Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ant seminar to be webcast live today

From Kathy Keatley Garvey in UC-Davis' Department of Entomology:

DAVIS--Ant specialist Andrea Lucky, who will receive her doctorate in entomology in June from the University of California, Davis, will discuss “Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation of Ants in Australasia and the Pacific” at a seminar set Wednesday, May 12 in 122 Briggs Hall, UC Davis.

Her talk, from 12:10 to 1 p.m., involves her research in the evolutionary history of ants in the geological complex region of Australasia, Melanesia and the islands of the Western Pacific.

“I use a combination of traditional morphological taxonomy and molecular phylogenetics to interpret how, when and where individual lineages diversified within this complex landscape,” she said. “In addition to my work on the biogeography of ants, I am also involved in biodiversity assessment and conservation using ants in Papua New Guinea.”

Her talk will be Webcast live (see link on home page of Department of Entomology at and then archived at

Lucky completed her undergraduate degree at Brown University in Providence, RI, where she majored in biology with an emphasis on ecology and evolutionary biology.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she traveled to Ecuador as a Fulbright Fellow, where she worked with insects in the Amazon.

Lucky entered the doctorate program in the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 2004 and completed her degree in the lab of Phil Ward.

After receiving her Ph.D., she will move on to a postdoctoral scholarship at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, where she will work with Rob Dunn on a project examining geographic variation in ants and the processes they mediate.

Lucky’s talk is her exit seminar and also is part of the department’s spring seminar series, launched March 31. The series, coordinated by assistant professor Neal Williams, ends May 26.

The remaining schedule for the seminars:

May 19: “Walnut Twig Beetle and Thousand Cankers Disease: Characterizing an Emergent Threat to Forest and Agroecosystems in North America” by Steve Seybold, chemical ecologist and forest entomologist, Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects, USDA Forest Service, and Department of Entomology affiliate

May 26: “Butterflies and Moths in Central Europe: Natural History, Climate Change and Voltinism” by Florian Altermatt, postdoctoral researcher, UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy

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