Backyard Orchard News
His daughter-in-law, Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Flint, a longtime leader of the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) Program and a newly retired Extension entomologist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be honored at a dinner on Dec. 1 as the recipient of the 2014 James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the university.
The event will take place at 6 p.m., in Ballrooms B and C of the UC Davis Conference Center. Reservations may be made by contacting UC Davis Special Events at (530) 754-2262 by Nov. 24.
Flint, UC IPM's associate director for Urban and Community IPM, and who retired at the end of June, is the third entomologist (Frank Zalom, 2004, and Thomas Leigh, 1988) to receive the Academic Federation award, first presented in 1971.
Her father-in-law, who served as chancellor from 1969 to 1987, during the university's greatest period of growth and change, strongly supported the Academic Federation and the Cooperative Extension Specialists, Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and other non-Senate academics it represents, Flint said.
Parrella said that Flint “has been heavily involved in the leadership, creativity and the success of UC IPM Program since 1983 and is UC IPM's longest-tenured employee. Also since 1983, she has served as an Extension entomologist in our department and we are proud of her innovative ideas, dedication, commitment and accomplishments. Dr. Flint is truly an outstanding leader and visionary who has initiated, conducted and established research, educational and outreach programs that we sometimes take for granted. She advances IPM practices that are economical, environmentally friendly and health conscious.”
Wrote UC IPM Director Kassim Al-Khatib: “Dr. Flint has initiated, conducted, and established an outstanding and well respected IPM research and outreach program for urban and community. Many of her programs and findings have significant impact on pest management in California. She is a talented, capable specialist and good communicator to the IPM end-user.” Globally, the UC IPM program is considered the gold standard of IPM.
Flint received her bachelor's degree in plant sciences in 1972 from UC Davis, and her doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley in 1979. “We are fortunate that she chose to spend her career here at UC Davis,” Parrella said.
Among her accomplishments:
- Created, wrote or edited and oversaw the development of the UC IPM's IPM Manual series of books from 1980-2007; this series includes IPM manuals on 15 different agricultural crops or crop groups. More than 100,000 copies of these books have been sold worldwide.
- Oversaw the development and creation of the online UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines from 1987-2007. This series included 43-crop specific PMGs featuring hundreds of pests and thousands of photographs and authored by UC experts around the state and updated regularly. Flint served as technical editor. She developed many online tools associated with the PMGs such as the Natural Enemies Gallery and the Weed Galleries.
- Established the UC IPM Pest Note series for home, garden, landscape and urban audiences. This series covers more than 165 pests. About 12,000 people a day access these publications on the UC IPM Home and Garden website.
- Authored several important books on IPM including Pests of the Garden and Small Farm, IPM in Practice: Principles and Methods of IPM and The Natural Enemies Handbook. She developed the Pesticide Compendium series along with Patrick O'Connor Marer.
- Created some of the earliest interactive learning tools of IPM, including the 1996 CD-ROM Solving Garden Problems: A University of California Interactive Guide and The UC Interactive Tutorial for Biological Control of Insects and Mites (an interactive CD-ROM, Publication 3412). She and her colleagues also created some of the first online training materials for IPM with online training programs for retail nursery and garden center personnel. The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns on the UC IPM website is another key accomplishment. UC IPM takes its 16 portable UC IPM Touch Screen IPM kiosks to hundreds of retail stores and community events. More recently, Flint has been heavily involved in creating YouTube videos on the UC IPM channel and disseminating information through other electronic and social media.
- Developed hands-on, train-the-trainer programs for UC Master Gardeners, retail nursery personnel and landscape professionals that have resulted in the delivery of information to far more people than would be possible through conventional training meetings. Among the topics: biological control, pesticides and landscape pest identificatio
Lately Flint has been involved with the thousand cankers disease, caused by the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, in association with the fungus, Geosmithia morbida. The disease kills walnut trees, especially black walnuts. She continues to work on the project with research entomologist Steven J. Seybold of the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and other scientists.
Seybold, an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, said that on a national level, Flint was "instrumental in facilitating the rapid processing and release of the national trapping guidelines for the walnut twig beetle."
"Once our team had discovered the aggregation pheromone of this beetle and had demonstrated its value in trapping the insect in California, Mary Louise assisted us with the preparation and dissemination of useful trapping guidelines, which have been employed by state pest regulatory officials and detection entomologists throughout the country.”
Widely honored by her peers, Flint received the 2002 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Integrated Pest Management from the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists; a 2003 IPM Innovator Award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation as part of the Sacramento Water Wise Pest Control Program; a 2003 resolution from the Sacramento City Council honoring her for contributions to the Sacramento Water Wise Program; a 2004 Environmental Services Award from the San Francisco Department of the Environment; and an international IPM Award of Recognition, “Grower Incentives Team Project,” at the 2009 International IPM Symposium in Portland, Ore.
Flint is not only the third entomologist to receive the award, but the third IPM specialist. Frank Zalom, a distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, directed the UC IPM Program for 16 years (1988-2001). He is currently serving as president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America. Thomas Leigh (1923-1993) stood at the forefront of integrated pest management 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.
Mary Lou Flint outside her new office at Briggs Hall. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Here's a good reason why you should not clean the fixtures around your porch lights--if you need a reason.
The lights attract all kinds of nocturnal flying insects. It's like the proverbial draw of a moth to a flame.
Spiders weave their webs on the light fixtures to trap their prey. If you remove the webs, you'll remove the insect smorgasbord.
Recently we saw an insect we'd never seen before on the light fixture: a praying mantis lying in wait, maybe to snare a moth or share the spider's bounty.
The porch light screams '"science project!" We remember our son's science projects in elementary school, including "Can a Plant Grow Upside Down?" and "How Fast Can a Yo-Yo Spin?" Somewhere the curious mind of a science student will look at the light on his or her front porch and ask: What insects are flying toward the night light and how many? How many predators are lying in wait? What do they eat? And, what roles do these lights and predators play in luring the insects to their death?
Meanwhile, the praying mantis has vanished. It's end of the season. Next year there will be many more praying mantids. One deposited an egg case beneath a table on the back porch. After they emerge and eat their brothers and sisters (no sibling love there!), one or more may hang out on the light fixture next year.
Porch lights attract predators and prey, including this predator, a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
There will be plenty of people to bug.
Some 3200 entomologists or persons interested in insects are registered to attend.
Our own Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, serves as president of the 7000-member organization, founded in 1889. He's the second UC Davis entomologist to hold the office. The first was Donald McLean (1928-2014), emeritus professor and former chair of the department.
Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist, has selected his theme as "Grand Challenges Beyond Our Horizon," a perfect theme for a meeting in the Great Northwest.
Richard Levine, communications program manager for ESA, says that more than 90 symposia are planned and will cover such topics as bed bugs, honey bees, monarch butterflies, ticks, native pollinators, pesticide regulations, biological control, integrated pest management, genetically-modified crops, invasive species, forestry, entomophagy, organic farming, insect-vectored diseases, and more. In addition, there will be 1,750 papers and posters, Levine reports.
- Beyond Pesticides: The Conundrum of Bed Bugs
- Insects as Sustainable and Innovative Sources of Food and Feed Production
- Recovering Monarch Butterfly Populations in North America: A Looming Challenge for Science, the Public, Industry, and Legislators
- Classical Biological Control of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål)
- Nutrition and the Health and Behavior of Wild and Managed Bees
- Contributions of Mosquito Research to Science & Society
- Entomological Comics and Their Importance in Education and Culture
- RNAi: Emerging Technology to Overcome Grand Challenges in Entomology
- IPM: An International Organic Farming Strategy on Invasive Insect Species
- New Frontiers in Honey Bee Health Economics: Incorporating Entomological Research and Knowledge into Economic Assessments
UC Davis will have quite a presence at the meeting. Among the scientists to be honored at the ESA meeting are three from UC Davis: Professor Diane Ullman and doctorate recipients Kelly Hamby (2014) and James F. Campbell (1999)
Kelly Hamby, recipient of the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA, will be honored, along with the other Comstock award winners from the other branches. (See more information)
Research entomologist James F. Campbell, who earned his doctoral in entomology from UC Davis in 1999, will receive a special recognition award. The award, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, recognizes entomologists who are making significant contributions to agriculture. Campbell is a research entomologist with the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Service of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Manhattan, Kansas. (See more information)
Three professors who received their doctorates in entomology in the 1980s from UC Davis are among this year's 10 elected Fellows.
- Nilsa A. Bosque-Pérez, professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences at the University of Idaho. She received two degrees from UC Davis: her master's degree in 1981 and Ph.D. in 1985.
- Gary Felton, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at Penn State University. He received his doctorate from UC Davis in 1988. In 2010, he delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Lecture at UC Davis
- Murray B. Isman, professor of entomology and toxicology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He received his doctorate from UC Davis in 1981. In 2012, he delivered the Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Lecture at UC Davis
Many faculty and students will present talks or displays at the event.
Each participant will receive a copy of the 2014 ESA calendar, which features the work of insect photographers throughout the world.
A red flameskimmer dragonfly (Libellula saturata), taken by yours truly, is among the images. I bugged the bug. "Lib" perched on a bamboo stake near our fish pond and was not at all skittish when I walked up and asked "Okay if I bug you for a photo? After you polish off that sweat bee?"
In bug language, Lib said "Go ahead. Just get my best side, please."
So I did. Lib's best side. And then I wrote the requisite caption about this amazing dragonfly.
"The flameskimmer dragonfly (Libellula saturata) is native to western North America. It feeds on bees, flies, moths and other soft-bodied insects, catching them in flight and returning to a perch to eat. The males, about two to three inches long, are larger than the females. The males are firecracker red or dark orange, while the females are a medium to a darker brown. Adult dragonflies hang out at ponds, streams, ditches and at other water habitats. Females lay their eggs in warm ponds or small streams. The nymphs ambush their prey, feeding on insect larvae, including mosquitoes and aquatic flies. The nymphs also eat small fish, tadpoles and each other."
Flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Florent Trouillas, UC Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE), specializing in fruit and nut crop pathology, became a welcomed addition to the KARE faculty on October 1, 2014. Trouillas' research program aims to understand current as well as emerging diseases of major fruit and nut crops, and deliver efficient and innovative control strategies. His research includes basic and applied studies on the etiology, biology, epidemiology and control of fruit and nut crop diseases.
Immediately prior to coming to KARE, Trouillas worked as a project scientist coordinating research projects in Viticulture for agricultural cooperatives in France.
Trouillas was a graduate student and a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Extension Plant Pathologist Walter D (Doug) Gubler in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis. Trouillas' research emphasized the characterization and control of canker diseases of grapes, fruit and nut crops.
Florent Trouillas in his plant pathology lab at Kearney.
Cultural entomologist Emmet Brady, host of the Insect News Network, a Davis-based program on radio station KDRT 95.7 FM, is planning something special on Friday, Nov. 14 in Nevada City and you're all invited.
It's called "Cross Pollination: a Microcosmic Journey and it's a live filming segment on the art and the science of the microcosm, complete with decor, multimedia projections, interactive installations and costumes-- to showcase what Brady calls "the amazing designs, habits and beauty of insects, spiders and flowers."
Folks are invited to dress as their favorite insect, spider or flower to celebrate a gathering of the insect tribe.
The event footage will then be webcast in January for the Bee-A-Thon 4, an annual event to raise awareness about honey bees, pollinators and the importance of the microcosm.
The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Miners' Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City. For more information, access the specially created Facebook page.
Brady says Love and Light, Pega5u5 (Mr. Rogers and Pharroh), Ra So, Sambadrop, and Eminent Bee will be among the entertainers, with microscopic visuals by Sonik Galixsee.
If you dressed up as an insect, spider or flower costume for Halloween, no problem. You can resurrect your costume.
Or just create something special. Expand on the idea of butterfly wings worn by UC Davis entomology graduate student Christine Melvin at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. The wings were a popular attraction last month as visitors to the UC Davis insect museum tried on the wings and pretended to be monarchs on their migration to overwintering sites along coastal California and in central Mexico.
UC Davis entomology undergraduate student Christine Melvin models the monarch wings on display at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)