Jocelyn G. Millar, ESA Fellow (2013)

Dr. Jocelyn Millar, a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), was elected as Fellow in 2013. He is internationally known for his research on insect chemical ecology, and the development of applications for insect semiochemicals and related compounds.

Professor Millar was born in England in 1954, and his family immigrated to Canada in 1957. He attended the University of British Columbia for 2 years, studying engineering, then worked and traveled in Europe, Africa, and Asia for two years. After returning to Canada, he enrolled at Simon Fraser University (SFU), graduating with a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1978. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 in Chemistry at SFU with A.C. (Cam) Oehlschlager, identifying and synthesizing grain beetle aggregation pheromones. After graduation, he worked on host plant-based attractants for elm bark beetles with R.M. Silverstein (State University of New York, Syracuse) for a year, before joining the National Research Council of Canada’s laboratory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for two years, studying pheromones of geometrid and arctiid moths with E.W. Underhill. He subsequently ran a large toxicology laboratory in Vancouver for two years, before taking his current position at UCR in 1988. He became a Cooperating Faculty Member in the Department of Chemistry at UCR in 1999.

Millar’s research in insect chemical ecology is vertically integrated to encompass basic behavioral studies demonstrating that chemical communication occurs; the isolation, identification, and synthesis of the chemical signals; and the verification of the biological activity of various components or blends. Where appropriate, these studies extend to the development of practical applications that exploit insect pheromones and related chemicals for detection, sampling, and management of insects. His group has worked with the semiochemistry of hundreds of species in several insect orders, including Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, and Isoptera. In addition to chemical ecology, Millar’s group has worked on biological control of invasive weevils and cerambycid beetles, and on substrate-borne vibrational communication in true bugs. Much of his work reflects the multidisciplinary nature of his research program. Millar has published more than 275 scientific papers, 24 book chapters and review articles, and edited four books. He has graduated five M.Sc. and four Ph.D. students, with two Ph.D. students currently in his group. He has also mentored 17 postdoctoral scientists and 25 visiting scientists.

Millar has presented or coauthored more than 200 invited and 300 submitted presentations at state, national, and international conferences. He received ESA's Recognition Award in Crop Protection (2001), ESA Foundation's Team IPM Award (2006), ESA's National Excellence in IPM Award (2008), and ESA’s Pacific Branch C.W. Woodworth Award. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003, and was selected as the 2014 Silver Medal winner by the International Society of Chemical Ecology, in recognition of career achievement in chemical ecology.

Millar’s younger daughter Catherine is a neuroscientist living in New York, and his older daughter Elisabeth in a management consultant currently working with Apple in Los Angeles.

(updated February, 2015)