Posts Tagged: UC Davis Department of Entomology
Home from the World War II battlefields, he enrolled in Compton Community College and then the University of California, Berkeley.
A family friend promised him a job in his termite control business once he finished his studies.
His college associates, however, couldn’t envision “Vern and termites” in the same sentence.
Neither could he.
“There were better things to do in life than crawling under a house looking for termites,” quipped Burton, who is known for his wry sense of humor. (Photo at right was taken circa 1980)
So began a 38-year career that would encompass 10 years as a Kern County Farm Advisor and 28 years as an Extension entomologist affiliated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
During his career, Burton, now 85, worked with crops such as alfalfa, beans, cotton, potatoes, small grains and sugar beets and helped resolve pest problems through integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and close associations with university researchers. “I always enjoyed helping people in ag and urban settings with their insect problems,” Burton said, “or their perceived problems.”
Tuber worms in potatoes? Check. Lygus bugs in seed alfalfa? Check. Spider mites on dry beans? Check. Nematodes in cotton? Check. Green peach aphids in sugar beets? Check. Burton helped recommend the guidelines in several of the Statewide IPM Program’s commodity manuals. His collaborative research also appears in California Agriculture and other publications.
“Vern was dedicated to California growers, and worked tirelessly to provide new and useful information to them,” said IPM specialist Frank Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. “He understood the research-extension continuum better than most people ever could, having served the university as an extension entomologist in the county and also here on campus.”
Read more about Vern Burton and what he's doing today.
Yes, he's in the computer age!
UC Davis Entomology in 1970
If you've ever wondered about the relationship between predator biodiversity and herbivore suppression, that subject is on tap Wednesday, Jan. 27 at UC Davis.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology will host associate professor William Snyder (right) of the Department of Entomology, Washington State University, at a noon seminar in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Drive.
The seminar is from 12:10 to 1 p.m. and will be Webcast. Folks can tune in, listen, and ask questions. Graduate students James Harwood and Amy Morice of the James Carey lab will be Webcasting the lecture. Here's the link to listen to the Webcast.
Snyder, who received his doctorate in entomology from the University of Kentucky in 1999, focuses his research on the relationship between biodiversity and biological control; community ecology; predator-prey interactions; and sustainable agriculture.
Snyder shares this abstract:
Classic ecological theory suggests that species must differ in their resource use patterns in order to co-exist. Although much recent empirical work has shown that resource use generally increases with greater species diversity, it has nonetheless proven difficult to demonstrate that resource partitioning truly underlies this pattern. Progress has been limited by the fact that differences among species in resource use typically are confounded with other species-specific attributes (size, metabolic rate, fecundity, etc.). In the first study I will discuss, we overcame this obstacle by co-opting plasticity in host choice among a community of aphid parasitoids, in order to manipulate the breadth of resource use independent of parasitoid species identity and diversity. We found that aphid suppression improved with greater specialist, but not generalist, parasitoid diversity. Thus, it was resource partitioning among species that fostered greater resource consumption in multi-species communities. I will then discuss results from several other natural enemy communities we have been studying, where resource partitioning among predator and/or pathogen species again appears to underlie stronger herbivore suppression at higher diversity levels.
The noonhour seminars sponsored every Wednesday through March 10 by the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, are drawing widespread interest.
And delightedly so.
Many faculty, students and staff make it a point to attend the 12:10 to 1 p.m. sessions in 122 Briggs Hall, Kleiber Drive, or they listen to the live Webcasts. Most, but not all lectures are being Webcast. (Exceptions: lectures containing unpublished data.)
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, tropical arthropod ecologist Steve Yanoviak with the Department of Biology, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, will speak on "Ecology and Behavior of Tropical Arboreal Ants."
Yanoviak does research in the rain forests of Peru. He recently returned with a fun image of himself (the exuberance expressed in this photo would prompt anyone to want to study ants!) and an image of an arboreal ant, Cephalotes atratus (above). He will be hosted by graduate students Michael Branstetter and Bonnie Blaimer, who study with professor and ant specialist Phil Ward.
Graduate student Ian Pearse of professor Rick Karban's lab is coordinating the winter noonhour seminars. Fellow graduate students James Harwood and Amy Morice, who study with professor James Carey, are devoting their time and talents to Webcasting the seminars. Folks can also access the archived Webcasts dating back to February 2009.
Here's the winter quarter schedule, which includes the live link to the Webcasts.Arboreal ants! Bring 'em on!
When the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, launches its winter noonhour seminar series on Wednesday, Jan. 6, crickets will be first in line.
UC Riverside postdoctoral researcher Nathan Bailey will speak on "The Role of Behavioral Plasticity in the Evolution of Silent Crickets" from 12:10 to 1 p.m. Wednesday in 122 Briggs Hall.
Bailey focuses his research on sexual selection, behavioral ecology, phylogeography and insect immunity "with an emphasis on how behavioral plasticity shapes selection and influences reproductive isolation."
His study systems include Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex) and the Pacific field cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus).
The seminars are open to all interested persons.
Like to know more about the biocontrol of tea pests? Aging of insects? What honey bee research is under way?
If you can't physically attend the UC Davis Department of Entomology's fall seminars, starting Wednesday noon, Oct. 7 in 122 Briggs Hall, you can participate via Webinars or listen to the archived Webcasts. Most will be Webcast.
UC Davis entomology professor James Carey, former chair of the UC Systemwide Academic Senate University Committee on Research Policy, launched a pilot program in February to inform and educate the scientific community and the public on research findings.
Carey's lab researchers and graduate students began taping the series of Webinars on Feb. 18. Then came the summer break. Now that we're into the fall season, the Webinars will continue Oct. 7.
Here's the link to access the Webinar.
The UC Davis Webinars drew international attention on March 4 when chemical ecologist Tom Baker of Pennsylvania State University spoke on “But Do We Shoot the Driver? Meeting New Challenges in Detecting Agents of Harm by Using Old Entomological Knowledge.” Joining in were listeners from 10 countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Japan as well as the United States.
“We were hooked up to Pennsylvania State, too, so my colleagues knew where I was at, what I was doing and what I was saying,” Baker quipped.
Fellow chemical ecologist Walter Leal, UC Davis professor of entomology, who hosted Baker, later marveled at the technology.
“Just think, someone was sitting at a computer in Japan at 4 in the morning listening to Tom,” Leal said.
Both the virtual and physical audience can ask questions.
Webinars not only save time, but money, Leal pointed out. “The average round trip cost for airfare only for the 10 countries that participated in Baker’s seminar is $1,480, with Mexico being the cheapest ($700) and Montivideo, Uruguay the most expensive ($3,600).”
“It means that we saved in average $59,200 considering one participant per computer,” Leal said. “Note that in a couple of cases the presentation was displayed for multiple participants. If all participants would be accounted for, the cost would be astronomical.”
“As for travel time, only for each way, the average for the 10 countries would be 20 hours and 30 minutes, with the shortest trip being from Mexico (six-hour flight plus six hours of layover and check-in) and the longest from Montivideo (19-hour flight, plus six hours for layover and check-in),” Leal said.
The archived Webinars, from Feb. 18 through May 27, are online.
Here's the fall line-up:
Oct. 7: Biological control scientist Madoka Nakai, associate professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, will discuss biocontrol of tea pests in her talk, “A Novel Protein from Lepidopteran Virus Killing Endoparasitoid and Viral Control for Tea Pests in Japan” (Webcast)
Oct. 14: Plant taxonomist Dean Kelch, assistant researcher, University and Jepson Herbaria, UC Berkeley, “Mimicking Science Interpretation: A Visit to the Creation Museum” (this one won't be Webcast)
Oct. 21: Entomologist James R. Carey, professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology, “Demography of the Finitude: Insights into Lifespan, Aging and Death from Insect Studies" (Webcast)
Oct. 28: Insect virus researcher Michelle Flenniken, Haagen-Dazs Postdoctoral Fellow, “Microarray-Based Pathogen Detection and the Antiviral Role of RNA Interference in Honey Bees” (not Webcast)
Nov. 4: Chemical ecologist Jonathan Gershenzon, professor, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, "Plant Volatiles: Versatile Agents of Defense"
Nov. 18: Community ecologist and population biologist Matt Forister, assistant professor, University of Nevada-Reno, on the “Agricultural” Melissa Blue butterfly: “Anatomy of a Niche Shift: Lycaeides melissa and the Colonization of Alfalfa”
Dec. 2: Entomologist Michael Parrella, professor and chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology, “An International Perspective on Sustainable Production in Greenhouses”