Name Droppers

UCD professor elected to Brazilian Academy of Sciences

By From page A5 | December 19, 2012

Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, a professor of entomology at UC Davis, has been elected to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Leal, a native of Brazil, will be honored at a ceremony on May 7 in Rio de Janeiro.

Leal has been active in forging a relationship between UCD and the Brazil government’s Scientific Mobility Program, launched to exchange graduate and undergraduate students. More students in the program head to the United States than any other country, and UCD leads the U.S. in Brazilian undergraduates, hosting 30 scholarship students this year.

Leal is also involved in the Brazilian/UCD student exchange with the Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development grants for research related to Brazil.

A pioneer in the field of insect communication, Leal employs innovative approaches to insect olfaction problems. His work examines how insects detect smells, communicate with their species, detect host and non-host plants and detect prey.

Leal has designed and synthesized complex pheromones from many insects, including scarab beetles, true bugs, longhorn beetles and the citrus leafminer. He and his lab discovered the secret mode of the insect repellent DEET.

Leal, who was educated in Brazil and Japan, came to UCD in 2000. He holds a doctorate in applied biochemistry from Tsukuba University, Japan, and also earned degrees in chemical engineering and agricultural chemistry.


Rodney Diaz, 39, of Roseville, has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board, where he has served since 2010. Diaz has served as an associate professor at the UC Davis Medical Center since 2006. He was a clinical fellow of otology, neurotology and skull base surgery at the Michigan Ear Institute from 2004 to 2006.

He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the UCD.

This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Diaz is a Democrat.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary A. Juanitas graduated from the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power School at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, S.C.
Nuclear Power School is a rigorous six-month course that trains officer and enlisted students in the science and engineering fundamental to the design, operation, and maintenance of naval nuclear propulsion plants.
Graduates next undergo additional instruction at a prototype training unit before serving as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard a nuclear-powered surface ship or as an Electronics Technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.
Juanitas is the son of Cyril and Laura Juanitas of Davis.
He is a 2008 graduate of Davis High School.
— Do you know of someone who has won an award or accomplished something noteworthy? Send it, preferably by email, to [email protected], or to Name droppers, The Davis Enterprise, P.O. Box 1470, Davis, CA 95617.

Enterprise staff

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