A recently graduated Cal Poly Pomona alumnus was recognized for his research into how bees pollinate watermelon.
At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Pacific Division’s annual conference in San Francisco, Jake Cecala was honored with two awards for his oral presentation, “Bee Visit Frequency and Time of Day Effects on Cumulative Pollen Deposition in Watermelon.”
Cecala’s acclaimed presentation took first place in the Ecology, Environmental Science and Sustainability section. He also received first in a divisional award, called the Geraldine K. Lindsay Award in Natural Sciences. This award selected Cecala from the pool of other presenters who had also placed first in their respective subjects.
“Receiving these awards reassured me that I can competently conduct and communicate scientific research among my peers, and be acknowledged for it,” he says. “These awards are another source of encouragement for me to pursue a career in science.”
Cecala graduated in June from Cal Poly Pomona with a master’s degree in Biological Sciences. During his time at the university, Cecala’s research focused on working with bees. Specifically, he studied the relationship between bees and the pollination of watermelon as an agricultural crop.
“Cal Poly was an excellent school and I feel that I received a first-rate education there,” Cecala says. “I was provided with countless opportunities for learning, doing research and teaching. My success at the school is in large part due to the encouragement and support of the wonderful network of professors in the Biological Sciences Department, and their devotion to fostering student research.”
Cecala was recently accepted as a new graduate student in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, where he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Biology. He says he will continue studying bee ecology and hopes to become a professor or a researcher for a government agency.