Don't Miss the Nematode Collection at UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day Feb. 10

Can you link nematodes, aka roundworms, with tomatoes, sugar beets, peaches, dogs, horses, whales and even Mormon crickets?

You'll see specimens and get to talk to nematologists during the 13th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day on Saturday, Feb. 10. The free and family friendly event, known as “Super Science Day," will showcase 10 museums or collections.

The nematode collection, headed by Shahid Siddique, associate professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. in the Katherine Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive.

“Our collection will highlight both animal and plant parasitic nematodes,” said graduate student Alison Blundell of the Siddique lab. “We will have mostly all preserved specimens from our nematode collection for the community to look at, and some live free-living (good nematodes) under the microscope for viewing. We hope to inspire people to understand what a nematode is and how they can impact their own lives!”

“We will have preserved specimens of common crops and plants you see in your garden infected with nematodes,” she added. “We also plan to have live C. elegans (Caenorhabditis elegans) to watch how they move through the environment. Come talk to experts in the field and see why worms are cool and you will receive a cool magic worm to take home as well!”

What visitors can expect to see:

Nematode list

The 10 museums or collections participating in Biodivesity Museum Day and the hours open are: 

  • Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds, open from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Arboretum and Public Garden, Habitat Gardens in the Environmental GATEway, adjacent to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 and main hall of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Botanical Conservatory, the greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • California Raptor Center, 1340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Center for Plant Diversity, Katherine Esau Science Hall off Kleiber Hall Drive, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Nematode Collection (part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology), Katherine Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 10 am. to 2 p.m.
  • Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Paleontology Collection, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 1309 Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery and Food Processing facility, Old Davis Road, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last year's Biodiversity Museum Day drew some 4000 people, said chair Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart of Museum of Entomology who co-founded the event.

"Traditionally UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day is a free, educational event for the community where visitors get to connect with UC Davis scientists from undergraduate students to staff to emeritus professors," Yang posted on the website. "In 2021, we pivoted to a month-long, virtual program. In 2022, also because of COVID regulations, we held the event in the UC Davis Conference Center as an 'expo.' In 2023 and again this year in 2024 we continued to maintain that spirit and were excited to have the event in our near our home departments."

See Biodiversity Museum Day website for more information and to download a map, which shows free parking spaces.