Home News LAURELS: Karban, Stachowicz Are New Ecological Fellows

LAURELS: Karban, Stachowicz Are New Ecological Fellows

Davis, Calif., (February 17, 2017) – UC Davis has two new fellows of the Ecological Society of America:

  • Richard “Rick” Karban,professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, an international authority on plant communication. He states on his website: “My current research involves two main projects: volatile communication between sagebrush plants that affects resistance to herbivory, and factors that control the abundance and spatial distribution of wooly bear caterpillars.” Interesting side note: One of his former graduate students, Anurag Agrawal, Ph.D., ’99, who is now a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, is also a member of the society’s 2017 class of fellows. Both were commended for “innovative contributions to community and evolutionary ecology, especially through providing conceptual advances and rigorous experimental work on plant-insect interactions.”
  • John Stachowicz,professor, Department of Evolution and Ecology, commended for his “fundamental contributions to the fields of symbiosis and mutualism, multi-trophic species interactions, biogeography, and invasion biology.” On his mlab’s website, Stachowicz notes the unifying theme of his research as “the ecological causes and consequences of biodiversity,” and states: “The vast diversity of life forms in the marine environment (many of the animal phyla are exclusively marine, or nearly so) makes it a rewarding system for addressing these sorts of issues. I have found seaweeds and marine invertebrates to be particularly tractable experimental subjects and have conducted research involving a diverse suite of invertebrate taxa including corals, hydroids, crabs, echinoderms, polychaetes, ascidians, bryozoans and gastropods.”
  • Dean Kevin R. Johnson of announced that the School of Law’s Distinguished Teaching Award will be presented this year to Professor Elizabeth Joh. The presentation is scheduled as part of the Celebrating King Hall event on Thursday, March 2.

Joh has been a member of the King Hall faculty since 2003, teaching criminal procedure, criminal law, law and society, and other courses. Her scholarly interests include policing, technology and surveillance.

She holds her undergraduate degree from Yale University, J.D. from the New York University School of Law and Ph.D. in law and society from New York University. In 2002-03, she served as a law clerk for Justice Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 2017 Celebrating King Hall event will feature a keynote address by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg ’84, recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the UC Davis School of Law Alumni Association board of directors, as well as recognition of scholarship donors and outstanding achievements.

  • Georgia Drakakaki,associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, has been awarded a Greek Diaspora Fellowship to teach and do research in Greece. She is among 21 Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars from 16 U.S. and Canadian universities chosen for the fellowships.

The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada.

Drakakaki will work on “chemical genomics research, training and education in plant growth and productivity” in collaboration with Professor Polydefkis Hatzopoulos at the Agricultural University of Athens.

Drakakaki has a research focus on endomembrane trafficking in plant cells. During this fellowship, a technology transfer in the emerging area of chemical biology, drug discovery and advanced cell biology techniques will be established.

She will participate in an M.Sc. program on Systems Biology and provide workshops on cell imaging and concepts of chemical biology.

  • Bob Hutmacher, a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences, has been named the 2017 Cotton Specialist of the Year, voted by his peers in the 17 states where cotton is grown. The award presentation took place at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas.

Hutmacher, who works in disease management and water efficiency, is a Cooperative Extension specialist and the director of UC’s West Side Research and Extension Center, operated by Agriculture and Natural Resources

“Bob is a highly respected leader who California growers depend on to navigate the ups and downs of the cotton industry in their state,” said Gaylon Morgan of Texas A&M. “He has helped growers find the path to profitability. He has earned this honor many times over. Bob is well deserving and has been for a long while.”

  • The Weed Science Society of America recently presented its Outstanding Research Award to Joe DiTomaso,professor and Cooperative Extension specialist. He becomes the first person to win the society’s Outstanding Research and Outstanding Extension awards (the latter presented in 2008).His research and extension programs focus on the biology and ecology of invasive plants in natural areas, and developing more effective methods for their management.



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