- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Steve Nadler, chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will present the award at Page's seminar on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the International House, 10 College Park, Davis. A reception begins at 3 p.m., followed by his 4 p.m. seminar, titled "In Search of the Spirit of the Hive: a 30-Year Quest."
Page, provost emeritus of Arizona State University (ASU) and Regents Professor since 2015, continues his research, teaching and public service in both Arizona and California and has residences in both states.
Page, who relates he will be "officially retiring and living in California" in December, maintained a honey bee breeding program managed by bee breeder-geneticist Kim Fondrk at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, for 24 years, from 1989 to 2015.
Page focuses his research on honey bee behavior and population genetics, particularly the evolution of complex social behavior. One of his 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.
Page and his lab pioneered the use of modern techniques to study the genetic bases to the evolution of social behavior in honey bees and other social insects. He was the first to employ molecular markers to study polyandry and patterns of sperm use in honey bees. He provided the first quantitative demonstration of low genetic relatedness in a highly eusocial species.
He continues to work on how reproductive regulatory networks are altered by natural selection for division of labor in honey bees. “It was a controversial proposal when Gro Amdam (his former postdoc at UC Davis) and I first proposed it, but I think it is now an excepted paradigm and has been shown have occurred in different species of social and non-social Hymenoptera.”
Born and reared in Bakersfield, Kern County, Page received his bachelor's degree in entomology, with a minor in chemistry, from San Jose State University in 1976. After receiving his doctorate from UC Davis, he began his career at The Ohio State University, in 1986 and then returned to Davis in 1989 to accept an associate professor position in 1989. He served as department chair from 1999 to 2004, when he was recruited to be the founding director of the School of Life Sciences of ASU. His career advanced to dean of Life Sciences; vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and provost.
He 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. He also built two modern apicultural labs (in Ohio and Arizona), major legacies that are centers of honey bee research and training.
Among his many honors:
- 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 2018
The Leigh seminar memorializes cotton entomologist Thomas Frances Leigh (1923-1993), an international authority on the biology, ecology and management of arthropod pests affecting cotton production. During his 37-year UC Davis career, based at the Shafter Research and Extension Center, also known as the U.S. Cotton Research Station, Leigh researched pest and beneficial arthropod management in cotton fields, and host plant resistance in cotton to insects, mites, nematodes and diseases.
In his memory, his family and associates established the Leigh Distinguished Alumni Seminar Entomology Fund at the UC Davis Department of Entomology. When his wife, Nina, passed in 2002, the alumni seminar became known as the Thomas and Nina Distinguished Alumni Seminar.
For reservations or more information, contact Nicole Brunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Thaler will be honored at a reception from 3:30 to 4:15 on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the International House, located at 10 College Park, Davis. Following the reception, she will present a seminar in the International House conference room from 4:15 to 5 p.m. on "Tritrophic Interactions and the Ecology of Fear."
Her areas of expertise are population and community ecology, plant-insect interactions, tri-trophic interactions and chemical ecology.
"I study the ecological interactions between plants, herbivores, and carnivores in wild and agricultural Solanaceous plant species," she says. "My approach focuses on understanding behavioral and phytochemical mechanisms of such tri-trophic interactions, testing theory on the organization of multi-trophic communities, and generating novel strategies to control insect pests."
Thaler received her bachelor of science degree in biology, cum laude, from Wellesley College in 1993 and her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis with major professor Rick Karban in 1999.
After receiving her doctoral degree, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher for a year at Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, and then served at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor of botany from 2000 to 2004. She joined the Cornell University faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor, advancing to associate in 2006, and to full professor in 2015.
Thaler was named a Cornell Center for Sustainable Future Faculty Fellow in 2011 and continues to serve in that position. Among her other honors and awards:
- Excellence in Ecological Entomology, Royal Entomological Society's Awards for Scientific Writing, runner up (2003)
- Premiers Research Excellence Award, Government of Ontario (2000)
- American Society of Naturalists Young Investigators Award (2000)
- Entomological Society of America, second prize for oral presentation (1998)
The professor is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the Ecological Society of America and the International Society of Chemical Ecology.
She presented a invited seminar at the 2017 Gordon Research Conference on "Plant-Herbivore Interactions, Tritrophic Interactions and the Ecology of Fear" and a presentation on Predator-Prey Interactions: Chemical Ecology of Tri-Trophic Interactions" at the 2016 Gordon Research Conference. The Gordon Research Conferences, founded in 1931 and headquartered in Rhode Island, organizes international scientific conferences dedicated to advancing the frontiers of scientific research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies.
Thayer has also presented seminars at the 2014 Entomological Society of America meeting in Portland Ore. on "Non-Lethal Effects of Predators in Arthropod Food Webs" and at the 2013 Ecological Society of America meeting in Minneapolis on "Ecophysiological Consequences of Predation Risk," among many others.
The Leigh Alumni Award memorializes cotton entomologist Thomas Frances Leigh (1923-1993) and his wife Nina. Leigh was an international authority on the biology, ecology and management of arthropod pests affecting cotton production. During his 37-year UC Davis career, he was based at the Kern County Shafter Research and Extension Center, also known as the U.S. Cotton Research Station. He researched pest and beneficial arthropod management in cotton fields, and host plant resistance in cotton to insects, mites, nematodes and diseases. Leigh joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 1958, retiring in 1991 as an emeritus professor, but he continued to remain active in his research and collaboration until his death on Oct. 26, 1993.
At Shafter, Leigh focused his research on the biology, ecology, host plant resistance, control and management of insects and spider mites on cotton. He stood at the forefront of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of cotton pests, according to an article in the summer 1994 edition of American Entomologist. He taught courses on cotton IPM and host plant resistance.