Sanford D. Eigenbrode, ESA Fellow (2016)

Dr. Sanford D. Eigenbrode, a professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences (PSES) and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Idaho, was elected as Fellow in 2016. He pursues research on insect-plant and multitrophic interactions, sustainable production and biodiversity conservation in working landscapes, climate change and agricultural systems, and the science and practice of cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Eigenbrode was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1948, but grew up principally in Stamford, Connecticut. He attended Cornell University, receiving his B.S. in biology in 1970. He taught chemistry and biology in the Ithaca City School District at the Lehman Alternative School, working closely with its founding director, David Lehman, and the other innovative educators there. In 1983, he returned to Cornell for graduate work, earning an M.S. in natural resources in 1986 with David Pimentel and a Ph.D. in 1990 with Tony Shelton, conducting research on resistance to diamondback moth in Brassica at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. After graduation, he worked as a postdoc on host plant resistance in tomato with John Trumble at the University of California, Riverside. In 1993, he moved to the University of Arizona as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Plant-Insect Interdisciplinary Program directed by Elizabeth Bernays. In 1995, he joined the faculty at the University of Idaho, progressing through the ranks and assuming the position of chair of the Division of Entomology in 2004, serving until 2014.

In science, Eigenbrode strove to integrate fundamental discovery and application to support sustainable agriculture. His major accomplishments include elucidating the effects of plant wax structure and chemistry on insect herbivores and their natural enemies, discovering chemically mediated interactions between plant viruses and their aphid vectors, and developing forecasting and decision tools to manage aphids and plant viruses. He assumed leadership of broadly interdisciplinary projects that include entomology, to address challenges to managing production systems and landscapes under drivers of change, most recently as director of a large U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture-sponsored coordinated agricultural project on cereal production systems of the Pacific Northwest under climate change. His efforts to improve scientific integration included co-leadership in two NSF-Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training projects, which led to NSF-sponsored research on enhancing interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. Eigenbrode published more than 120 scientific papers, 22 book chapters and review articles, and one co-edited book. He graduated seven M.S. and five Ph.D. students and currently has one M.S. student in his group. He mentored seven postdoctoral scientists.

Eigenbrode presented more than 120 invited presentations at state, national, and international venues. He received numerous institutional awards at the University of Idaho, including the 2011 Award for Excellence in Research, and the Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary or Collaborative Efforts or Creative Activity.

His wife, Sara Pepper, works at the Paul Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, and his daughter, Clare, will attend Beloit College in Wisconsin.

(updated November, 2016)