San Jose State University. He obtained his doctorate in entomology (1980) from UC Davis; joined the UC Davis faculty in 1989; and chaired the Department of Entomology from 1999 to 2004. He gained UC Davis emeritus professor-chair status in 2004, the year that Arizona State University (ASU) recruited him to be the founding director of its School of Life Sciences. Page organized three departments—biology, microbiology and botany, totaling more than 600 faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff--into one unified school. Using his UC Davis experiences, he established the school as a platform for discovery in the biomedical, genomic and evolutionary and environmental sciences; and established ASU's world-class Social Insect Research Group and Honey Bee Research Facility.
Page's career at ASU led to a series of top-level administrative roles: founding director, School of Life Sciences (2004-2010), vice provost and dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2011-2013) and university provost, 2014-2015.
Nadler praised Page's strategic vision, his leadership and his contributions to science. He built two modern apicultural labs (in Ohio and Arizona), major legacies that are centers of honey bee research and training. The Social Insect Research Group (SIRG) at ASU is regarded as “the best in the world,” according to the late E. O. Wilson. ASU Professor Bert Hoelldobler, in an ASU news release, declared Dr. Page as "the leading honey bee geneticist in the world. A number of now well-known scientists in the U.S. and Europe learned the ropes of sociogenetics in Rob's laboratory.”
While at UC Davis, Page worked closely with Harry H. Laidlaw Jr., the father of honey bee genetics, and together they published many significant research papers and the landmark book, “Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding” (Wicwas Press, 1998). It is considered the most important resource book for honey bee genetics, breeding, and queen rearing. Page is now in the process of updating it.
For 24 years, from 1989 to 2015, Page maintained a honey bee-breeding program, managed by bee breeder-geneticist Kim Fondrk. Their contributions include discovering a link between social behavior and maternal traits in bees. Their work was featured in a cover story in the journal Nature. In all, Nature featured his work on four covers from work mostly done at UC Davis.
A 2012 Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, Page has held national and international offices. He served as secretary, chair-elect, chair, subsection cb (apiculture and social insects) of ESA from 1986-1989; president of the North American Section, International Union for the Study of Social Insects, 1991; and a Council member, International Bee Research Association, 1995-2000.
- Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Awardee of the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award (the Humboldt Prize - the highest honor given by the German government to foreign scientists)
- Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Elected to the Leopoldina - the German National Academy of Sciences (the longest continuing academy in the world)
- Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
- Fellow of the Entomological Society of America
- Awardee of the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Fellowship
- Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences
- Fellow, Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, Munich, Germany, September 2017-August
- Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Award from UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
- James Creasman Award of Excellence (ASU Alumni Association)
- UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus Professor, one awarded annually
- Distinguished Emeritus Award, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, one awarded annually
In his letter of support, colleague and research collaborator James R. Carey, distinguished professor of entomology at UC Davis, described Page as "one of the most gifted scientists, administrators, and teachers I have had the privilege to know in my 42 years in academia.”
Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey of Washington State University, former manager of the Laidlaw facility, emphasized Page's importance to the bee breeding and beekeeping industry. Cobey, who has based her career on the Page-Laidlaw Closed Population Breeding, wrote that: “The beauty of this system is that it is practical and addresses the unique challenges of honey bee stock improvement. Queens mate in flight with numerous drones and selection is based upon complex behaviors at the colony level, influenced by the environmental. Hence, traditional animal breeding models do not apply well to honey bees.”
Nadler also noted that “Dr. Page was involved in genome mappings of bumble bees, parasitic wasps and two species of ants. His most recent work focuses on the genetic bases of individuality in honey bees; demonstrating genetic links between pollen and nectar collection, tactile and olfactory learning characteristics, and neuroendocrine function. This work provides the most detailed understanding to date of the molecular and genetic bases to task variation in a social insect colony.”
Nadler added: "Not surprisingly, Dr. Page humbly considers his most far-reaching and important accomplishment, the success of his mentees, including at least 25 graduate students and postdocs who are now faculty members at leading research institutions around the world."
Charles William Woodworth (1865-1940), is considered the founder of both the UC Berkeley and UC Davis departments of entomology. William Harry Lange Jr., (1912-2004) was the first UC Davis recipient of the Woodworth award (1978). Other recipients: Harry Laidlaw Jr., (1907-2003), 1981; Robert Washino, 1987; Thomas Leigh (1923-1993), 1991; Harry Kaya, 1998; Charles Summers, 1941-2021 (stationed at the UC Kearney Research and Extension throughout his career but a member of the UC Davis entomology faculty since 1992), 2009; Walter Leal, 2010; Frank Zalom, 2011; James R. Carey, 2014; Thomas Scott, 2015; and Lynn Kimsey, 2020.
The list of this year's PBESA recipients is posted here.
- Medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, assistant professor, will receive the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award
- Doctoral student Erin Taylor Kelly of the Geoffrey Attardo laboratory will receive the Student Leadership Award
- Undergraduate student Gwendolyn "Gwen" Erdosh of the Louie Yang lab will receive the inaugural Dr. Stephen Garczynski Undergraduate Research Scholarship
- The team of doctoral candidate Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, captain; doctoral candidate Jill Oberski of the Ward lab; doctoral student Erin “Taylor” Kelly of the Geoffrey Attardo lab; and doctoral student Madison “Madi” Hendrick of the Ian Grettenberger lab will compete in the Entomology Games.
The awards luncheon is at 12:15, April 12.
Geoffrey Attardo is a global expert on vectorborne diseases, and renowned for his groundbreaking work on tsetse flies. Attardo, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology andNematology in 2017 from the Yale School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, “excels not only as a researcher, but as a teacher, mentor, scientific illustrator, macro photographer,videographer and science communicator,” said UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock in his letter of nomination. (See news story)
Entomology Games. The Entomology Games is a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams. It was formerly known as the Linnaean Games. The preliminary round is from 5 to 6 p.m., April 10. Plans are to hold three rounds with questions from each of the 10 categories: Biological Control, Behavior and Ecology, Economic and Applied Entomology, Medical-Urban-Veterinary Entomology, Morphology and Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, Systematics and Evolution, Integrated Pest Management and Plant-Insect Interactions, History of Entomology, and Entomology in Popular Culture. (See UC Davis news story)
The final round is from 8 to 10 p.m., April 11. Both the championship team and the runner-up team will represent PBESA at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) meeting, Nov. 13-16 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Last year's national champion was the University of Hawaii, which edged Texas A&M University.
UC Davis has scored three national championships since 2015. In 2018, the University of California team won the national championship, defeating Texas A&M. The team included captain Ralph Washington Jr., then a UC Berkeley graduate student with a bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis; doctoral students Brendon Boudinot, Jill Oberski and Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, and doctoral student Emily Bick of the Christian Nansen lab.
UC Davis won the national competition in both 2016 and 2015, defeating the University of Georgia in 2016, and the University of Florida in 2015.
A number of other UC Davis faculty and students will participate in the PBESA meeting. (See schedule.)
PBESA encompasses 11 Western states, parts of Canada and Mexico and several U.S. territories.
- In the United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
- U.S. Territories: American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Islands, Wake Island
- In Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon
- In Mexico: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora