Randall Schuh, ESA Fellow (2013)


Dr. Randall T. Schuh, George Willett Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York City, was elected as Fellow in 2013.  He is recognized for his research on the taxonomy of Hemiptera-Heteroptera, especially Miridae, the higher-level classification of the Heteroptera, and cladistic methodology.

Randall Schuh, referred as Toby, was born in Corvallis, Oregon on 11 May 1943.  He grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his interest in entomology was strongly influenced by his father Joe Schuh, a consulting agricultural entomologist, and participation in the local 4-H program.  He received his B.S. degree from Oregon State University in 1965 and was influenced to pursue an academic career in entomology while serving as a summer NSF undergraduate research intern under John D. Lattin.  Schuh received his M.S. in entomology from Michigan State University in 1967, and his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Connecticut in 1971, working under the late James A. Slater, with whom he spent eight months in the field in South Africa.  Schuh was appointed as AMNH assistant curator in September 1974 and promoted to full curator in 1984.

Schuh’s publications can be divided as follows:  first, the taxonomy and classification of the Miridae, a group of more than 11,000 species, >630 of which he described.  These papers rely heavily on his own field work which has amassed >100,000 specimens with detailed host data from four continents.  He published print and on-line versions of a World Catalog of Miridae.  Second, Schuh has published extensively on phylogenetic relationships within Heteroptera, including his 1995 book True Bugs of the World, with co-author James Slater.  Third, Schuh has taught courses in systematic methods and published the widely used textbook Biological Systematics: Principles and Applications.  In addition, Schuh served as chair of the AMNH Department of Entomology from 1980–1987 and the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, 1999–2007.  Schuh has mentored several Ph.D. students in the CUNY and Cornell programs as well as five postdocs.

Schuh served as the ESA Section A (Systematics and Morphology) Program Chair in 1987.  He served as editor of Systematic Zoology (1977–1979), Cladistics (1990–1992), and the Journal of the New York Entomological Society (1980–1987).  He has received NSF awards that have transformed systematic entomological methods, including a five-year Planetary Biodiversity Inventories award for the study of Miridae, under which he developed one of the first web-based collection data-capture software applications, known as Arthropod Easy Capture.  He received a four-year award for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections that funded a consortium of 32 entomological and botanical institutions dedicated to the capture of specimen data documenting herbivore and parasitoid relationships with the North American flora.

Randall Schuh is married to Brenda Massie; they have a daughter Ella.  He is a skilled woodworker, and in recent years he has fulfilled the lifelong ambition to harvest, mill, and dry his own lumber.  He has published in the field of woodworking as well as entomology.

(Updated, March 2014)