Entomology and Nemotology

CA&ES Departments Welcome Newly Appointed Chairs

UC Davis Professors Joanna Chiu and Andrew Whitehead have been appointed as the new chairs of the Departments of Entomology and Nematology and Environmental Toxicology, respectively. Mary Delany has also been appointed as interim chair for the Department of Human Ecology. As the academic year gets underway, these visionary leaders are set to steer their departments toward groundbreaking research, interdisciplinary collaborations and exceptional experiences for students.

Snack Maker Makes Donation to Continue Bee Health Research at UC Davis

Bees play a critical role in California’s agricultural ecosystems by pollinating many important crops, including almonds. Climate change, habitat loss, pesticides and other factors pose problems for bee populations.

To date, KIND Snacks has donated $350,000 for bee research at UC Davis, led by Entomology Professors Neal Williams and Elina Niño for continued research on bee health. California grows the vast majority of the world’s almonds, which rely on bees and other pollinators.

Pesticides Can Affect Multiple Generations of Bees

A new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, finds that pesticides not only directly affect bee health, but effects from past exposure can carry over to future generations. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that bees may require multiple generations to recover from even a single application.

Pesticides and Food Scarcity Dramatically Reduce Wild Bee Population

Study Finds 57% Drop in Reproduction When Exposed to Both Threats

The loss of flowering plants and the widespread use of pesticides could be a double punch to wild bee populations. In a new study, researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that the combined threats reduced blue orchard bee reproduction by 57 percent and resulted in fewer female offspring. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

CA&ES scientists are among the winners of Chancellor’s Innovation Awards

A team of scientists affiliated with the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute and entomology professor Bruce Hammock are among the recipients of the 2020 Chancellor’s Innovation Awards, which recognize faculty, project teams and community partners for their work, dedication and success in improving the lives of others and addressing the needs of society.


Grapevine Red Blotch Disease Threatens U.S. Grape Industry

$3 Million Grant Awarded to Study Causes, Impact of Grapevine Virus

University of California, Davis, scientists will lead a collaborative effort to study grapevine red blotch disease, which threatens the $162 billion U.S. grape industry. The virus causes red veins and blotches on grape leaves. The fruit on diseased plants is smaller, ripens more slowly, and its sugars and colors are muted.

UC Davis Researchers Are Highly Cited

Sixteen UC Davis researchers have been named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list released by the Web of Science Group, which compiles statistics on scientific publishing. The list identifies scientists and social scientists who have published multiple papers ranking in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period. 

Citation counts represent how often a particular paper has been cited in other scientific publications. 

UC Davis researchers included in this year’s list are:

Most Microbes in Hummingbird Feeders Do Not Pose Health Hazard

Feeders or Flowers? Researchers Compare Microbes

Many people set up hummingbird feeders in their yards to nurture and watch these high-energy pollinators. But could the sugar water they provide be impacting these tiny feathered friends?

A study led by the University of California, Davis, is one of the first to address the potential for sugar water from hummingbird feeders to act as a vector for avian — or even zoonotic — pathogens. It found that the majority of microbes growing in feeders do not likely pose a significant health hazard to birds or humans.