Posts Tagged: Rob Dunn
And it's not only a book you can't refuse, but you can reuse over and over again. It's that fascinating.
This ebook, meant for youths in grades 4 through 12 but equally enthralling to us adults, will tell you about the ants that live in the Big Apple, what they do, how they survive, and where to find them. They include the carpenter ant, lasius ant, odorous house ant, crazy ant, winter ant, Asian needle ant, winnow ant, big headed ant, thief ant, acrobat ant and honeyrump ant.
Truly, there is a honeyrump ant.
The book was written by entomologist Eleanor Spicer Rice and biologist Rob Dunn of the Your Wildlife group, a public science program based at North Carolina State University that engages the public "in the exploration and scientiﬁc study of the biodiversity in our daily lives."
Why ants? Dr. Eleanor says she loves all insects but is "particularly fascinated by ants." In earning her doctorate in entomology from North Carolina State University, she studied the behavior and interactions of two invasive ant species, the Argentine ant and the Asian needle ant. "Ever since she was a little girl exploring the swamps and woods around her hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Eleanor has had a boundless curiosity for the natural world," according to the author description. "When she's not turning over logs or poking at the cob-webby corners of her basement in pursuit of a six-legged critter, Dr. Eleanor is sharing her passion about entomology through writing (see her website."
Rob Dunn, a biologist and writer in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University, craves being around insects, too. The author description: "Central to all of his work is the sense that big discoveries lurk not only in faraway tropical forests but also in our backyards and even bedrooms. The unknown is large and wonderful, and Dunn and his collaborators, students, and postdocs love to spend their days in it."
There's also a University of California, Davis connection. Two connections, actually. The book's amazing insect images are primarily the work of Alexander "Alex" Wild while Andrea Lucky served as the scientific advisor. Both received their doctorates in entomology from UC Davis, studying with acclaimed ant specialist Phil Ward, professor of entomology.
Wild, now a biologist in Illinois and a full-time professional insect photographer, has published his work in National Geographic, Discover, Smithsonian Magazine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and numerous other publications and museum exhibits. He writes the Compound Eye blog for Scientific American and the Myrmecos blog. Lucky is an evolutionary biologist and biodiversity scientist at the University of Florida. One of her goals (in addition to her research interests) is "to make science accessible and available to the general public, particularly to make the process of ‘doing' science accessible to non-scientists."
The book is a wonderful means of linking young people with science, and teaching all of us about an insect that is so common among us, but yet so unfamiliar.
Ants by Alexander Wild.
Indeed, we can take lessons from the ants, according to ecologist Rob Dunn (right), assistant professor in the Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
Dunn, author of Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys, will open the UC Davis Department of Entomology's winter seminar series on Wednesday, Jan. 5 with a presentation on “Using Collaborative Approaches to See the Geography and Future of life: Lessons From Ants.”
Dunn will speak from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 1022 Life Sciences Addition (LSA), corner of Hutchison and Kleiber Hall. His host is Bonnie Blaimer of the Phil Ward lab.
Be sure to check out Dunn's website, where you'll find his newly published research on ants and information on a troubling ant (Asian needle ant) in the hardwood forests of eastern North America.
The Department of Entomology seminars, coordinated by graduate student Ian Pearse of the Rick Karban lab, will be held every Wednesday from 12:10 to 1 p.m. through March. 9 in 1022 LSA, a change from last quarter's seminars (held in 122 Briggs Hall). UC Davis graduate students are hosting the individual presentations.
All presentations will be webcast live and then archived on this page. Graduate students James Harwood and Amy Morice of the Jim Carey lab donate their time to webcast the seminars.
The entire list of speakers, beginning with Dunn:
Jan. 5: Rob Dunn, assistant professor, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Topic: “Using Collaborative Approaches to See the Geography and Future of Life: Lessons From Ants.” Host: Bonnie Blaimer
Jan. 12: Amanda Hodson, UC Davis postdoctoral scholar. Topic: “Ecological Influence of the Entomopathogenic Nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae, on Soil Arthropods in Pistachio Orchards.” Host: Brittany Mills
Jan. 19: Jonathan Pruitt, Center for Population Biology Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis Department of Ecology and Evolution. Topic: “From Individuals to Populations to Communities: When Does Personality Matter?” Host: Meredith Cenzer.
Jan. 26: Angela Smilanich, adjunct faculty in biology at University of Nevada, Reno, and affiliate associate research faculty at the Desert Research Institute, Reno. Topic: "Self-Medication vs. Self-Toxicity in Generalist and Specialist Herbivores.” Host: Ian Pearse.
Feb. 2: Don Miller, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Chico. Topic: "Strategies of Tamalia Aphids: Freeloading, Gall Induction, Adaptive Sex Allocation.” Host: Scott McCluen
Feb. 9: Roger Vargas, research entomologist, USDA-ARS. Topic: "Area-Wide Fruit Fly Programs against Fruit Flies in Hawaii, French Polynesia and California." Host: James Harwood
Feb., 16: Gary Blomquist, professor and department chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno. Topic: "Pheromone Production in Bark Beetles." Host: George Kamita.
Feb. 23: Tom Turner, assistant professor of ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara. Topic: "Evolutionary Functional Genomics: How Can We Find the Natural Genetic Variants Affecting Interesting Traits in Model Insects?" Host: Jackie Wong
March 2: Stan Faeth, professor and head, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Title: "Asexual Endophytes in Native Grasses: Tiny Partners with Big Community Effects.” Host: Ian Pearse.
March 9: Jeffrey Feder, professor, Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame. Title: (To be announced.) Host: Meredith Cenzer