Six Graduate Students Win Entomology Awards

Six graduate students in the Department of Entomology have received Robert van den Bosch Scholarships offered by the Center for Biological Control at UC Berkeley. The scholarships, which range from $5,000 to $20,000, may be used for graduate student salary, tuition and fees, laboratory help, supplies or travel for research.

The six students are: Erich Schoeller ($20,000), Aviva Goldmann ($10,000), Fatemeh Ganjisaffar ($20,000), Adena Why ($10,000), Amelia Lindsey ($10,000) and Christopher Shogren ($5,000). A UC Berkeley student was the only other awardee this year.

Aviva Goldmann

“This scholarship will support further research into understanding the biology of giant whitefly (Aleurodicus dugesii) and some of its predators in an attempt to enhance population control of this species,” said Schoeller, who works in the lab of Rick Redak. “Giant whitefly is an invasive species in California and an economically important pest of many ornamental plants and crops, such as citrus and avocado.

Goldmann, a Ph.D. student who works in the lab of Richard Stouthamer, said the scholarship will fund her Ph.D. project to study predatory insects and spiders attacking Asian citrus psyllid, a recently invasive and devastating pest of citrus. “This research identifies previously unknown natural enemies of ACP already present in California,” Goldman said, “which may then be used for improved biological control of this pest.”

Ganjisaffar, who works in Thomas Perring’s lab, will use her

Fatemeh Ganjisaffar

Fatemeh Ganjisaffar

scholarship to support research on the biology of the predatory mite Galendromus flumenis “in an effort to develop and optimize biological control strategies against Banks grass mite,” she said. “Banks grass mite is a serious pest of dates, grain crops, and grasses, and has been a persistent pest of California dates since the early 1900s.”

Why, who works in the lab of William Walton, said her research involves identifying the chemicals associated with the Western mosquitofish and how they affect mosquito egg-laying behavior. “If we can use the biologically derived chemicals to deter female mosquitoes from laying eggs in water bodies near human habitation, we can help prevent the spread of diseases, such as West Nile Virus, to the surrounding population.”

Amelia Lindsey

Amelia Lindsey

Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate who works with Stouthamer, said her award will support research on the genome of Wolbachia, a bacterium that lives in insects, and affects how insects reproduce. “Knowledge gained from this research will be used to improve pest control by manipulating insect reproduction to boost population sizes of beneficial insects or reduce population sizes of pest insects,” she said.

The Robert van den Bosch Scholarship honors the legacy of Robert van den Bosch (1922-1978). Van, as he was called by most who knew him, joined the UC Riverside faculty in 1951 and was a member of the faculty on the Berkeley campus from 1963 to the time of his death. He was a researcher, a teacher, and an administrator in the Division of Biological Control and the Department of Entomological Sciences at Berkeley. He was a lifelong leader and spokesman for the discipline of biological control.

Janet Lucas Named NACWAA Administrator of the Year

Janet Lucas, executive associate athletics director

Janet Lucas, executive associate athletics director

UC Riverside Executive Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Janet Lucas, who was the Highlanders’ interim athletics director for much of the 2014-15 academic year, was named the 2015 Administrator of the Year for NCAA Division I by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA). Lucas will be honored Oct. 13 in Tampa, Florida, at the 2015 Administrator of the Year Luncheon presented by KP Sports, in conjunction with the 36th Annual NACWAA National Convention.

The Administrator of the Year Award is presented annually to NACWAA members for significant contributions made as athletics administrators.

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UC Riverside Professor Gives Commencement Speech in Germany

Jeanette Kohl

Jeanette Kohl

Jeanette Kohl, chair of the department of art history, gave the commencement speech at UCR’s partner university in Germany, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg.

“It was a special honor to address graduating students, families and faculty in my commencement speech at FAU and to celebrate their success in FAU’s impressive baroque residence. I am a German teaching in California, so it felt quite natural to fill our partnership with life,” Kohl said.

Kohl was invited by FAU’s chair of the art history department, Professor Christina Strunck. The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between the two universities. The partnership began in 2013, after a graduate student workshop with faculty and students from FAU in Riverside.

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