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Modesto Junior College

“Flight of the Living Dead: ZomBees and Citizen Science” presentation offered

The Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) offers the presentation “Flight of the Living Dead: ZomBees and Citizen Science” by John Hafernik, Ph.D., Professor of Biology at California State University, San Francisco.  The event is Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Sierra Hall 132 on the Modesto Junior College West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Avenue, Modesto. Both the program and parking are free.

A honey bee expert and TEDx speaker, Hafernik will share his extensive research on the parasitic flies Apocephalus borealis that turn honey bees into “zombees.”  He will also explain how to get involved with ongoing research through Citizen Science.

Hafernik’s research focuses on evolutionary and ecological processes at the population or species level and conservation biology of insects. Currently, he is investigating the impact on hive health of a new parasite of honey bees, which he discovered on the CSUSF campus.

He is co-founder of ZomBee Watch, a citizen science project that has been featured by Scientific American, Science Friday, the Discovery Channel, KQED, the New York Times and other media outlets worldwide. ZomBee Watch was named one of the top 10 Citizen Science projects of 2015 by SciStarter and Discover Magazine.

Hafernik became fascinated with insects and the natural world as a young boy growing up in Texas. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970 to pursue his doctorate in entomology at UC Berkeley.  He joined the faculty of CSUSF in 1977.  He is a past president of the California Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division, and of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society. He served as chair of the CSUSF Biology Department from 1992-2005 and as Interim Director of the CSUSF Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies from 2013-2014.  

The MAPS event is intended for people over 12 years of age.  MAPS programs are made possible by contributions from ASMJC, the MJC Foundation and the MJC STEM program.

For more information about the MAPS program visit the website http://maps.events.mjc.edu/, the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Modesto-Area-Partners-in-Science/244618054801.