Time's fun when you're studying flies!
Student fly researchers greeted guests and explained their work at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house held last Saturday, Jan. 12.
The event, which took place from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, drew more than 150 visitors, despite competition with the televised National Football League playoffs and other activities.
The theme, "Time's Fun When You're Studying Flies," was a take-off of "Time flies when you're having fun."
"Despite the lovely weather, visitors spent a long time at the museum talking with our department's up and coming researchers," said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator. "Visitors learned about various research on flies that occurs in our department from evolution to geography to circadian rhythms."
Five scientists from the Joanna Chiu lab discussed their fruit fly research. They were graduate students Christine Tabuloc, Yao Cai and Xianhui "Nitrol" Liu, and undergraduate students Cindy Truong and Christopher Ochoa.
The Joanna Chiu lab currently has 4 PhD students (3 from Entomology and 1 from Genomics and Genetics), 6 undergraduate students (3 from Underrepresented Minorities or URM) undergraduate research programs), 1 postdoc, and 1 visiting graduate student from China.
Others fly researchers participating:
- Graduate student Caroline Wright Larsen of the James R. Carey Lab; she studies non-tephrid flies, including the Mediterranean fruit fly
- Graduate students Socrates Letana and Charlotte Herbert Alberts of the Lynn Kimsey Lab; Letana studies botflies, and Alberts, assassin flies
- Graduate student Alex Dedmon of the Robert Kimsey lab and UC Davis graduate Danielle Wishon; they specialize in forensic entomology
"They all did an excellent job engaging the public with thoughtful slide shows, images, and specimens," Yang said. "They truly communicated their enthusiasm for science."
The next open house will be Saturday, Feb. 16, when the Bohart Museum will be open as part of campuswide Biodiversity Museum Day.
Upcoming open houses:
- "Eight-Legged Wonders" (spider theme, featuring the work of the Jason Bond lab) on Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.
- UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 13 from 10 to 3 p.m.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, houses nearly eight million insect specimens, plus a year-around gift shop and a live "petting zoo" that includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects, tarantulas and praying mantids. The gift shop is stocked with newly published calendars, books, jewlery, t-shirts, insect-collecting equipment, insect-themed candy, and stuffed animals. UC Davis entomologist Richard “Doc” Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
The Bohart is open to the general public Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., plus occasional, weekend open houses. Admission is free. Further information is available on the Bohart Museum website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/ or contact (530) 753-0493 or email@example.com.
No, time's fun when you're studying flies!
Nearly a dozen fly researchers from throughout the UC Davis campus will greet the public and explain their research at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane. The event, themed “Time's Fun When Studying Flies," is free, open to the public, and family friendly.
The open house will showcase botflies, fruit flies, assassin flies, mosquitoes and other members of the Diptera order. Ten scientists, including undergraduate students, graduate students and a visiting scholar, are scheduled to participate. They will display specimens, photos and field equipment and chat with the public.
"Besides checking out the flies, this is also a good time for visitors to inquire about graduate school, ask about starting research projects, and to meet people working in forensics, evolution, agriculture, animal behavior, genetics, geography, and home pests, among other topics," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the Bohart's butterfly and moth section, will be on hand to open the Diptera section. "He will dust off and put on his pest industry hat to talk about those relevant flies," Yang said.
A family craft activity is also planned.
Among the fly researchers participating will be fourth-year doctoral candidate Charlotte Herbert Alberts, who studies assassin fly (Asilidae) systematics with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and UC Davis professor of entomology.
She lists other interesting facts about assassin flies:
- They are venomous! Their venom both immobilizes their prey and starts extra-oral digestion.
- They have very fancy facial hair (beards and mustaches) called a mystax, thought to protect their face while they catch and eat their prey.
- Some assassin flies are very selective in their prey choice and may have specialized venom to help them overcome their prey.
- There are more than 7,500 species found all over the world!
“I am currently working on a few projects: An Asiloidea Phylogeny, Predator-Prey Dynamics of Asilidae and their kin, and a few side projects including the revision of Ablautus, and Nearctic Saropogon,” Alberts says. She is also interested in assassin fly venom and how it may have evolved to target certain prey taxa. In addition, she teaches basic entomology and art in a UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program course.
Graduate student Socrates Letana, who also studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey. researches the evolution and diversification of botflies (Oestridae) "in the global mammal host-space with special emphasis on the New World." Part of his research interests include Diptera systematics, biogeography and Southeast Asian biodiversity. He is a research associate with the California State Collection of Arthropods, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The larvae of botflies are internal parasites of mammals; some species grow in the host's flesh and others within the gut. Dermatobia hominis is known as the only species of botfly known to parasitize humans routinely.
UC Davis undergraduate researcher Cindy Truong of the Joanna Chiu lab, will be showing flies in various life stages and provide coloring pages for kids. "We primarily study circadian rhythm, which is the sleep and wake cycle. More specifically we study the mechanisms in which 'clock proteins' go through in order to maintain this cycle." She will expand on "How flies tell time.”
Christine Tabuloc, graduate student researcher in the Chiu lab, will discuss her work on fruit flies. "My current focus is to investigate the effects of climatic change on gene expression of an invasive pest and determine whether there is a correlation to resistance and survival," she said. "In addition to pest management research, I am also studying a kinase of a core clock protein in Drosophila melanogaster and hoping to dissect its functional contribution to the molecular oscillator."
Others from the Chiu lab participating will be Yao Cai, a doctoral graduate student who studies genetic mechanisms underlying the regulation of organismal behavior, and undergraduate researcher Christopher Ochoa.
The presenters also will include fruit fly, forensics and mosquito experts:
- Kathlyne-Inez Soukhaseum of the Frank Zalom lab will talk about her research on the spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, a major agricultural pest that invaded California in 2008.
- Danielle Wishon, a forensic entomologist who holds a bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis, will discuss how flies are used in forensics. She hopes to enroll in graduate school at Purdue University.
- Nermeen Raffat, visiting scholar in the Sharon Lawler lab, will focus on mosquito larvae. He is working on "the effect of copper sulphate and other toxicants on the development and anti-predatory behavior of the mosquitoes larvae."
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946 by UC Davis entomologist Richard “Doc” Bohart (1913-2007), is the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, plus a year-around gift shop and a live "petting zoo" that includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects, tarantulas and praying mantids. The gift shop is stocked with newly published calendars, books, jewlery, t-shirts, insect-collecting equipment, insect-themed candy, and stuffed animals.
The Bohart Museum is open to the general public Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., plus occasional, weekend open houses. Admission is free. Further information is available on the Bohart Museum website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/ or contact (530) 753-0493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Crafty Insects,” featuring sneaky or crafty insects and visitors' crafts, will set the theme for the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on the UC Davis campus. The event is free and family friendly.
“We are hoping to have two parallel exhibits--one where we show crafty insects and then one where we are asking people to bring insect-themed crafts from their home--a plate with a cicada on it, or mug shaped like a wasp or we have a bee-shaped stapler for example,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “We'll have a place for them to display their crafts.”
“Crafty insects can be interpreted in two ways,” Yang commented. ‘Crafty' can be makers such as caddis fly larvae, case bearer moths, and potter wasps. The other crafty interpretation is sneaky, so our live orchid mantid, the dead leaf butterfly like Kallima inachus will be on display.” Activities are to include “spot the flower fly versus bee activity” and “spot the assassin fly versus bumblebee activity.”
For the family crafts, visitors will be painting rocks that can be hidden on campus or elsewhere. The Bohart Museum officials were inspired by Yolo Rocks and Solano Rocks, but a similar organization on campus, UC Davis Rocks, launched a similar activity last spring. It is the brainchild of Kim Pearson and Martha Garrison, who work in the arts administrative group in the College of Letters and Science.
Saturday, Sept. 22 is also move-in weekend for UC Davis students, so the Bohart Museum expects a lot of new people exploring the campus.
Bohart associates Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth exhibit and naturalist-photographer Greg Kareofelas will be on hand to shows the collection.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. In addition to the petting zoo, the museum features a year-around gift shop, which is stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, is hosting a "Moth Night" from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 21. Free and open to the public, this is a "family friendly event all about moths," according to Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. Events will take place both inside and outside the insect museum.
The Bohart Museum Moth Night is being held in conjunction with National Moth Week, July 21-29, which celebrates the beauty, life cycles and habitats of moths. The UC Davis event is one of only two public events scheduled in California during the week; the other is in San Mateo County on July 28.
Bohart scientists will be on hand to discuss moths and answer questions. They include three Bohart associates: entomologist Jeff Smith of Rocklin, curator of the the moth and butterfly specimens; and "Moth Man" John DeBenedictis and naturalist and photographer Greg Kareofelas, both of Davis, who will staff the light traps/blacklighting displays. The best time to see the moths in the light traps is later in the evening, closer to 10.
"We will focus on colorful moths of the night--night rainbows if you will and the biodiversity of tropical moths," Yang said. A family craft activity is planned. Last year the family craft activity featured making moth-shaped window ornaments resembling stained glass.
Free refreshments--cookies and hot chocolate--will be served. Common Grounds, a Davis coffee shop. will be providing the large containers of hot water for the event.
Last year more than 15 species landed on the blacklighting display. The first moth to arrive was the alfalfa looper moth, Trichopusia ni. The most striking: the grape leaffolder, Desmia funeralis.
Some facts about moths, from the National Moth Week website:
- Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth.
- Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species.
- Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage. Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult's hand.
- Most moths are nocturnal, and need to be sought at night to be seen--others fly like butterflies during the day.
- Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum. It maintains a live "petting zoo," featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas, and praying mantids. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
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.