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October 27, Tucson

US (AZ): Moth bodybuilding & resource use with larval meanderings

Professor Goggy Davidowitz is an unconventional kinda guy: from his seemingly unrelated departmental affiliations, and his widespread and eclectic areas of research expertise to his first name (look it up). But, don't jump to hasty conclusions. As the saying goes "there is purpose in this (apparent) madness" (paraphrased from Hamlet's Polonius). Plant growers have an ongoing battle with their #1 enemy: insect herbivores. Left to their own devices, they will make short work of your plants by eating the crops of your hard work. To Goggy Davidowitz, however, herbivores and other insects, constitute case studies in evolutionary physiology focusing on the insects' environments, the effects of plant cultivation for crop production, and how the latter affects insect survival and hence pollination efficiency by insects of crop plants. This is truly nature's maze and Davidowitz is using multiple, diverse and interdisciplinary tools to study these predatory and, often, symbiotic relationships between insects and plants.

October 27th, 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM in the CEAC Lecture Room (1951 E. Roger Road), Goggy Davidowitz, PhD (Associate Professor, Depts of Entomology & Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Arizona) will give his presentation entitled “Moth Bodybuilding & Resource Use with Larval Meanderings Through CEAC”.

In this seminar, Dr Davidowitz will initially examine the first half of the equation, namely how do insects, especially herbivores, adjust their metabolism to optimize their developments based on the available nutritional resources (aka plants). But then, true to his unconventional approach to science, Davidowitz will discuss how his research is aimed at addressing the 10BPQ. Previous speakers in the CEAC Covering Environments seminars addressed the existential issue of having to feed a burgeoning population of 10 billion people in the not-too-distant future. In these presentations, we heard about improving plant grow conditions for higher yields, hybridizing crop plants to resist pests and weather conditions, and finding novel crop plants better able to withstand environmentally changing conditions. Clearly these are important good steps to solve the 10BPQ. But, Davidowitz thinks this will not be enough. And so, he has started addressing the 2nd half of the above equation, turning the table on herbivorous insects to explore, in collaboration with CEAC, how these destructive insects can be turned into--wait for it--food! So, come to the seminar to find out what will likely be on the menu of your favorite restaurant, and how instead of wheat flour, you will bake your bread with a new kind of flour derived from your not so favorite insect.

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