Dr. Bruce A. McPheron, ESA Fellow (2018)
Dr. Bruce A. McPheron, professor of entomology and executive vice president and provost of Ohio State University (OSU), was elected as an ESA Fellow in 2018. He is internationally known for the development of molecular diagnostic tools to understand and manage the spread of invasive fruit fly species and work on the process of speciation, using native fruit fly species as model systems.
Even in his early childhood in Ohio, insects—and their role in the ecosystem—intrigued him. Later, he earned a bachelor's degree with honors in entomology from OSU and a master's degree in biology and a doctorate in entomology from the University of Illinois. His academic career at land-grant institutions began as an Ohio State county extension educator, followed by a position as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University. In 1988, he joined the faculty at Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and later served as associate dean and director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station and as the college's dean. He returned to Ohio State in 2012 as vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. In 2015, he served as interim executive vice president and provost during a national search and, in 2016, was appointed to the permanent position. In this role, he oversees of 15 colleges, five campuses, and more than 7,000 tenure-, clinical-, research-track and associated faculty. In addition, he has oversight of academic programs for 66,046 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students; more than 200 majors; and almost 13,000 courses.
He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Africa, Australia, and Latin America, focusing on the spread of invasive fruit fly species, in addition to international agriculture and agricultural biosecurity. His research is published in 60 refereed journals, two edited books, 16 articles in books, 22 non-refereed publications and 68 domestic and international invited presentations. In addition, he has taught at all levels and provided research supervision of five M.S. degrees, 10 Ph.D. degrees, and seven postdoctoral scholars; sponsored 17 undergraduate research projects; and hosted eight graduate students for significant components of their thesis research.
A longtime national leader in higher education administration, he has focused on the vital contributions of land-grant institutions to society. He served in national leadership within the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), chairing the agricultural research leadership organization, then the dean and administrative heads of agriculture and, finally, the Policy Board of Directors of the Board on Agriculture Assembly. As provost, he is active in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities, and APLU in advancing the land-grant mission in higher education.
He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has testified on the Farm Bill before the U. S. House of Representatives. In addition, as a food-security advocate, he serves on Feeding America's board of directors.
He and his wife, Marilyn, have two children and two grandchildren.
(updated August, 2018)