Carol Anelli to Deliver 2017 ESA Founders' Memorial Lecture

Lecture to honor Anna Botsford Comstock, first woman professor at Cornell University

Annapolis, MD; January 30, 2017—Carol M. Anelli, Ph.D., a professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Entomology at the Ohio State University, has been selected to deliver the Founders' Memorial Award lecture at Entomology 2017, the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), November 5-8 in Denver.

Carol M. Anelli, Ph.D.

Carol M. Anelli, Ph.D.

The Founders' Memorial Award was established in 1958 to honor the memory of scientists who made outstanding contributions to entomology. Each year at the ESA Annual Meeting, the recipient of the award delivers the Founders' Memorial Lecture, the topic of which is always a deceased entomologist.

At Entomology 2017, the subject of Dr. Anelli's lecture will be Anna Botsford Comstock (1854-1930), the first woman professor at Cornell University, known for her books on nature and conservation and for her wood-engraved illustrations of insects. She was the wife of John H. Comstock, a professor of entomology at Cornell and chief entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1879 to 1881. Her art gained recognition as it appeared in textbooks and publications written by her husband, and later she illustrated several of her own books, such as How to Keep Bees, Insect Life, and The Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Comstock was also a pioneer in designing nature study curricula that brought teachers and students outdoors.

Dr. Anelli is the fourth woman to be awarded the Founders' Memorial Award, and Comstock is the third woman honoree. This will be the first time in the award's 60-year history that both lecturer and honoree are female.

Dr. Anelli's career in entomology spans more than four decades, during which she has become renowned as both a researcher and an educator. Her research achievements include the publication of 36 refereed articles and one book chapter, spanning both insect physiology and science education methods. She has received multiple awards for her teaching, including ESA's Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching in 2009. Prior to joining Ohio State, Dr. Anelli served on the faculty for 17 years at Washington State University, first as a professor of entomology and later as Faculty Fellow in the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning. She also is deeply versed in the history of entomology, and her early career briefly took her to the same grounds once home to Anna Comstock, when she spent the summer of 1990 as a Historical/Archival Research Associate for Dr. Edward H. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Entomology at Cornell.

Anna Botsford Comstock

Anna Botsford Comstock

A core focus of Entomology 2017 will be scientific communication, with a stated theme urging entomologists to "Ignite. Inspire. Innovate."

"The recognition of Anna Comstock is very appropriate for the theme of our national meeting, as Anna has inspired so many of us over the decades to pursue the study of insects," says Gene Kritsky, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University and Editor-in-Chief of ESA's quarterly magazine, American Entomologist. "Moreover, Carol, a gifted educator herself, is uniquely qualified to present the Founders' Memorial Lecture to document Anna Comstock's many contributions."

Members of ESA's Early Career Professionals Committee nominated Dr. Anelli for the award, noting: "Loved by her students, admired by her colleagues, and an inspiration to entomologists across the United States, Carol possesses the key qualities required for successful entomological education in the digital age. Combined with her expertise on historical and cultural entomology, there are few others who would be better to speak on the like-minded educator and teacher, Anna Comstock."

Dr. Anelli will deliver the Founders' Memorial Lecture, titled "With Usual Daring on Untried Paths: Anna Botsford Comstock—Educational Trailblazer, Author, and Scientific Illustrator," at the Entomology 2017 Awards Breakfast, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7.

CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki,, 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. The Society stands ready as a scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit

Entomology 2017, the 65th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, will take place November 5-8 at the Denver Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. The theme "Ignite. Inspire. Innovate." highlights a vision to increase science communication within the research community. ESA's annual meeting brings together approximately 3,000 insect scientists to share their latest research and communicate the global science of entomology. For more information, visit