Christian Oseto, ESA Fellows (2013)

Dr. Christian Oseto, professor of entomology and director of the University Honors Program at Purdue University (Purdue), was elected as Fellow in 2013.  Oseto is known for his work on sunflower pest management and has been extensively recognized for his teaching excellence.

Christian Oseto was born in Japan and emigrated to the U.S. with his mother and sister to Chicago, IL.  He received his primary and secondary education in the Chicago public school system and a B.S. in biology at Roosevelt University, Chicago. His interest in insects was nurtured by Dr. Hank Dybas, who hired Oseto as a laboratory technician to work on featherwing beetles in the Field Museum of Natural History’s (FMNH) Division of Insects. After his tenure at the FMNH, he attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in the Department of Entomology and subsequently worked as a post-doctoral associate under the direction of Dr. Z B Mayo. His first academic position was in the Department of Entomology at North Dakota State University (NDSU) where he conducted research on sunflower IPM and taught courses in introductory entomology, external insect morphology, internal insect morphology, and acarology. He reached beyond entomology and taught a course, with faculty from the College of Liberal Arts, which explored the human condition, and he taught Shotokan karate. At NDSU, Oseto developed entomology outreach programs for primary and secondary students in North Dakota. As director of the North Dakota Science Olympiad, Oseto oversaw the administration and conduct of the state competition. For his teaching efforts, NDSU awarded him its highest teaching recognition, the Robert Odney Outstanding Teaching Award.

After serving for 17 years at NDSU, Oseto was appointed head of the entomology department at Purdue in 1990 and served for nine years. From 1994–1997, he directed the NSF’s Young Scholars Program that provided an educational experience for 25 rising high school sophomores and juniors in a seven-week residential program in Purdue’s College of Agriculture. From 2005–2013, he served as director of the newly established University Honors Program (UHP) and with the help of faculty and staff established an innovative program for the top 1% of entering students. Based on the success of the UHP, the UHP was given College status with the first cohort entering in the fall of 2013.

Oseto continues to teach several courses on campus and has taught an insect taxonomy course to entomologists in Afghanistan, several courses in biodiversity and sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica, and courses that explored Canada-US issues in Quebec City, Quebec as part of the honors curriculum. Oseto’s teaching has earned him a place in Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers, membership in the Teaching Academy, and receipt of the Murphy Outstanding Teaching Award along with the USDA-CSREES Excellence in College Teaching in Food and Agricultural Sciences award.

Dr. Oseto has served the ESA as President, member of the Governing Board, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the North Central Branch, and numerous ESA committee assignments.


(updated February, 2014)