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In Memory of William E. Walton

In Memoriam William E. Walton Professor of Entomology (September 1, 1956 - October 18, 2020) The Department of Entomology, the University of California, and the field of vector ecology have lost one of their most dedicated, productive, and beloved scientists. Dr. William E. (Bill) Walton, Professor of Entomology, passed away at the UC Irvine Medical...

Scientists unlock genetic secrets of wine growers’ worst enemy

Following a decade-long effort, scientists have mapped out the genome of an aphid-like pest capable of decimating vineyards. In so doing, they have discovered how it spreads — and potentially how to stop it. The research team’s work on the genome was published this past week in a BMC Biology paper. In it, they identified...
By JULES BERNSTEIN |

Parasite infestations revealed by tiny chicken backpacks

Blood-feeding livestock mites can be detected with wearable sensor technology nicknamed “Fitbits for chickens.” Motion sensors helped detect the presence of blood-feeding mites. (Amy Murillo/UCR) To help farmers detect mite infestations, a team of entomologists, computer scientists, and biologists led by UC Riverside entomologist Amy Murillo has created a new insect detection system. The team’s...
By JULES BERNSTEIN |

UCR wins $10 million to develop AI for sustainable agriculture

The University of California, Riverside, has won a $10 million grant to develop artificial intelligence that will increase the environmental and economic stability of agriculture in the Western U.S. This Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant is one of nine given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, annually to...
By JULES BERNSTEIN |

Professor’s own body becomes physiology lab during pandemic

Just call him Professor Guinea Pig. Adapting to remote learning this quarter, Professor Rich Cardullo is performing all the experiments for his human physiology laboratory course — on himself. Professor Rich Cardullo drawing his own blood for a glucose tolerance test in his human physiology laboratory class. (Stan Lim/UCR) Picture a video in which your...
By JULES BERNSTEIN |

Thank you to those lending hearts and minds to California’s recovery

As the world continues to confront the global pandemic, the University of California community has stepped up like never before, drawing on the spirit of ingenuity and service that defines us. From hospitals and labs to neighborhoods across California, UC staff, faculty, alumni and students are putting their creativity and compassion to work to help...
By NICOLE FREELING |

Congratulations to PhD candidate, Jacob Cecala, whose recent paper examining the high degree of floral fidelity by native bees in California plant nurseries is featured on the cover of the June 2020 issue of Ecology!

COVER PHOTO: A female sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, perches on the petals of an ornamental crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica, at a plant nursery in Irwindale, California, USA. In this issue, The Scientific Naturalist series shares how Cecala and Wilson Rankin (Article e03021; doi:10.1002/ecy.3021) paint-marked bees to track their foraging patterns on flowering plants inside commercial...

EGSA Wins Outstanding Outreach Events Award

Congratulations to the Entomology Graduate Student Association for their recent award for excellence in community outreach!

Houston Wilson named Presidential Director for the Clif Bar Endowed Organic Agriculture Institute

Houston Wilson has been named the Presidential Director for the University of California's Organic Agriculture Institute, which was established in January 2020 with a $500,000 endowment by Clif Bar and a matching $500,000 endowment from UC President Janet Napolitano. Wilson, a UC Riverside agricultural entomologist based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, joined...
By PAMELA KAN-RICE |

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bees

World Bee Day is May 20. To mark the occasion, we gathered some of UC Riverside’s top bee experts to answer questions submitted on our Instagram page. The response created, for lack of a better term, quite a buzz! We got so many questions — hundreds — that we could not answer them all on...
By Jules Bernstein | UCR News |

Does urbanization homogenize regional biodiversity in native bees?

When you think of California in the 1970s, maybe you think of hippies, Fleetwood Mac, or skateboards. But if you’re an entomologist, you might think of all the natural spaces that have since been devoured by urbanization and wonder what happened to the native bees that lived in them. The question isn’t one of mere...
By Holly Ober | UCR News |

Murder hornets invade headlines, not the U.S.

Though “murder hornets” are dominating recent headlines, there are no Asian Giant Hornets currently known to be living in the U.S. or Canada, according to UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum Senior Scientist Doug Yanega. Yanega is one of the country’s foremost insect identification experts. Beekeepers in Canada consulted him when a colony of the 2-inch-long...
By Jules Bernstein |

This Is a Great Time to Busy Yourself With Bees

When Hollis Woodard picks up the phone on a Friday afternoon in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has to pry her hands from the dirt. “I’m working on the yard furiously to try and soothe myself,” she says. Woodard, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, studies bumble bees—a profession that sometimes...
By Jessica Leigh Hester |

Flower faithful native bee makes a reliable pollinator

Entomologists at UC Riverside have documented that a species of native sweat bee widespread throughout North and South America has a daily routine that makes it a promising pollinator. Because the bee can thrive in environments that have been highly modified by humans, such as cities and agricultural areas, it could become a suitable supplement...
By HOLLY OBER |

Biblical plague of locusts to bulge to 400 times their size in Africa, warns expert

The United Nations (UN) issued a statement this week warning it is the most severe infestation Kenya has seen in 70 years. Swarms of locusts the size of entire cities are currently sweeping across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, with some as big as 37 miles long and 25 miles wide. Dr. Rick Overson, research scientist...
By Carly Read |

Scientists short-circuit maturity in insects, opening new paths to disease prevention

New research from UC Riverside shows scientists may soon be able to prevent disease-spreading mosquitoes from maturing. Using the same gene-altering techniques, they may also be able help boost reproduction in beneficial bumblebees. The research shows that, contrary to previous scientific belief, a hormone required for sexual maturity in insects cannot travel across a mass...
By Jules Bernstein |

On The Fly

When describing Mark Hoddle, it’s easy to think of him as the Indiana Jones of the entomology world. And it’s not just because of his shirt. This summer, he led a team of UC Riverside researchers on a 600-mile journey to Southern Arizona, where the group trekked 5,500 feet above sea level to a remote...
By Jules Bernstein |

A Closer Look: Argentine Ant Control

Research out of UCR finds that even though Argentine ant control is labor intensive, the use of various formulations of perimeter sprays and baits may help reduce treatment times for PMPs. Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org Editor’s note: This research was conducted by the University of California, Urban Entomology Laboratory. Syngenta provided financial support...
By Dong-Hwan Choe, Eric Paysen, Les Greenberg, Kathleen Campbell and Michael Rust |

New lab is California’s best defense against deadly citrus disease

California citrus growers and the University of California, Riverside have joined forces to open a research lab to defeat a disease that has decimated citrus crops in Florida and China. The disease, Huanglongbing, or HLB, is caused by bacteria spread by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB prevents fruit from ripening properly...
By Holly Ober |

Buzzkill?

They say love is blind, but if you’re a queen honeybee it could mean true loss of sight. New research finds male honeybees inject toxins during sex that cause temporary blindness. All sexual activity occurs during a brief early period in a honeybee’s life, during which males die and queens can live for many years...
By Jules Bernstein |
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