Entomological Society of America Names 2011 Fellows

Lanham, MD; July 6, 2011 -- The ESA Governing Board has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2011. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during Entomology 2011 -- ESA's 59th Annual Meeting -- which will be held November 13-16, 2011 in Reno, Nevada:

Dr. Susan J. Brown, professor of biology at Kansas State University, is known internationally for her efforts to establish Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, as a model organism for genetic studies of insect development. She received a B.A. in biology from Smith College and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Missouri - Columbia. She began studying homeotic genes in Tribolium to understand how they might control morphological diversity in insects. Before Brown began her studies, Tribolium had enjoyed a long history of use as a model organism for population genetic and ecology studies. Although several homeotic mutants existed, they had not been analyzed in great detail. Her work on homeotic genes demonstrated the power of genetic and molecular analysis in a non-drosophilid insect and contributed to our understanding of how Hox genes function in insects to repress anterior fates while also directing segment- and species-specific characteristics. To understand how short-germ insects produce segments sequentially during embryogenesis, Brown also studies segmentation genes in Tribolium. Her research group has described a novel regulatory circuit of pair-rule gene interactions that defines segments reiteratively. Further studies determined how the output of this circuit regulates segment-polarity genes to produce segments sequentially. Brown’s current studies focus on the role of Wnt signaling in A-P axis patterning and regulation of the pair-rule gene circuit. Brown has contributed to the development of many genetic and genomic tools that have established Tribolium as a genetic model organism. These include molecular recombination maps, DNA libraries and other molecular resources, RNAi, and the use of transposons in genome-wide insertional mutagenesis. Brown played a lead role in the international consortium that sequenced and analyzed the genome of Tribolium, providing the first look at a beetle genome. She is director of the Arthropod Genomic Center, which hosts an annual symposium highlighting recent advancements in this field. She is also director of the K-State Bioinformatics Center, and she serves on the editorial board of BMC Genomics. These centers host Agripestbase, which is being developed to provide community access to genomic information for pest insects, including the Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) and the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta), as well as Tribolium. Brown pioneered the first concurrent B.S./M.S. degree at K-State, where she teaches classes in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Dr. James Carey is considered the world’s foremost authority on arthropod demography, having published over 200 scientific papers and three books on this or closely-related topics, including the monograph Longevity (Princeton, 2003) and the “go-to” book on insect demography, Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993). His landmark paper on “slowing of mortality at older ages,” published in Science in 1992 and cited more than 350 times, keys in on his seminal discovery that mortality slows at advanced ages. The UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science cited this as one of “100 Ways in Which Our College Has Shaped the World.” Dr. Carey is also considered one of the world’s authorities on the demography and invasion biology of tephritid fruit flies, particularly the Mediterranean fruit fly. He published one of the first papers on the formal demography of any insect species (medfly) and discovered what has been termed by demographers as “Carey’s Equality”—a unique property of the life table that connects it to a stationary population. His research on the invasion status of the medfly in California has generated much-needed discussion within the entomological community about definitions of eradication, the concept of subdetectable levels of invasive pests, and the need for a paradigm shift in invasion biology of economically and medically important arthropod pests. Dr. Carey is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences. He chaired the system-wide University of California Committee on Research Policy, served on the system-wide UC Academic Council, and was vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. In addition, he serves as the associate editor of three journals: Genus, Aging Cell, and Demographic Research.

Dr. Angela E. Douglas is the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology at Cornell University. She received a B.A. in zoology from Oxford University in 1978, and a Ph.D. from Aberdeen University. Angela was awarded a ten-year Royal Society Research Fellowship, during which she developed a research program on insect nutritional physiology of phloem-feeding insects. Her fellowship research included the first direct physiological evidence that symbiotic bacteria provide aphids with essential amino acids, nutrients in short supply in the aphid diet of plant phloem sap. Following the fellowship, Angela was a faculty member at the University of York (UK) where she was promoted to a Personal Professorial Chair, and she took up her current position at Cornell University in 2008. Insect nutrition is central to her research, focusing especially on sugar and amino acid nutrition; and she has applied this research to investigate applied problems, including the causes of the mid-season population crash of aphid crop pests. Angela also conducts research on how the nutrition and immune system of insects interact with symbiotic microorganisms, including the application of genomic data to model metabolic and signaling networks in insect-microbial interactions. Her research is built on the commitment to explain how insects work in terms of underlying molecular mechanisms, and to use this information to predict how insects interact with other organisms and the wider environment. This commitment has informed Angela’s writing of many scientific reviews and three books, including The Symbiotic Habit (2010), and it guides her teaching of students and outreach activities for school teachers and the wider community.

Dr. Frank Gilstrap joined Texas A&M University in 1974, working as a teaching and biological control research faculty member in the Department of Entomology, then as associate director of AgriLife Research (1996-2003), and then as director of the Urban Solutions Center in Dallas (2005-2011). He retired from TAMU in late 2010. As an agency administrator, Gilstrap developed agency protocols and processes for protecting and managing intellectual property, managed production on nearly $5 million in state appropriated funds, and was administrative liaison to numerous Texas commodity groups. As Center Director, Gilstrap developed and implemented the Dallas Model©, a business approach for managing Center research and education in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He also established more than 60 regional partnerships and collaborations with private and public leaders in the Metroplex and elsewhere, and facilitated significant changes for acquiring grant and contract funds, growing Dallas Center annual revenue from an average of $250,000 in 2000-2004 to average more than $2.1 million in 2007-2011. Gilstrap has been a continuous ESA member since 1972, and through 2010 attended all but one ESA Annual Meeting. A Board Certified Entomologist, he has served as an elected officer and 1989 President of the International Organization for Biological Control/Nearctic Regional Section (1979-1989), as a member of the Entomological Foundation Board of Directors (1997-2003), as 2003 President of the Foundation Board, as a project leader within the International Sorghum-Millet Collaborative Research Support Program (1979-1995), and as a member of the Program Board of Directors (1997-2004). Within ESA, Gilstrap served as President (2006), Chair of the Program Committee (1994), Chair of Section C (1993), and Chair of Subsection Ca (1982). Gilstrap was also a member of the ESA Governing Board (2000-2007), a member of the Entomological Foundation Board of Counselors (1997-2011), Chair of the ESA Annual Meeting Posters Sessions (1995), Chair of the ESA Annual Meeting Student Competition for the President's Prize (1993), a member of the Certified Entomologists Board of Directors (1995-98), a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Economic Entomology (1983-87; Chair in 1987), and from 1979-1989 he held numerous offices within the ESA Southwestern Branch and the Central Texas Chapter of ARPE. In 2011, the Texas A&M University Board of Regents approved Gilstrap as a Department of Entomology Professor Emeritus. He is presently employed by PI Consulting of McKinney Texas.

Dr. Anthony A. James is Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (School of Medicine) and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (School of Biological Sciences) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. James is working on vector-parasite interactions, mosquito molecular biology, and other problems in insect developmental biology. His research emphasizes the use of genetic and molecular-genetic tools to develop synthetic approaches to interrupting pathogen transmission by mosquitoes. His research group was the first to develop routine transgenesis procedures for mosquitoes, and they have been able to engineer single-chain antibodies that interfere with malaria parasite development in mosquitoes. He is collaborating with other researchers to develop RNAi-mediated approaches to prevent dengue virus transmission and an Aedes aegypti population-suppression strain based on flightless females. He also is using bioinformatics to study the evolution of control DNA involved in regulating genes involved in hematophagy. Dr. James has a strong interest in what it takes to move science from the laboratory to the field. He is the principal investigator on multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and, in 2005, received an award from the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative to develop genetic strategies for control of dengue virus transmission. His research has also been supported by the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition to being elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, he received numerous other awards, including ESA’s Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology (2009), was a co-recipient of the Premio de Investgación Médica Dr. Jorge Rosenkranz (2008), a recipient of the Burroughs-Wellcome New Initiatives in Malaria Award (2000) and the Burroughs-Wellcome Scholar Award in Molecular Parasitology (1994). He was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1994) and a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London (1992). In 2009, he was awarded the UCI Medal, the highest honor the university bestows on an individual who has made exceptional contributions to its vision, mission and spirit. He has published over 140 papers, reviews, and policy documents, and has provided guidance to 34 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He was a founding editor of the journal Insect Molecular Biology, and has served on the editorial boards of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Experimental Parasitology and Entomological Research.

Dr. Brad Mullens is a professor at the University of California, Riverside. He received his B.S. in agriculture (animal science) and M.S. in agricultural biology (entomology) from the University of Tennessee, and his Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University. He enjoys interacting with students and teaches courses in the natural history of insects, medical and veterinary entomology, and aquatic insects. Most people consider agriculture as plant crops, but animal agriculture is at least as important in many states and has its share of damaging arthropod pests and associated diseases. Brad works in veterinary entomology, particularly on biting midge vectors of bluetongue viruses to ruminants (e.g. cattle and desert bighorn sheep), fly pests of poultry and dairy systems, poultry ectoparasite control, and host-ectoparasite relationships. He has been an ESA member for nearly 35 years and has served on the editorial boards or as subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology and the Journal of Economic Entomology and has been active many times in helping judge or moderate student paper/poster competitions and sessions. He also serves on the editorial boards for the journals Medical and Veterinary Entomology and Veterinarni Medicina. His approximately 130 reviewed, scientific papers focus on field ecology and ultimately integrated control (cultural, biological, and chemical tactics). Internationally, he has worked in Denmark (Musca biological control and poultry mite ecology) and Reunion Island (stable fly biological control). Most recent were field projects in Spain (ecology and management of midges) related to the ongoing bluetongue outbreak in Europe. In 2008 he helped draft a scientific opinion dealing in part with vector control and surveillance to reduce potential for bluetongue spread there. He is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and received the Best Paper Award for Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2005-06), the Lifetime Achievement Award for Veterinary Entomology (2005), and ESA’s Recognition Award in 2009.

Dr. Naomi E. Pierce is the Hessel Professor of Biology at Harvard University's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and is also curator of Lepidoptera in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. She received her B.S. in biology from Yale University and her Ph.D. from Harvard. During her dissertation she made groundbreaking contributions to the field of insect behavioral ecology by looking at the symbiosis between species and the effect this has on species interactions and diversification. Since then, she has contributed to the field of entomology and evolutionary biology while always keeping insects as the focus of her research. She and her colleagues in the Pierce Lab study the behavioral ecology of species interactions, including insect–plant associations, symbioses between ants and other organisms, and endosymbioses between ants and their bacterial associates. This has ranged from field studies measuring the costs and benefits of symbioses between ants and other organisms, to genetic analyses of biochemical signaling pathways underlying interactions between plants, pathogens, and insects. This research is relevant to both biomedical models of host defense/pathogen virulence, and agricultural models of insect/plant coevolution. She has also been involved in reconstructing the evolutionary ‘Tree of life’ of insects such as ants, bees, and butterflies, and in using molecular phylogenies to make comparative studies of life history evolution and biogeographical distributions. Dr. Pierce has over 80 publications, and has mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a senior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and she has received prizes such as a Fulbright Fellowship and a MacArthur Award.

Dr. Marlin E. Rice, currently a senior research scientist with Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Johnston, IA, is nationally recognized for his work in extension entomology. He dedicated his extension career to the creative development and innovative delivery of IPM information to crop producers, agri-business consultants, and extension educators. His efforts span 26 years at Texas A&M University, the University of Idaho, and Iowa State University, where he was a professor of entomology. Dr. Rice is a popular speaker and a prolific writer. He gave over 700 extension presentations at field days, short courses, and producer meetings. He authored 105 extension and 87 refereed publications, and wrote nearly 750 newsletter articles. At Iowa State University, he was executive editor of Integrated Crop Management, which he transformed into the first full-color, weekly, crops extension newsletter published by a land-grant university. The newsletter is now Internet-based and during 2007 it received over one million page views. In 2006, he created “Bugcasts”—the first extension podcasts on insect pest management. His perspectives on Iowa agricultural have been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and numerous farming magazines. He co-authored with Larry Pedigo two editions of Entomology and Pest Management and is a co-editor of ESA’s Handbook of Corn Insects. He co-developed with Kevin Steffey the Journal of Integrated Pest Management—the first peer-reviewed, Internet-based, open-access, extension-focused, pest management journal. His recognitions include Outstanding Extension Agent—Pest Management (Texas A&M University), and at Iowa State University he received the University Extension New Professional Award, the Excellence in Applied Research and Extension Award, and the Outstanding Achievement in Extension Award. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Zimbabwe. Dr. Rice was elected to the ESA Governing Board for nine years. He served as Section E Representative, Secretary-Treasurer, and President. During 2000 he was the ESA Annual Meeting Program Chair in Montreal. He received an M.S. (entomology) from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. (entomology) from Kansas State University.

Dr. Fred Stephen began his forest entomology career at the University of California, Berkeley. Under the direction of Don Dahlsten, Fred studied colonization and ecological succession of western pine beetle and its natural enemies in Ponderosa pine. He finished his Ph.D. in 1974 and accepted a position at the University of Arkansas, where he is now a professor of entomology. His research and teaching interests are forest entomology and insect ecology. He has studied a diverse group of forest insects, including southern pine beetle, periodical cicada, gypsy moth, Nantucket pine tip moth, Pales weevil, pine sawyers, red oak borer and most recently Sirex wood wasps. His investigations of these insect-forest systems include research on population dynamics, biological control, sampling methods, predictive models, natural history, development rates, community interactions, pesticide impacts, and forest health. He has been active in interdisciplinary research projects throughout his career and, building upon more than 20 years of field research on southern pine beetle population dynamics, collaborated in developing a computer-based model to enable forest pest managers to predict southern pine beetle infestation growth and tree mortality in pine forests. Dr. Stephen has received multiple awards, including the A.D. Hopkins Award for Distinguished Service to Southern Forest Entomology, the Robert G. and Hazel T. Spitze Land Grant University Faculty Award for Excellence, and the Burlington Northern Outstanding Faculty-Scholar Award for excellence in research. He was invited to provide testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, and to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. He also served as North American co-chair of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations Working Party on “Integrated Control of Scolytid Bark Beetles.” During his tenure at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Stephen conceived, developed, and taught courses in insect ecology, agricultural issues, biological control, research methods in ecological entomology, and forest resources protection. He has been a major advisor to 32 graduate students, five postdocs, and has served on more than 100 additional graduate student advisory committees. He is most proud of his graduate students, who have become successful forest entomologists in a variety of scientific and professional venues.

Dr. Diane Ullman received her B.S. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1976 and her Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California in 1985. She began her academic career in the Department of Entomology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. After eight years, she relocated to the University of California, Davis, where she is a faculty member in the Department of Entomology and serves on the graduate faculty in entomology as well as plant pathology. Dr. Ullman was chair of the Department of Entomology at UC Davis (October 2005 - September 2006), after which she was named associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (October 2006 to present). Ullman's research revolves around insects that transmit plant pathogens, in particular plant viruses. She is best known for advancing international knowledge of interactions between thrips and tospoviruses and aphids and citrus tristeza virus. She also made important discoveries regarding host plant resistance to aphids and thrips and regarding the biology and vector competence of mealybugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies. Her contributions played a fundamental role in developing novel strategies for management of insects and plant viruses, ranging from use of induced resistance to RNA interference. She is author of nearly 100 refereed publications that have been cited 1,724 times in the scientific literature, and has also written for several trade journals and contributed chapters to books. She is known for innovative teaching strategies and has played a fundamental role in developing a Career Discovery Group Program for freshmen at UC Davis, and is pioneering the use of an art-science fusion paradigm in undergraduate education. She received the University of Hawaii Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching (1990), the Hawaiian Entomology Society Entomologist of the Year Award (1992), the University of Hawaii Regent’s Medal for Excellence in Research (1993), the USDA Higher Education Western Regional Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching (1993), the UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community (2008), and she has been an NSF ADVANCE Distinguished Lecturer.

All of the above will be recognized during Entomology 2011 -- ESA's 59th Annual Meeting -- which will be held November 13-16, 2011 in Reno, Nevada.