Holiday Gifts Buggin' Ya?

Dec 1, 2016

So you're in a quandary. You have no idea what to get the nature lovers/insect enthusiasts on your holiday gift-giving list.

It's buggin' ya.

No worries. The UC Davis Entomology Graduate Students' Association (EGSA) to the rescue. Every year EGSA conducts a t-shirt contest and the faculty, staff and students pick the winner.  The t-shirts--past, present, and most popular--are for sale, with proceeds going to support the many activities of EGSA.

For the last two years,  Stacey Rice, a junior specialist in the lab of Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, has won. This year her stag beetle design scored first. Last year it was her depiction of a wasp riding a penny-farthing or high-wheel bicycle.

Her newest winner not only incorporates her love for stag beetles (family Lucanidae) but illustrates the “geometric patterns that are hidden in the deciduous forests they dwell in,” said Rice, who as a scientist and artist, enjoys fusing science with art. "I'm captivated by insects' structural biology, ability to evolve over time and the intricate ways in which they communicate."

EGSA treasurer and graduate student Cindy Preto of the Frank Zalom lab is coordinating the t-shirt sales. The themes include honey bees,  beetles, a wasp, a moth, weevils (“See No Weevil, Hear No Weevil and Speak No Weevil")  and “Entomology's Most Wanted” (malaria mosquito, red-imported fire ant, bed bug and house fly).  One of the best sellers is “The Beetles,” mimicking The Beatles' album cover, “Abbey Road.” 

EGSA, Preto said, is "run by and for graduate students who study insect systems. Our objectives are to connect students from across disciplines, inform students of and provide opportunities for academic success, and to serve as a bridge between the students and administration. We also plan social and academic events for students, faculty, and staff to enhance social and intellectual cohesion and to connect our department with the community at large."

For more details, just access or email Preto at