Lewis J. Stannard, ESA Fellow (1957)

Dr. Lewis J. Stannard, Jr. (deceased 17 January 1988), emeritus insect taxonomist for the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) and professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), was elected as Fellow in 1957. He wrote widely on insects, but is known for his numerous contributions to the knowledge of the systematics and distribution of Thysanoptera worldwide.

Stannard was born in Philadelphia, PA on 15 April 1918. Little is known about his early life, but it likely included a passion for nature and insects. He served in the U.S. Army from 1936 to 1945, including service in WWII. After his service, Stannard studied at Pennsylvania State College where he received his B.S. in 1946. Stannard joined the INHS in 1947 where he worked until 1976. After joining INHS, he began his Ph.D. work at UIUC and received his degree there in 1952. He held a joint appointment as professor of agricultural entomology at UIUC from 1968 to 1976. During this time, Dr. Stannard was also senior staff at the Center for Zoonoses Research at UIUC. He also served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Dr. Stannard identified and described many new species of thrips from North America, Asia, Africa, India, and the islands of the Caribbean. Most of his studies concentrated on new species of thrips in Illinois, but he also worked on extinct species found in the fossil record. His legacy endures in the Thysanoptera collection at INHS where he and his students prepared 44,000 slides and 121,000 specimens, making it one of the largest Thysanoptera collections in North America. While thrips were his specialty, Stannard's interest in arthropod biology and associations with other organisms was quite diverse. He described a new genus and species of endoparasitic mite, Ovacarus clivinae, he described the development of the Putnam scale, Aspidiotus ancylus (Putnam), on the endo- and ectoparasites of the common mourning dove and of the cottontail rabbit, and he studied the ecology of secondary injury caused by bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth). In 1975, he publishedThe Distribution of Periodical Cicadas in Illinois, through the INHS, which described and mapped the broods found in Illinois.

Dr. Stannard received several awards and honors throughout his career. He served the ESA as Chair of Section A in 1966. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Guggenheim Fellow for “studies of the patterns of evolution in the insect suborder Tubulifera” in 1954. He served on the board of directors of the Illinois Prairie Chicken Foundation and as president of the Illinois chapter of the Nature Conservancy from 1960 to 1962, and remained a trustee of the organization until his death in 1988.

(updated August, 2011)