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Past Events

MS thesis defense by Blaine Luiz

When: Thursday, November 2 at 8:00 am

Where: Wentworth 14

Title: Understanding Ceratocystis sp. A: Growth, Morphology, and Host Resistance

Abstract: Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is a new phenomenon that has been causing considerable damage to ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) on Hawai‘i Island. Ceratocystis sp. A, one of two distinct, undescribed species of Ceratocystis responsible for ROD, is associated with widespread mortality and is believed to be the more virulent of the two. Thus, determining the biological and pathological characteristics of C. sp. A is vital to understand the etiology and epidemiology of the disease, and manage ‘ōhi‘a forests. Spore morphology, mycelial growth and spore production under various temperature and media conditions, and virulence were studied for three isolates of C. sp. A. Based on these data, one isolate was selected for resistance screening experiments utilizing plants of 4 varieties of ‘ōhi‘a found on Hawai‘i Island: vars. glaberrima, incana, newellii, and polymorpha. Plants were grown in a growth chamber for 19 weeks and monitored for symptom development and death. Upon death of an individual, disease severity (the percentage of the plant that was discolored by the fungus) was measured. Vars. glaberrima and polymorpha had the highest mean disease severities and mortality compared with vars. incana and newellii. Log mean number of days to death was different only between vars. glaberrima and polymorpha, with var. polymorpha having the shortest log mean number of days to death. The data showed that the four varieties of ‘ōhi‘a responded differently to infection of C. sp. A, suggesting that there could potentially be resistance or tolerance found in natural stands of ‘ōhi‘a. Details of past event can be found in our Archived Announcements section

MS thesis defense by Heather Nahaku Kalei


Abstract: Kūpeʻe (Nerita polita Linnaeus, 1758) is a cryptic, mostly nocturnal intertidal species of gastropod mollusc used widely in Hawaii for sustenance and cultural practices. Despite a long tradition of human interaction with this species, information is generally lacking regarding its reproductive ecology. Results of this study suggest that male and female individuals do not differ significantly in size and that the minimum shell length at maturity for both males and females is 14mm. Mature gonads were present in both sexes throughout the study period, and mating was documented throughout the same period, suggesting continuous spawning throughout the year. These results are consistent at both study sites, Kawaihae and Waiuli, Hawaii. Comparison of population size structure at the study sites with the desirable shell lengths, as denoted by the Bishop Museum lei collection and modern lei, shows that less than 5% of the population fits into the desirable size range.

Rat lungworm disease in the news

Relevant to UH Hilo research by TCBES student Kathleen Howe and advisor in College of Pharmacy, Dr. Susan Jarvi. Read the article here

Congratulations to our 9th Annual TCBES Symposium Winners!

Poster presentation:

Julia Stewart, UH Hilo, 'Ike Wai Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of the microbial community in diseased and healthy Montipora capitata

5 minutes talk:

Dominique R. Zarders, TCBES Student

  • Mechanisms of the possible host shift of Lantana lace bug from
  • Lantana camara to Myoporum sandwicense

15 minute talk:

Louise M. Economy, TCBES Student Rainfall driven shifts in Staphylococcus aureus in Hilo Bay, Hawai`i

Article on the TCBES program in the University Town special edition by Kirsten Johnson Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Congratulations to Ann Tanimoto, a TCBES alumna, advised by Patrick Hart for their featured article in Hawaii Tribune-Herald by Kirsten Johnson!

Read more about their research on the calls of the 'Alalā and the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology program at the National Science Foundation website:

Calls of the wild: Grants allow research of 'alalā vocalizations, other UH-Hilo projects

Congratulations to Heather Stever, a TCBES grad student advised by Dr. Jesse Eiben!

Heather was awarded first place in a graduate student oral competition at the the 25th International Congress of Entomology that was held in Orlando, Florida from 25-30 September. She was in a session focusing on Biodiversity, Biogeography, and Conservation of Arthropods and her talk was entitled: Arthropod biodiversity estimates for three native subalpine plant species on Hawaii’s Maunakea Volcano.