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Social Bee-stortion: Exploring Pesticide’s Effects on Pollinators

November 08, 2018
Quick Summary
  • Researchers observed the effects of imidacloprid, a pesticide, on bumblebee behaviors within the hive
  • To study this hidden world, they outfitted bumblebees with tiny QR code tags and tracked individuals with video
  • They found imidacloprid disrupts nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies 

A pesticide banned in the European Union but still in use in the United States is proving to have detrimental effects on pollinators.

Flight Turbulence: New Study Explores How Flies Navigate Unstable Convective Air

October 26, 2018
Quick Summary
  • A new study provides detailed data on how insects navigate convection cells
  • These flights required insects to invest more time and energy, with around 34% failing to maintain flight trajectory
  • The study highlights challenges insects might face in urban environments, where surface temperatures soar

When insects migrate over vast distances, many take advantage of a natural phenomenon called thermal convection, which causes flow movement when air at

Advancing Diabetes Research: Mark Huising Receives Faculty Research Award

October 19, 2018
Quick Summary
  • Diabetes is a disease that affects 30 million people and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Huising is honored for discovery of a new insulin-producing cell
  • The finding could lead to new therapies for diabetes treatment

Science is about advancing knowledge, work that requires dedication and tenacity. Another component is a keen and critical eye, as discovery is predicated on

synthesizing and evaluating the work that came before. 

College of Biological Sciences Welcomes Eight New Faculty for 2018-2019 Year

October 17, 2018

For the 2018-2019 academic year, we are proud to welcome eight new members to the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences faculty. Below you’ll learn more about the research interests of each faculty member, what brought them to UC Davis and more.

  Rachael Bay

Rachael Bay joins the Department of Evolution and Ecology as an assistant professor. She was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at UCLA, where

Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program Elevates Diversity in the Life Sciences

August 20, 2018
Quick Summary
  • Since 1988, the Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP) has hosted more than 1,500 undergrads.
  • BUSP supports students from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Each fall, approximately 50 students join the program.

When Tayler Smith entered UC Davis as a freshman two years ago, she knew she had a strong interest in life sciences research. But at the time, she had no idea what research was, or how it was carried out in the laboratory.

From Molecules to Minds

August 16, 2018
For astrophysicists, the final frontier is outer space, but ask a neuroscientist, and the greatest quest for scientific exploration lies within your brain. 

Vastly more advanced than any supercomputer, the complexity and versatility of the human brain is awe-inspiring. Of all its abilities, learning from new experiences might be the most powerful and astounding feature. But how does learning occur? And how do we remember what we learn? 

Discovering Curiosity: Erwin Bautista Leads the Classroom

July 05, 2018

When Erwin Bautista, a lecturer in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, looks at the human body, he doesn’t see just the individual parts—the cells, organs, tissues, muscles and bones—he sees the sum.

“Whenever I teach things, I always tell students that physiologists love acronyms,” said Bautista. “We love naming things; we love all these itty-bitty points and details. But at the same time, we also love the big picture, and we’re going to try to impress upon you the big picture.”

Yolo Hospice: Well-worn wisdom from a 95-year-old

June 18, 2018

Verne Mendel is within spitting distance of a 100th birthday. At 95-plus, he likes to recall some decades-old advice that he heard from one of his former university students in the 1970s. With a smirk on his face and a glint in his eye he says, “Life is hard by the yard, but it’s a cinch by the inch.”

University Medalist Learned Value of Perseverance in Lab

June 13, 2018

During her second year of undergraduate research in the lab of Aldrin Gomes, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Emily Eijansantos felt ready for a solo project. She’d spent her sophomore year learning the lab’s techniques and shadowing more experienced undergraduates. She felt prepared. But like many things in life, the project—studying ibuprofen’s effects on heart cells—had its hurdles.

Ann Hedrick Elected as a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society

June 07, 2018

Ann was elected by the Animal Behavior Executive Committee as a fellow. Fellows are members who have engaged in research in animal behavior for at least ten years and who in the opinion of the elected officers and current Fellows of the society have made distinguished contributions to the field.

Discovering Curiosity: Age-Related Hearing Loss with Gregg Recanzone

June 06, 2018

As our bodies age, we all face some decline in our senses, and among the senses most susceptible to deterioration is hearing.

Hearing loss is a substantial problem for society. It’s the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease and about 30 percent of adults between ages 65 and 74 and nearly half of people over 75 experience some difficulty hearing.  It’s a social problem, one that can lead to isolation and depression.

A Mind for Service Earns Connor Grant the Veloyce Glenn Winslow Jr. Award

May 15, 2018

“Connor is an upbeat and enthusiastic learner, and has the type of energy, thirst for knowledge and an ability to understand complex systems that we should be recruiting into medicine.” -David Tom Cooke, Department of Surgery 

As a high school student in Brentwood, Tenn., Connor Grant thought his career future lay in business and marketing. That changed his junior year thanks to a family friend, an emergency room physician who invited Grant to shadow her during a shift.

Discovering Curiosity: Art at the Zoo

April 28, 2018

Before delving into the world of endocrinology, Assistant Professor Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, wasn’t following the path of a traditional scientist. She’d studied studio art and psychology at both Skidmore College and Boston College and thought she wanted to pursue the artist’s life.   

“When I graduated, it was really difficult to make it in the art world, but I would get odd jobs here and there,” she said. “One of them happened to be at the Dallas Zoo, where they commissioned me to paint this very large mural.”