Rebecca Jean “RJ” Millena
A function story spotlighting former UC Davis entomology senior, Rebecca Jean “RJ” Millena, obtained the gold award or first place, in a global writing competitors sponsored by the Affiliation for Communication Excellence (ACE).
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Division of Entomology and Nematology, wrote the information article on “An Superb Doctoral Alternative Few Obtain,” in March of 2021. The article received the “writing for newspapers” class. (See https://bit.ly/3MfuaLn)
“When five-year-old Rebecca Jean “RJ” Millena entered her kindergarten class in Harmony, Calif., she instantly settled on a profession selection: entomology,” Garvey started.
“An ‘About Me’ poster hanging in her childhood house in Harmony confirms it: ‘Once I develop up, I need to be an entomologist.’
“She did and she or he is.”
Millena, who over a two-year-period labored as a pupil researcher within the laboratory of UC Davis distinguished professor Jay Rosenheim, studied the weird Strepsiptera endoparasites that assault their hosts, the Ammophila (thread-waisted) wasps. Millena went on to obtain her bachelor’s diploma in entomology in 2021, and a uncommon four-year, full-ride doctoral fellowship from the American Museum of Pure Historical past.
Whereas at UC Davis, Millena studied Ammophila specimens on the Bohart Museum of Entomology, which homes a worldwide assortment of greater than 30,000 Ammophila (among the many Bohart’s eight million specimens). As larvae, members of the order Strepsiptera, often known as “twisted wings,” enter theirs hosts, together with wasps and bees, by joints or sutures.
Millena drew data and inspiration from UC Davis alumnus Arnold Menke, a worldwide authority on Ammophila and creator of “The Ammophila of North and Central America (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae).
“Strepsiptera are very uncommon amongst parasites in that the parasite is seen on the skin of the host’s physique,” Rosenheim defined. “The top of the parasite protrudes between the sclerites on the stomach. Wanting throughout a rising checklist of species, RJ has proven that Ammophila species the place moms have extra prolonged contact with their young–because they provision their nests with many, small caterpillars as an alternative of 1 large caterpillar– are at a lot larger danger of appearing as inadvertent vectors of strepsipteran parasites to their younger.”
“RJ has proven that this one function explains one thing like 90 p.c of the entire variation throughout Ammophila species within the danger of parasitism,” Rosenheim stated. “Ecology just about by no means works in such a predictable means; that is one actually distinctive counterexample of nature being extremely predictable. Anyway, RJ’s work exhibits that generally parental care could be a double-edged sword; we normally consider parental care as offering enhanced safety of offspring from predators and parasites. On this case, it proves to be the reverse.”
Additionally quoted within the information story was Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology: “RJ is a type of uncommon college students that’s targeted, task-oriented and concurrently artistic. She was nice enjoyable to have working within the museum.”
Entomology Picture Sequence Award
Garvey additionally received the ACE silver award (second-place) for her image story on “The Flight of the Bumble Bee,” posted June 14, 2021 on her every day (Monday by Friday) Bug Squad weblog on the UC Agriculture and Pure Sources web site. (See https://bit.ly/3xuoPLN)
Garvey captured in-flight photos of a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on lupine at Bodega Bay. In her weblog, she drew consideration to 2 books: California Bees and Blooms: A Information for Gardeners and Naturalists (Heyday, 2014), the work of College of California scientists Gordon Frankie, Robbin Thorp, Rollin Coville and Barbara Ertter; and Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Information (Princeton College, 2014), co-authored by Thorp (1933-2019), a UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology.
ACE, a global affiliation of communicators, educators and knowledge technologists who give attention to speaking research-based data, will current the communication awards at its 2022 convention, set June 12-14, in Kansas Metropolis, MO.