Posts Tagged: Kelly Hamby
The UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) has decided to provide travel funds to entomology undergraduates who want to present their research at entomological associations.
So EGSA has established the Jude Plummer Travel Grant, so named because Plummer, a pest control manager in Florida, donated $50 “to be used for such a cause,” said EGSA president Jenny Carlson, a Ph.D. candidate in the Vector Genetics Lab.
This week EGSA announced the first recipient of the Jude Plummer Travel Grant: Daren Harris, who received his bachelor of science degree in entomology from UC Davis in December.
Harris will receive a travel grant of $300 to present his poster on the spotted wing drosophila at the 2013 meeting of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, set April 6-11 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nev.
Harris' poster is titled “Seasonal Trapping of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in a Multi-Crop Setting.” He works as a lab assistant in the Frank Zalom lab, studying with professor Zalom and Ph.D candidate Kelly Hamby.
“We will be providing an opportunity for UC Davis undergraduates to apply twice a year for a total of $300, depending on funds,” Carlson said. “We will have one in the winter and one in the fall.” Those who want to support the project can donate to the EGSA fund or buy entomology t-shirts.
Harris, who minored in fungal biology and ecology, plans to pursue a master’s degree in forest entomology. “I would like to study insect-fungus interactions with a focus on inoculation of forest pests with entomophagous fungi,” he said. “Many of these pests are gregarious so capture, inoculation and release of a few individuals may disseminate the pathogen to a large population.”
“My ultimate goal is to work with the USDA forest service. I would love nothing more than to make my living tromping around in beautiful north American forests."
Harris said he initially wanted to be a taxidermist. “As a child I had bookshelves filled with biological oddities and ‘specimens,’ including dead animals in jars of formaldehyde. My collection included everything from pet rodents to road kill. A high school biology teacher turned me on to entomology and I was hooked. The capture and curation of insects satisfied that childhood collection impulse, with the added bonus of frolicking through fields with a net.”
This tiny spotted wing drosophila is what Daren Harris is studying. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Some 200 freshmen at the University of California, Davis will present their research posters on career explorations from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 in Freeborn Hall.
The students will stand by their posters and answer questions from interested persons. At the end of the event, the audience will vote for the best poster, along with the second- and third-place winners.
“The students enjoy presenting their posters to interested viewers,” said entomologist Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) and professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Ullman, known for innovative teaching strategies, has played a fundamental role in developing CDG. In addition to her many other roles, she advises graduate students in both entomology and plant pathology.
Ulllman said the CDG students will present their research on a variety of topics, including animal/wildlife, food science/nutrition, biotechnology, and ecology/environment. The posters are part of the Career Discovery Seminar course led by the Internship and Career Center and Career Discovery fellows (graduate student mentors in the CDG Program).
David Rizzo, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, directs the Science and Society Program.
The CDG program is geared for:
--Undeclared/exploratory students who want to explore an array of career pathways and gain decision-making skills.
--Students with a declared major in CA&ES who want a head start on career development skills in their area of interest.
In the past, students have expressed a wide range of interests from becoming a forensic entomologist to becoming a super model (textiles and clothing program), Ullman said.
What better way to explore those careers with a poster and tell others what they've learned?
Speaking of careers, we remember when UC Davis student Heather Wilson entered her original video, "I Wanna Be an Entomologist," in the 2011 Entomological Society of America's You Tube Contest. Wilson, a UC Regents scholar and a technician/researcher in Frank Zalom's integrated pest management lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, meant it to be a parody of Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars' (I Wanna Be a) "Billionaire" video.
It didn't win, but it drew lots of attention! And so will the posters displayed tomorrow in Freeborn Hall.
Kelly Hamby, seeking her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, works on spotted wing drosophila research in the Frank Zalom lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Danielle Wishon, an undergraduate student in entomology at UC Davis, works at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Deep in the bowels of Briggs Hall on the UC Davis campus, entomology graduate student Kelly Hamby works on a pest that is giving growers fits: spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).
First detected in California in the fall of 2008, the fly has become an significant pest of berry and cherry crops, which have a combined farmgate value of $1.9 billion.
“My research is focused on the molecular biology and genomics of insecticide resistance in this fly,” said Hamby, who works in the lab of her major professor, integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
“It is closely related to the model organism Drosophila melanogaster for which much is already known, so I hope to draw from those studies to enhance mine. I plan to monitor the genomic changes as resistance develops in both the field and the lab, and use this information to help growers manage insecticide resistance. “
Her work has not gone unnoticed.
The Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA) is honoring her as the branch recipient of the Lillian and Alex Feir Graduate Student Travel Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology. She'll receive a commemorative plaque at an awards luncheon on Tuesday, March 29 at PBESA's meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
The branch will then nominate and endorse her for the national award, to be given at the ESA's annual meeting Nov. 13-16 in Reno.
This is indeed a high honor.
PBESA encompasses 11 U.S. states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming); several U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; and parts of Canada and Mexico.
Hamby, pursuing her doctorate in entomology, is a graduate of UC Davis with a bachelor of science degree in environmental toxicology. In her fruit fly project, she works closely with molecular geneticist Joanna Chiu, a UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty member who specializes in molecular chronobiology.
"I greatly appreciate Joanna’s willingness to work with my students to add an exciting and useful new dimension to their work," Zalom said.
Dorothy Feir (1929-2008), the 1989 president of ESA, established the award as a tribute to her parents who, “at considerable self-sacrifice, "encouraged education and travel experience for their daughters,” she related.
Feir, who grew up in Missouri, received her doctorate in entomology from the University of Wisconsin in 1968; taught biology at St. Louis University, beginning in 1961; and was the first woman president of the now 6000-member ESA. ESA named her a fellow in 1993, an honor limited to only 10 persons a year.
Feir donated her multimillion estate to various institutions and organizations for the study of insects--so future entomologists can benefit.
Close-up of Drosophila