Essig Brunch









A weekly seminar series run by the Entomology Students Organization featuring local and visiting researchers presenting a wide range of entomology topics. Open to the public. Fridays at 10am in room 1101 of the Valley Life Science Building. This year’s organizers are Sean Perez, Trinity Walls, and Amelia Harvey. Please contact us at if you would like to give a talk.

FALL 2019 Schedule

September 6, 2019
Coffee Social – Catch up with friends and colleagues

September 13, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Megumi Fuse, Professor, SF State University
Title: “Defensive responses in Manduca sexta as a model for pain”

September 20, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Allison Hansen, Assistant Professor, UC Riverside
Title: “The impact of diet on an herbivore-microbe symbioses”

September 27, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Teruyuki Matsunaga, Post Doc (Whiteman lab) UC Berkeley
Topic: Evolutionary genetics of insect-plant interactions

October 4, 2019
Speaker: Paul Rude, Essig Museum of Entomology
Title: “Exploring the insect diversity of the Baja peninsula: Neopalpa donaldtrumpi and other discoveries”

October 11, 2019 – Cancelled due to power outage
Speaker: Dr. Giovanni Rapacciuolo, Institute for Biodiversity Science & Sustainability, California Academy of Sciences
Title: “Detecting spatiotemporal biodiversity change from unstructured opportunistic data”

October 18, 2019
Speaker: Nina Sokolov, Graduate Student (Boots lab) UC Berkeley
Title: “Bees? Honeybee disease transmission to native bees”

October 25, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Jason Bond, Professor, UC Davis
Topic: Evolutionary diversification of terrestrial arthropods

November 1, 2019
Coffee Social

November 8, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Brent Sinclair, Professor, Western University – Ontario
Title: “Overwintering biology of forest and agricultural pest insects”

November 15, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Salil Bidaye, Post Doc (Scott Lab) UC Berkeley
Title: “Building remote-controlled flies to understand locomotion control in Drosophila

November 22, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Vince Resh, Professor, UC Berkeley
Title: “An unsuccessful retirement …”

November 29, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving (no Essig Brunch)


SPRING 2019 Schedule

January 18, 2019
Coffee Social – Catch up with friends and colleagues

January 25, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Michelle Trautwein, Curator, California Academy of Sciences
Title: “The evolution and diversity of human face mites”

February 1, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Meghan LaTurney, Post Doc (Scott Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Maximizing life after love: mechanisms regulating reproduction and feeding in female fruit flies”

February 8, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Guillermo de Mendoza, Post Doc (Ruhi Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Aquatic invertebrates as ecological models and indicators: experiences with mountain lakes and subarctic streams”

February 15, 2019
Speaker: Kevin Roberts, PhD candidate (Williams Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “The role of snow cover in modulating winter energy use and cold stress in a montane beetle”

February 22, 2019
Coffee Social – Catch up with friends and colleagues

March 1, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Sevan Suni, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Title: “Evolutionary ecology of plants and pollinators in a changing world”

March 8, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Xiaolin Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Title: “The biology, phylogeny and evolution of the stalk-eyed fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)”

March 15, 2019
Speaker: Aidee Guzman, Graduate Student (Kremen Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Diverse plates and picky eaters: On-farm diversification in an agriculturally dominated landscape positively influences specialist pollinators”

March 22, 2019
Speaker: Stefan van der Walt, Research Fellow, UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science
Title: “Accelerating discovery in Natural History through modern computation”

March 29, 2019
SPRING BREAK – No Essig Brunch

April 5, 2019
Speaker: Tim O’Connor, PhD candidate (Whiteman Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Ecological drivers and evolutionary genetics of crypsis polymorphism in desert grasshoppers”

April 12, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Matt Daugherty, Extension Specialist, UC Riverside
Title: “Does associational susceptibility by an invasive herbivore and weed explain declines of a native shrub?”

April 19, 2019
Speaker: Adrian Lu, PhD candidate (Kremen Lab) UC Berkeley
Title: “Conservation biological control: predation rates, arthropod movement, and pesticide application”

April 26, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Adam Zeilinger, Associate Specialist (ESPM), UC Berkeley
Title: “Disentangling the behavioral components of feeding preference: Implications for spread of a vector-borne plant pathogen”

May 3, 2019
Speaker: Dr. Maria Tonione, Dr. Neil Tsutsui, (ESPM), UC Berkeley
Topic: Ant behavior, ecology, and evolution

May 10, 2019
Entomology Undergraduate Research Symposium – 10 minute talks

May 17, 2019
Speaker: Erin Brandt, PhD candidate (Elias Lab), UC Berkeley
Topic: Courtship systems in jumping spiders (KQED Deep Look video)


FALL 2018 Schedule

August 31, 2018
Entomology Faculty Showcase – Research Highlights
Speakers: Nick Mills, Rodrigo Almeida, Mike Boots, Gordon Frankie

September 7, 2018
Entomology Faculty Showcase – Research Highlights
Speakers: Damian Elias, Noah Whiteman, Caroline Williams, Claire Kremen, and Elizabeth Cash

September 14, 2018
Speaker: Dr. Rachel Stubbington, associate professor at Nottingham Trent University
Title: “Beyond drylands: aquatic invertebrates in the temporary streams of cool, wet England”

September 21, 2018
Speaker: Cindy Preto, Graduate Student, UC Davis
Title: “Biology and behavior of Spissistilus festinus (Membracidae) in Californian vineyards”

September 28, 2018
Speaker: Benji Kessler, Graduate Student (Elias Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Spider sense and sensibility”

October 5, 2018
Speaker: Olivia Winokur, Graduate Student, UC Davis
Title: “Understanding mosquito-borne virus risk in California”

October 12, 2018
Speaker: Dr. Maj Rundlöf, Visiting Scholar, UC Davis
Title: “Flowers and pesticides as drivers of bee diversity, pollination services and pest abundance in agricultural landscapes”

October 19, 2018
Speaker: Aaron Pomerantz, Graduate Student (Patel Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Jungle Genomics: applying portable DNA sequencing technologies to fieldwork and science education”

October 26, 2018
Speaker: Joanna Bloese, Graduate Student, UC Davis
Title: “Insights into the practical use of biological controls in modern IPM programs”

November 2, 2018
Speaker: Nick Booster, Graduate Student, UC Davis
Title: “Not feeling well? Maybe don’t eat your kids: a search for the putative etiologic agent of increased egg cannibalism in the beneficial insect Geocoris pallens

November 9, 2018
Speaker: Dr. Curtis Ewing, CalFire Entomologist
Title: “Nitidulid beetles native to the South Pacific, scolytine beetles mostly introduced to Hawai’i associated with rapid Ōhi’a death, and other adventures with Coleopterans”

November 16, 2018
Speaker: Kevin Roberts, PhD candidate (Williams Lab), UC Berkeley
Topic: Cold adaptation and overwintering in leaf beetles

November 23, 2018
Thanksgiving Break – No Essig Brunch Seminar

November 30, 2018
Speaker: Emily Bick, Graduate Student, UC Davis
Title: “The use of simulation models to minimize Lygus spp. (Miridae) pests in strawberry agroecosystems”

December 7, 2018
Speaker: Sara Emery, PhD candidate (Mills Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: TBA


SPRING 2018 Schedule

January 19, 2018
Welcome back coffee social

January 26, 2018
Speaker: Stephanie Loria, Post Doc, California Academy of Sciences
Title: “Systematics and Biogeography of Southeast Asian Scorpions”

February 2, 2018
Speaker: Yume Imada, Research Scholar, Labandeira Lab, Smithsonian
Title: “Biology, diversity, evolution of bryophyte–arthropod associations”

February 9, 2018
Speaker: Dan Friedman, PhD Student (Gordon lab), Stanford University
Topic: The neurophysiology of collective behavior in ants

February 16, 2018
Speaker: Adam Zeilinger, Associate Specialist (Almeida lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Vector behavior and plant defense influence pathogen spread:
The epidemiology of Xylella fastidiosa in grapevines with novel resistance traits”

February 23, 2018
Speaker: Miguel Altieri, Professor Emeritus, ESPM, UC Berkeley
Title: “Habitat management: overcoming monoculture barriers for biological control”

March 2, 2018
Speaker: Gabriela Ponce, Graduate Student, San Francisco State University
Title: “A fly in a gall: A closer look at gall induction”

March 9, 2018
Speaker: Peter Oboyski, Essig Museum of Entomology, UC Berkeley
Title: “A multi-taxon biodiversity survey of Sulawesi, Indonesia: Introduction to the Lepidoptera”

March 16, 2018
Speaker: Maria Tonione, PhD Candidate (Tsutsui lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Thermal adaptaion and genomics in a cold specialized ant”

March 23, 2018
Speaker: Ross Vander Vorste, Post Doc (Carlson lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Back to the future: How temporal storage influences aquatic invertebrate community resilience to river drying”

March 30, 2018
— No Essig Brunch (Spring Break) —

April 6, 2018
Speaker: Emily Kearney, PhD Candidate (Kremen lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Food of the Gods: Exploring pollination services and pollinator communities in Theobroma cacao

April 13, 2018
Speaker: Gordon Bennett, Professor, UC Merced
Topic: Insect-microbe symbioses

April 20, 2018
Speaker: Robert Dudley, Professor, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
Title: “Gliding ants, aerial arthropods, a flapping robot, and the origins of animal flight”

April 27, 2018
Speaker: Susan Kennedy, PhD Candidate (Gillespie lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Trophic niche differentiation within the adaptive radiation of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders.”

May 4, 2018
Undergraduate Research Symposium


FALL 2017 Schedule

September 1, 2017
Speaker: Sean Perez, Graduate Student (Will lab), ESPM – UC Berkeley
Title: “The life of a field technician”

September 8, 2017
Coffee Social

September 15, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Rodrigo Almeida, Professor, ESPM-UC Berkeley
Title: “Xylella fastidiosa outbreaks in Europe: a tale of fake news, alternative facts, and plant disease”

September 22, 2017
Speaker: Brian Whyte, PhD candidate (Tsutsui lab), ESPM-UC Berkeley
Title: “Comparative social evolution of ants, trematodes, and a surprising amount of other things”

September 29, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Marianna Karageorgi, Post Doc (Whiteman lab), IB-UC Berkeley
Title: “Olfactory specialization contributes in the making of the fruit pest Drosophila suzukii.”

October 6, 2017
Speaker: Ignacio Escalante, PhD candidate (Elias lab), ESPM-UC Berkeley
Title: “Life after leg loss: locomotion, ecology and sexual behavior of daddy long-legs”

October 13, 2017
Speaker: Lewis Bartlett, Visiting Scholar (Boots lab), IB-UC Berkeley
Title: “Honeybees and disease – lessons for both apiculture and epidemiology”

October 20, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Noriyuki Suzuki, Post Doc (Gillespie lab), ESPM-UC Berkeley
Title: “Identifying invasive species from native Hawaiian arthropod community using metabarcoding data”

October 27, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Tyler Schartel, Post Doc (Daugherty lab), UC Riverside
Title: “Understanding the niches of invasive consumers”

November 3, 2017
Speaker: Lisa Treidel, PhD student (Williams lab), IB-UC Berkeley
Topic: Physiological adaptations in field crickets

November 10, 2017
HOLIDAY – Veteran’s Day

November 17, 2017
Speaker: Marie-Claire Monier Chelini, Post doc (Edwards lab), UC Merced
Title: “Disentangling proximate and evolutionary drivers of sexual size dimorphism”

November 23, 2017
HOLIDAY – Thanksgiving

December 8, 2017
Speaker: Erin Brandt, PhD candidate (Elias lab), ESPM-UC Berkeley
Topic: Natural and sexual selection in jumping spiders

December 8, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Henrik Krehenwinkel, Post doc (Gillespie lab), ESPM-UC Berkeley
Topic: Next generation approaches to community genomics

December 15, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Darko Cotoras, Post doc, California Academy of Science / UC Santa Cruz
Title: “Improvement and application of ancient DNA methods to study spider radiations on Pacific Islands”


SPRING 2017 Schedule

January 13, 2017
Coffee Social

January 20, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Carolina Reisenman, Associate Researcher, MCB, UC Berkeley
Title: “Kissing bugs and risk of Chagas Disease transmission in southwestern USA, and tools for monitoring and control ”

January 27, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Daniel Thompson, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Title: “Endemic butterflies of the Spring Mountains, Nevada: habitat selection, phylogeography, and responses to fire”

February 3, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Javier Ceja Navarro, Post Doc, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UC Berkeley
Title: “Arthropod-microbiome interactions and their role in the host’s environmental adaptation”

February 10, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Fang Ouyang, Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Title: “Population dynamics of an insect (Cotton Bollworm: Helicoverpa armigera), their driving factors and management strategy in a biologically-diversified landscape ecosystem”

February 17, 2017
Speaker: Aaron Pomerantz, Graduate Student (Patel Lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Accidental Amalgamation – Science Communication, Field Entomology, and Ecotourism”

February 24, 2017
Speaker: Philipp Brand, Graduate Student (Ramirez lab), UC Davis
Title: “Evolution of chemical communication systems in orchid bees”

 March 3, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Josh Gibson, Post Doc (Tsutsui lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Aggression and metabolism in hybrid honey bees”

March 10, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Tue Jorgensen, Post Doc (Stillman lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Understanding the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa: genome, transcriptome and embryological observations”

March 17, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Cash, Post Doc (Tsutsui lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “The evolution of nestmate recognition and the ontogeny of territoriality in ants.”

March 24, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Durrell Kapan, Senior Research Fellow, California Academy of Sciences
Title: “Islands of invasion: ecological history of mosquitoes in Hawaii”

March 31, 2017
** Spring Break – no Essig Brunch **

April 7, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Elina Niño, Cooperative Extension Apiculture Specialist, UC Davis
Topic: “Understanding individual and colony-level stressors and developing solutions for honey bee health and beekeepers”

April 14, 2017
Speaker: Tim O’Connor, Graduate Student (Whiteman lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Polyploid speciation in plants: consequences for biogeography and diversification of herbivorous insects”

April 21, 2017
Speaker: Rachel Thayer, Graduate Student (Patel lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Genetic and evolutionary bases for thin film structural coloration in the Buckeye butterfly”

April 28, 2017
Speaker: Natalie Stauffer-Olsen, PhD candidate (O’Grady & Resh labs), UC Berkeley
Title: (PhD finishing talk) “Spatial and Temporal Variability in Benthic Invertebrate Assemblages and Genetics in a Lake and Stream System”

May 5, 2017
Speaker: Maddie Girard, PhD candidate (Rosemblum lab), UC Berkeley
Title: “Sexual Selection and Signal Evolution in Peacock Spiders (Genus: Maratus)”


FALL 2016 Schedule

September 2, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Katharina Ullman, Xerces Society – Integrated Crop Pollination
Title: “Working with researchers and stakeholders to support invertebrate conservation”

September 9, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Noah Whiteman, Associate Professor, Integrative Biology – UC Berkeley
Title: “Adaptive evolution of an ancient detoxification pathway in an herbivorous insect”

September 16, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Jan Buellesbach, Post doc (Tsutsui lab) – UC Berkeley
Title: “Sex pheromone variation and speciation – from phenotypic to genetic architecture”

September 23, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Adam Zeilinger, Post doc (Almeida lab) – UC Berkeley
Title: “Using museum specimen occupancy data to understand and predict insect pest outbreaks in California”

September 30, 2016
No Seminar (due to the International Congress of Entomology 2016 in Orlando FL)

October 7, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte, Asst. Prof., National Centre for Biological Sciences, India
Title: “Ecological/evolutionary dynamics in mimetic communities”

October 14, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Aman Gill, Post doc (Will lab) – UC Berkeley
Title: “The evolution of chemical defense in ground beetles: genetic basis, biosynthetic pathways and molecular evolution of carabid quinone production”

October 21, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Crews, Post doc (Esposito lab) – California Academy of Sciences
Title: “Biomechanics of hunting in selenopid spiders”

October 28, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Malcolm Rosenthal, Post doc (Elias lab) – UC Berkeley
Title: “Mating in a variable world: the implications of environmental variation for male and female mating behavior in a wolf spider.”

November 4, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Zachary Stahlschmidt, Assistant Professor, University of the Pacific
Title: “Phenotypic plasticity in insects: integrating tradeoffs and the environment.”

November 11, 2016
No Seminar – Veterans Day

November 18, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Nick Keiser, Postdoc – Rice Academy (Houston, TX)
Title: “Group composition begets conflicting dynamics of collective behavior and bacterial transmission in social spiders.”

November 25, 2016
No Seminar – Thanksgiving break

December 2, 2016
Speaker: Allan Cabrera, Graduate Student – O’Grady lab, UC Berkeley
Title: “Lush forests and dark caves: Systematics of a harvestman subfamily and landscape genomics of a cave obligate species.”

December 9, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Francis Ratnieks, Professor of Apiculture & Social Insects, University of Sussex
Title: “How can we help bees via research? The Sussex plan for honey bee health and well being.”


SPRING 2016 Schedule

January 15, 2016

     Speaker: Dr. Samia Elfekih, CSIRO
Title: “Genome-wide SNPs decipher global invasion pathways in the sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) species complex”

January 22, 2016

     Coffee Social

January 29, 2016

     Speaker: Prof. Miquel Arnedo, University of Barcelona
Title: Hidden doors, remote worlds: Spiders as model organisms in biodiversity research

February 5, 2016

     Speaker: Prof. Darko Voncina, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA

February 12, 2016


February 19, 2016

     Speaker: Prof. Gabriele Uhl, Universität Greifswald
Title: TBA

February 26, 2016

     Speaker: Prof. Matt Cover, Cal State Stanislaus
Title: TBA

March 4, 2016


March 11, 2016

     Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Clark, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA

March 18, 2016

     Speaker: Kevin Roberts, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA

March 25, 2016

     No Essig Brunch: Spring Break

April 1, 2016

     Speaker: Prof. Nathan Rank, Sonoma State University
Title: TBA

April 8, 2016

     Speaker: Erika Garcia, SF State University
Title: TBA

April 15, 2016

     Speaker: Natalie Stauffer, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA

April 22, 2016

     Speaker: Lisa Hunt, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA

April 29, 2016

     No Essig Brunch

May 6, 2016

     Speaker: Rakim Turnipseed, UC Berkeley
Title: TBA