C. Michael Smith Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. C. Michael (Mike) Smith was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 22nd Biennial International Plant Resistance to Insects Research Workshop held in Stellenbosch, South Africa from March 5-8, 2016, based on his extensive leadership, research and teaching contributions in insect plant resistance.

During his 38-year career, Smith’s numerous international collaborations have led to numerous breakthrough discoveries. These include development of the first molecular markers linked to Russian wheat aphid resistance in wheat; determination of very rapid (~60 min) responses of aphid-resistant wheat plants to aphid feeding; identification of both chemical and physical aphid defense genes in wheat; and elucidation of multiple aphid counter-adaptations to plant defenses involved in aphid virulence. Smith has collaborated with South African and U.S. wheat breeders to identify arthropod pest resistance and register and cultivars resistant to Russian wheat aphid and wheat curl mite.

Smith received a B.S. in biology at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Mississippi State University. He has been Professor of Entomology at Kansas State University since 1990 where he served as Department Head from 1990 to 1996.  Prior experience includes appointments as Professor of Entomology at Louisiana State University and Professor and Chair of the University of Idaho Division of Entomology.           

He has taught or co-taught courses or short courses in Plant Resistance to Insects at the Czech Agricultural University, the University of Idaho, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University and Zagazig (Egypt) University. His texts include Plant Resistance to Insects - A Fundamental Approach (Wiley),Techniques for Evaluating Insect Resistance in Crop Plants (CRC) and Plant Resistance to Arthropods – Molecular and Conventional Approaches (Springer).

A 2012 Annual Review of Entomology “Molecular Bases of Plant Resistance to Arthropods” was published with co-author Steve Clement.

Smith has been active in IPRI since 1978, serving on the Steering Committee (1987 - 1988 and 2000 - 2006); the Program Committee (1991-1992), and as IPRI Newsletter co-editor (1996-2000). He delivered plenary addresses at IPRIW 7 (1986), 13 (1998) and 22 (2016). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America; a 2002 Fulbright Scholar; former subject editor of Journal of Economic Entomology and editorial board member for Arthropod Plant Interactions,Insects and Nature Scientific Reports.