Thomas L. Payne, ESA Fellow (2003)

Dr. Thomas L. Payne, vice chancellor for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri, was elected as Fellow in 2003. He is known for his leadership at each institution, committee, and board on which he has served. He has contributed to growth in their research programs, recruitment of world-class faculty members, and an increase in private funds raised in support of associated programs.

Payne was born in Bakersfield California. His interest in entomology was sparked during the introduction to entomology course he took from Dr. Adrian Wenner, learning about the fascinating field of insect behavior through Wenner's research on bee communication. He received his B.A. in zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then his M.S. in entomology in 1967, and Ph.D. in entomology and physiological psychology in 1969 from the University of California, Riverside, where his interest in insect behavior was further developed as a student of Dr. Harry H. Shorey. Hired by Dr. Perry L. Adkisson, he joined the faculty at Texas A&M University's departments of Entomology and Forest Science (1969–1987). There, he served as the research coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Southern Pine Beetle Program. Payne subsequently became professor and head of entomology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1987–1993). From 1993–1998, he was appointed as associate vice president for agricultural administration and associate dean for research at the Ohio State University's College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and as director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. In 1999, in addition to his current positions as vice chancellor and dean, he became the director of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, a network of centers conducting research in agriculture, forestry, animal science, and natural resources, which benefits the citizens of Missouri.

Payne is the author and co-author of more than 130 publications and is founding co-editor of the Journal of Insect Behavior. He is a member of numerous societies including the American Association for Advancement of Science, International Society of Chemical Ecology. Since 1999, Payne has been a member of the World Agricultural Forum's Board of Advisors, Agriculture Future of America's Board of Directors, Danforth Plant Sciences Center's Board of Advisors, and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Agriculture in Missouri. He has been a board member of the Entomological Foundation since 2000. He chaired the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges' Board on Agriculture Assembly Budget and Advocacy Committee from 2001–2003.

Payne is a recipient of numerous awards including the Alexander von Humbolt Prize and the ESA CIBA-GEIGY Agricultural Recognition Award (both in 1982), and Missouri Future Farmers of America Association Distinguished Service Award (2002). He served in the leadership of the ESA subsection Cd on Ecology and Behavior from 1992–1994.

Payne enjoys, but is a "lousy" golfer. The same is true of fishing and painting, which he enjoys occasionally. His true "hobby" is Alice, his great wife of over 50 years. :)

(updated April, 2015)