Demystifying the hosting duties for the UC Davis Ecology & Evolution Weekly Seminar Series

Demystifying the hosting duties for the UC Davis Ecology & Evolution Weekly Seminar Series

By Michael Koontz, Allison Dedrick, and Helen Killeen

The EEB Seminar Series is a weekly opportunity to fortify the ecology and evolution community at Davis. We see cutting edge research by individuals holding positions that we one day hope to attain, we interact with those individuals in casual and professional settings, and we build our academic network in the proces. Students have an awesome opportunity to shape the lineup of speakers by nominating and hosting people of their choosing. When students are more involved in hosting speakers, it is more likely that the diversity of the speakers will reflect the breadth of interests, backgrounds, and future goals of the student body. As best as I (Mike) can tell, 2 students hosted speakers the first year I was at UC Davis (2014-2015), and 4 students hosted speakers the next year. However, 9 out of 28 speakers were hosted by students this year! This is great to see, and hopefully it marks the start of a reenergized seminar series.

Hosting a speaker for the EEB Seminar Series is a great experience. It can be daunting, so we wanted to shed some light on the process in the hopes of persuading more folks (especially students!) to nominate and invite scholars that would best serve their goals for their research training.

Why host?

  • Great way to meet people you might want to collaborate with or postdoc with in the future (broaden your network)
  • Can be a way to meet others on campus who have similar interests as you who you might not have encountered before
  • Have heard anecdotally from a couple of people that they are more likely to accept invitations to speak when invited by a student
  • A chance to advocate for/represent your particular sub-discipline to your peers and colleagues

Tips before hosting

  • Go to a student lunch with a seminar speaker before it is your turn to host to see what it’s like (they’re super informal and a great way to interact with the speaker and stay in touch with your colleagues)
  • Go to a no-host dinner with a seminar speaker before it is your turn to host
  • Enlist the help of your labmates to host someone
  • The official email to introduce the community to the next speaker goes out the Friday before the speaker visits, but there’s no need to wait until then to start planning their schedule! See if your labmates and other folks in the GGE might be interested in a 30 minute, 1-on-1 meeting in advance.
  • Make a schedule for your guest’s visit in 30-minute blocks. Use a Google Sheet so the schedule will be easy to see and modify, and everyone with access will be able to see the most up-to-date information. Be sure to include room locations for each meeting. Here’s the format Mike used when he hosted:
  • Visit the seminar room before the day of the talk to make sure you know how to work the projector, lights, etc. Arrange to have a clicker/laser pointer available for the speaker to use if they want.
  • (more of a tip for nominating): If your speaker is coming from far away, think about other funding sources that might help get them here (like if you already know they’ll be in the area for another reason and this visit could get added into that). Or reach out to other groups on campus – like Bodega Marine Lab or Coastal Marine Sciences Institute — to see if they might be willing to share costs or co-sponsor the visit.

Tips during hosting

  • Tell your guest to have some questions ready for the students during the student lunch, so that your guest will have some time to eat
  • Tell each person on the 1-on-1 schedule to escort the speaker to their next meeting (this is why it is key to have “location” on the schedule!)
  • To avoid low turn-out at either the student lunch or the no-host dinner, individually invite people who you think might be particularly interested in the speaker (especially students not in the GGE who might otherwise not realize the speaker is coming)
  • Ask the speaker if there are any people at Davis they particularly want to meet with during their visit, contact those people first about meetings when setting up the schedule
  • The email to hosts often doesn’t go out until just before the start of the quarter but start planning the visit before then. As the host, you are in charge of connecting with the speaker and the relevant admin people to book flights, hotels, etc. — if your speaker is early in the quarter, don’t wait for the host reminder email.

UC Davis at ESA 2016

UC Davis will make a strong showing for the 101st meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Ft. Lauderdale, FL this year! We have 30 students, postdocs, faculty, and recent graduates giving 1st author oral or poster presentations. Come see your talented colleagues showcase the variety of fascinating ecology research they’ve been up to recently. Click on any talk title below to go to the full abstract, time and location in the ESA program. The full program can be found here.

If you’re on twitter, be sure to follow the #ESA2016 hashtag (and the @davis_egsa account!) for a whole new way to experience conferences. We’ll also be sending out tweet reminders about these UC Davis affiliated talks and posters about an hour or two before they start.

Don’t forget to join us for the annual UC Davis Ecology mixer on Wednesday starting at 6:30 PM EDT. The venue is Grille 66 & Bar, which is about a half mile walk from the ESA conference venue. Details can be found on the Facebook event page. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 8th

Name Title/Link
Meredith Cenzer Natural selection and maladaptive plasticity counteract each other on a native and invasive host plant in soapberry bugs
Toby Maxwell Soil properties drive carbon-water relations across a climate gradient in Sierra Nevada forests
Ash Zemenick A picture of nectar: Do pollinators and nectar robbers vector unique microbe communities to columbine (Aquilegia formosa) nectar?
Nick Rasmussen Determining the consequences of phenological shifts for plant-herbivore interactions: An experimental approach

Tuesday, August 9th

Name Title/Link
Noam Ross Joint circulation of viral diseases in a bat population
Lucas Silva The strength of weak ties: The influence of soil-plant interactions on ecosystem restoration trajectories
Daniel Karp Co-managing fresh produce for nature conservation and food safety in California’s Central Coast
Rebecca Hernandez Organic and inorganic soil carbon in global aridlands
Jordan Hollarsmith Short-term estuarine acidification: Spatially complex impacts of upwelling and run-off on oyster growth and water chemistry in a Northern California estuary
Meghan Skaer Thomason Hydrologic variation drives dynamics of invasive aquatic plant spread at three spatial scales in a managed river
Kara Moore Experimental ecology and evolution in the field: A unique course for upper-level undergraduates and instructors
Kate Tiedeman Experimental ecology and evolution in the field: A unique course for upper-level undergraduates and instructors

Wednesday, August 10th

Name Title/Link
Alan Hastings Challenges in applying tipping point concepts to social-ecological systems
Julea Shaw Patch size effect on a native plant community within a grassland restoration setting
David Spiller Predators suppress herbivore outbreaks and enhance plant recovery following hurricanes
Swati Patel The stabilizing and destabilizing effects of eco-evolutionary feedbacks
Grace Charles Impacts of different large herbivores on ecosystem function: Cattle increase mean productivity, and wild herbivores reduce variability around the mean

Thursday, August 11th

Name Title/Link
Keely Roth Exploring drivers of spectral variation at landscape scale: Structure, composition and function
Susan Ustin Mapping vegetation of the Sacramento Delta with AVIRIS-ng
Jay Stachowicz Genetic diversity, relatedness, and trait variation as determinants of plant coexistence and ecosystem functioning
Juan Ruiz Guajardo Host quality impacts colony-level aggression, survival, and the effectiveness of the defensive mutualism between Crematogaster mimosae (Santschi) and its host tree Acacia drepanolobium
Allison Dedrick Quantifying the interactions between management practices and the portfolio effect in salmon
Moria Robinson From soils to webs: Effects of environmental heterogeneity on specialization of plant-herbivore-parasitoid ecological networks
Andrew Siefert Testing the roles of niche differences and rhizobial mutualists in stabilizing coexistence of congeneric legumes
Jason Sadowski The influence of biological invasions and climate change on non-consumptive effects

Friday, August 12th

Name Title/Link
Val Eviner New mechanisms governing plant-soil feedbacks of native vs. exotic grassland species: Soil carbon depth distribution alters rooting distribution and seed production in a moisture-limited grassland
Jens Stevens The biogeography of fire regimes: A trait-based approach
Allison Simler Seedling regeneration dynamics following compounded disturbances: Wildfire and sudden oak death alter recruitment, mortality, and growth
Evan Batzer Perennial grasses in annual-dominated communities: Tradeoffs between invasive species suppression and fecundity
Chuanwu Chen The effects of seasonal changes and migratory versus resident status on the spatial structure of bird communities

Second volume of The aGGiE Brickyard is published!

REVISION July 11, 2016: We made an error in the author order on page 6. Mikaela Huntzinger should be listed as the primary author, and the PDF has been corrected to reflect this.

From the editors (John Mola, Matt Williamson, Ryan Peek, & Madeline Gottlieb):

“Another quarter has come and gone, and we enter the summer chaos of field work, analysis, writing, and catching up on all that reading you planned on doing during the quarter. Or maybe none of those things. Hopefully it will at least provide a change of pace from the academic quarter that seems to speed past. For this issue we wanted to provide some different viewpoints on peer reviews, along with the usual interesting pieces on field research, community activities, and some alumni perspectives.

Since reviews and reviewing journal manuscripts are a key piece of the professional and academic responsibility we all (should) share, it seemed important to think about how the review system works (or doesn’t), what we should expect as grad students, post-docs, and potentially as editors. We received some very thoughtful insight from our own GGE Chair, Dr. Ted Grosholz, as well as Dr. Mary Cadenasso about the review process and some tips for navigating the responsibility and time commitment that reviews can require.

We’ve also gotten some great art and photography in this issue, as well as our first ecology crossword, courtesy of Allie Weill! Please enjoy this issue (and your summer) and we look forward to hearing your feedback or as future contributors. We hope The Aggie Brickyard can continue to serve as a conduit among students and faculty allowing us to bridge knowledge gaps and leverage the diversity of expertise we have here at UC Davis.”

Without further ado…

High resolution: The aGGiE Brickyard — Volume 002 — Spring 2016 (high res)

Lower resolution version: The aGGiE Brickyard — Volume 002 — Spring 2016 (low res)

First edition of The aGGiE Brickyard is published!

Welcome to the first edition of The aGGiE Brickyard!

From the editors (John Mola, Matt Williamson, Ryan Peek, & Madeline Gottlieb):

“Not so long ago, the students of the Ecology Graduate Group put together a quarterly newsletter known as The Egg. The Egg showcased the scientific, artistic, comedic, and general brilliance of the students and faculty of the Ecology Graduate Group. Beyond just a reflection of the community of ecologists at UC Davis, The Egg provided a forum for student and faculty interaction that helped to strengthen our community comparateur viagra. In that spirit, we decided to revive the student publication and bring you The Aggie Brickyard. We hope that this publication can serve an important role in the beautiful, large, (at times) amorphous, force of ecological research and social revelry that is the Graduate Group in Ecology at UC Davis.”

Without further ado… The aGGiE Brickyard — Volume 001 — Winter 2016