Dr. Jay A. Rosenheim, ESA Fellow (2020)

Jay A. RosenheimDr. Jay A. Rosenheim, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), was elected as Fellow in 2020. He is internationally known for his research on the ecology of insect parasitoids and predators, insect reproductive behavior, and the application of big data, or "ecoinformatics," methods in agricultural entomology.

Rosenheim was born in 1961 in Yorktown, New York, in the Hudson River Valley, where he developed an interest in biology while exploring the inhabitants of a vernal pool behind his home. His family moved to California in 1973, and he received a B.S. in entomology from UC Davis in 1983 and a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987 with Professor Marjorie Hoy. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii, working with Marshall Johnson, Ronald Mau, Stephen Welter, and Bruce Tabashnik, and then a Fulbright junior researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, with David Rosen. Rosenheim returned to UC Davis in 1990 to join the faculty of the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Rosenheim's work has shown that the structure of insect communities is more complex than the archetypal model of three discrete trophic levels, under which predators eat only herbivores and herbivores eat only plants. Instead, widespread predator-predator interactions (intraguild predation), omnivory, and cannibalism create rich and diverse dynamics that can either enhance or disrupt biological control. Rosenheim has also worked to introduce big data techniques to agricultural entomology. By harnessing the decentralized data gathering efforts of farmers, field scouts, and consultants, large data sets can be created and analyzed to reveal important relationships between pests, natural enemies, and crop performance. Rosenheim's research has also examined how organisms evolve to balance multiple factors that can emerge as limits to reproductive success, and how this shapes insect and plant reproductive traits.

Rosenheim has published more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, received teaching awards from the Associated Students of UC Davis and the UC Davis Academic Senate, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has mentored 34 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who have gone on to careers in the private sector (including starting their own companies), conservation nonprofits, journalism, and academia. With colleagues in his department, he co-founded and co-directs the Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology, a long-term mentored research program for undergraduates that has now trained more than 100 undergraduate researchers.

Rosenheim and his wife, Shulamit Glazerman, are the parents of four children: Hillel (currently at SUNY Binghamton), Leah (soon to start at SUNY Binghamton), Eitan, and Meirav. The whole family enjoys ultimate frisbee and exploring the hiking trails and waterways of the Adirondack Mountains, New York.

(updated September 2020)