John S. Caldwell, ESA Fellow (1946)

Dr. John Stein Caldwell (deceased 2 March 1990), internationally known for his systematics work on the Homoptera (now Hemiptera), was elected as Fellow in 1946.

Caldwell was born 8 October 1911 in Circleville, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of Ohio (now The Ohio State University (OSU)) in 1933. As part of his B.S., he worked on a special research problem under the supervision of Dwight M. DeLong, which he turned into his master’s thesis, Studies of Leafhopper Hibernation in Ohio (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) the following year. He subsequently began a research project on the systematics of psyllids with Herbert Obsorn, while working as an assistant at the Ohio Biological Survey (1934–1938). This work would result in his Ph.D. dissertation under DeLong, The Jumping Plant-Lice of Ohio (Homoptera, Chermidae), which was published as a monograph in the Ohio Biological Survey's Bulletin in 1938. He worked summers on a farm, collecting and studying insects during graduate school. During WWII, (1941–1945), Caldwell worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Division of Insect Identification, as a specialist in charge of Homoptera. He spent a year as a visiting scientist in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico in 1947.

Throughout his career, Caldwell studied the Homoptera of Ohio, the Caribbean, Mexico, and elsewhere in North America. He erected twelve genera, described 160 species and ten subspecies, and revised 52 names of planthoppers. He published three genera, 76 species, and revised 68 names of psyllids, and worked with DeLong on a number of leafhoppers, particularly in the genus Empoasca. Caldwell published at least 41 primarily taxonomic papers on the homopterous Hemiptera, some reportedly in Spanish. After his last publication in 1952, Caldwell decided to return to farming.

Caldwell was elected to Sigma Xi and in 1935 to the Honor Society of Agriculture, Gamma Sigma Delta. He became a life member of the Entomological Society of America in 1947. He joined the Ohio Academy of Sciences in the Zoology section in 1949, was elected as Fellow in 1966, and became an emeritus member in 1984.

Caldwell was married in 1936 to Emily B. Zaenglein and they had a daughter, Emilie. 

(updated August, 2015)