"Insect wings are flexible, dynamic living structures that are composed of long tubular veins, and thin membrane," she says in her abstract. "Veins act as conduits, containing hemolymph (insect blood), oxygen supply (through trachea tubes), and nerves (sensory information in flight). Wings allow an insect to perform a myriad of behaviors such as predation, migration and pollination."
"In my research, I work to understand how wing health and function is maintained, and how that relates to insect development, behavior, and ecosystem. My research program incorporates foundational physiology (wing vein structure, venation pattern active systems) quantifying the biomechanics of flow produced by an insect (circulation, wing expansion, flapping flight), and determining how agricultural practices affect insect health. Here I will discuss how venation pattern affects circulation dynamics in the wings of the North American grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) and how it barely scratches the surface of understanding circulation in insects."
In a First Person piece in Biology Open, the Company of Biologists, Salcedo describes herself as "an insect biomechanist, but perhaps functional morphologist is more accurate. I've studied how insects fly, how their muscles move, how they breathe and circulate hemolymph. My PhD looked into their wing structure at several levels: external, internal and global. Externally, I looked at how wing shapes differ between species and how we might compare them. Within the insect wing vein, I studied how hemolymph is transported across the wing. Overall, I looked at how an insect's multiple hearts contribute to internal circulation."
Salcedo, who received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to investigate fundamental insect physiology, holds three degrees: a bachelor of science in applied and computational math sciences (2012( from the University of Washington; a bachelor of science in molecular, cellular and developmental biology (2012) from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in biomechanics, biology and applied math (2018) from Harvard.
Coordinating the seminars is community ecologist Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology (firstname.lastname@example.org). To access the program live, go to https://zoom.us/j/559909612 and enter meeting ID: 559 909 612.
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Meeting ID: 559 909 612
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 26 will feature six “Faculty Flash Talks.”
The seminar, set from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall, will include Joanna Chiu, Jason Bond, Geoffrey Attardo, Rachel Vannette, Julia Fine, and Arathi Seshadri.
Associate professor Joanna Chiu, vice chair of the department, will present “results from a project in which we study the mechanisms by which insects sense environmental changes (temperature and photoperiod) to regulate their seasonal physiology. Our lab has identified a protein that can track seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod to promote winter physiology. Without this protein, insects don't know winter is coming!”
Her laboratory research interests include molecular genetics of animal behavior, Circadian rhythm biology, and posttranslational regulation of proteins.
Jason Bond, Schlinger Chair in Insect Systematics, is a global expert on spiders. His research interests include systematics, taxonomy, and evolution of terrestrial arthropods with an emphasis on arachnids and myriapods. "We employ molecular, morphological, and ecological approaches to study questions related to evolutionary diversification at multiple hierarchical levels (populations – higher taxa)," he says. (See recent grant.)
Geoffrey Attardo, a medical entomologist/geneticist, focuses his research on insect disease vectors, insect reproduction, vector/parasite interactions, reproductive physiology, male seminal secretions, symbiosis, lactation, nutrition, lipid metabolism, transcriptional regulation, comparative genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. His research on tsetse flies was recently featured on KQED's Deep Look (see news story on Deep Look). (See news story on landmark research.)
Rachel Vannette, community ecologist and assistant professor who coordinates the department's seminars, says: "All plants are colonized by microorganisms that influence plant traits and interactions with other species, including insects that consume or pollinate plants. I am interested in the basic and applied aspects of microbial contributions to the interaction between plants and insects. I also use these systems to answer basic ecological questions, such as what mechanisms influence plant biodiversity and trait evolution." (See recent research)
Arathi Seshadri and Julia Fine, who recently joined the USDA-ARS lab on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis, aim to improve honey bee survival and beekeeping sustainability in California and nationwide. They collaborate with federal, university, non-governmental and industry partners. (See news story on opening of the facility.)
Seshadri, a pollination biologist with expertise in honey bee behavior and plant reproductive strategies, is working with beekeepers and farmer stakeholders to develop projects aimed at finding solutions to the ongoing pollination challenges. Also trained as an evolutionary biologist, she has applied principles of plant-pollinator mutualism, specifically the impact of phytochemicals in pollen and nectar on honey bee health and colony performance. Her contributions to pollinator conservation include enhancing the sustainability of all pollinators, including native bees on farms and urban areas. She also has expertise in agroecosystem-based approaches and citizen science programs to promote pollinator diversity and abundance.
Fine, an entomologist with expertise in insect toxicology, honey bee physiology, reproduction and development, focuses her research on identifying how stressors impact honey bee behavior, health and fecundity. She uses both established and novel laboratory techniques. Her previous projects involved investigating how agrochemical and viral stressors interact to affect the development and survival of honey bee brood and how nutritional stress affects honey bee queen fecundity. In engaging with beekeepers and growers, Fine is researching how realistic biotic and abiotic stressors affect honey bee reproduction, longevity and pollination services, and she is identifying techniques and strategies to overcome these effects.
The seminar is open to all interested persons. For more information, contact Vannette at email@example.com.
The title of her seminar is "Mechanisms of Resistance in Poplar Against the Asian Longhorned Beetle and its Gut Symbionts."
Hoover received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1997.
"Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabripennis, is a polyphagous, tree-killing wood borer, reported to attack a broad range of deciduous tree species, including poplar," she writes in her abstract. "Yet in the invasive range of North America and Europe, poplars are usually avoided even when they are abundant. Populus species produce salicinoids (phenolic glycosides) that have properties known to reduce feeding and cause gut lesions in foliage-feeding herbivores such as gypsy moth."
"We hypothesized that these compounds may confer resistance to ALB and help explain the feeding and attack patterns in the field in both the native and introduced range of ALB. Concentrations of salicinoids normally found in bark deterred adult feeding, but low doses of salicinoids did not inhibit feeding and resulted in dramatic effects on beetle fitness. Diversity of gut fungal and microbial symbionts and abundance of the key gut fungal symbiont were affected as well."
"In Southern China, the beetle did not exhibit a feeding preference between willow and maple, but like the invasive populations in the U.S. and Europe, beetles would not feed on and seldom attack poplar, yet in Northern China poplar plantations are often heavily attacked by ALB," Hoover related. "ALB-host interactions appear to be complex and it is possible that there are differences in geographic populations of ALB in tolerance to salicinoids. These studies will be repeated this summer in Northern China and Inner Mongolia. Understanding the mechanistic differences between geographic populations of ALB will contribute to developing control measures for this destructive wood-borer."
The department's winter-quarter seminars, coordinated by assistant professor Christian Nansen, take place every Wednesday through March 15. All are held from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. See seminar schedule.
This is his exit seminar. Borowiec received his doctorate in entomology in June, studying with major professor Phil Ward. He is now a postdoc in the lab of evolutionary biologist/ant specialist Christian Rabeling of Rochester, N.Y. The lab will be moving to Tempe, Ariz. in January.
"Ants are the world's most successful eusocial organisms." Borowiec says. "Long history, high species diversity, and extreme variety of life histories make them an excellent group in which many evolutionary questions can be addressed."
His research interests include phylogeny, taxonomy, biogeography, and natural history of ants. Before enrolling at UC Davis, Borowiec received his master's degree in 2009 from the Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Taxonomy, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
"My focus has been primarily on ant diversity and evolution and in my research I combine field work, morphology, molecular phylogenetics, and comparative methods," Borowiec says. "I am also interested in computing and phylogeny estimation from next-generation sequencing data."
His dissertation research at UC Davis focused on building a taxonomic and phylogenetic framework for the research on army ant evolution. "Although army ants include very charismatic species, they belong to a larger group, the subfamily Dorylinae," he noted. "In addition to the army ants, dorylines comprise many cryptic ants whose biology and even taxonomy have been neglected. Partly as a result of this, even phylogenetic relationships of the army ants are not well-understood. The first step to advancing evolutionary research in the group was thus to examine the morphological diversity within this lineage. This resulted in a generic revision of the subfamily, published open-access in ZooKeys. Expertise gained during this work allowed me to design robust taxon sampling for a phylogeny of the dorylines based on next-generation sequencing data (ultraconserved elements or UCEs), currently in preparation."
DAVIS--Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will present a seminar on "To Antarctica and Back: The Search for Belgica antarctica Jacobs, 1900 (Diptera; Chironomidae)" from 12:10 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28 in 122 Briggs.
Parrella spent the first three weeks in January at the Julio Escudero Research Station operated by the Chilean Antarctic Institute on King George Island – part of the South Shetland Islands in the Antarctic Peninsula. This area is known for some of the greatest biological diversity in Antarctica.
The purpose of the trip was bio-prospecting for microbes and secondary plant metabolites that may have agricultural and medical utility. This is related to ongoing research in his laboratory with Pseudomonas antarctica (n. sp) – a bacteria purported to increase overall plant health. A second objective of this trip was to document the presence of arthropods in the vicinity of the research station. Both will be covered in this seminar.
Parrella will also convey his overall Antarctica experience via slides and a short video presentation.
King George Island (named for King George) is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, lying 75 miles off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.
Parrella received his bachelor of science degree in animal science from Rutgers-State University of Cook College, New Brunswick, N. J., and his master's degree and doctorate in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
He joined the faculty of UC Riverside's Department of Entomology in 1980, and then the UC Davis Departments of Entomology and Environmental Horticulture in 1988. A professor in the Departments of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) and Plant Sciences since 1991, he served as associate dean, Division of Agricultural Sciences, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from 1999 to 2009.
The list of seminars for the winter quarter, all held on Wednesday noon in 122 Briggs Hall, is on this web page.