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Conifers and Bark Beetles in California

The Sierra Science Lecture Series at the Nevada County Campus welcomes Steven J. Seybold in a presentation titled, Conifers and Bark Beetles in California: A Legacy of Diversity and Damage. The presentation will be held on Tuesday evening, May 9, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, in the Multipurpose Center, building, N-12. Come early and enjoy a meet-and-greet and refreshments at 6:00 pm. 

Pines are a large and diverse genus of conifers, with about 94 species in the Northern Hemisphere, 59 species in North America, and 19 species in California (including 11 that are endemic to California and/or surrounding states). Bark beetles are a group of subcortical insects that feed as larvae and adults in the phloem of trees and woody shrubs. These beetles, along with the closely allied ambrosia beetle, form one of the most formidable groups of endophytic (plant living) parasites known to humankind. Historically, California bark beetle populations are infamous for massive expansion during drought cycles, and since 2010, aerial surveys have detected over 102 million trees of all species that have died on 7.7 million acres of California’s drought stricken forests. This presentation will discuss the colonization patterns related to the gross anatomy of pines (roots, stems, branches, twigs, cones) and overall tree health. In addition, the presentation will highlight how pine bark beetle behavior is guided by host attractants and aggregation pheromones, as well as how these insects can serve as a model for integrated pest management.

About our presenter:  Steve Seybold Is a Research Entomologist for the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Ecosystem Function and Health Program Davis, CA. He is also a Faculty Affiliate and Lecturer at the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. Seybold earned a PhD. In Entomological Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Forest Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Current research:  Steve Seybold has studied the chemical ecology and behavior of bark beetles and wood-boring insects for 30 years and has published over 100 scientific papers on the topic in peer-reviewed journals as well as many book chapters and technical reports. His main interests include host selection and chemically mediated behaviors of conifer-feeding bark beetles, as well as the behavior and biology of subsequent wood-degrading insects.

Over the last ten years, Seybold has also been working on pests of oak and walnut trees.  He leads a project team of eight students and professional staff (USDA and UC) on the biology, impact, and management of these pests in California urban and wildland forests and agroecosystems.  He provides technical guidance for two Ph.D. students (UC Davis Dept. of Entomology and Nematology) and one M.S. student (CSU Chico Department of Biological Sciences) on the impact of an invasive bark beetle on native and English walnut trees in California.

This presentation is free, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Parking is $3 on campus and permits can be purchased at the kiosk machine at the main entrance to the campus. For more information about this presentation and others in this series, contact the series coordinator, Jason Giuliani at: jgiuliani@sierracollege.edu.



About Sierra College

Sierra College District is rising to meet the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at https://www.sierracollege.edu/.


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