Five Entomologists Earn Honorary Membership at the Entomological Society of America

Status bestowed upon members demonstrating extraordinary service to ESA

Annapolis, MD; September 2, 2020—In recognition of their long-term dedication and significant contributions to the Entomological Society of America (ESA), five entomologists have been selected as Honorary Members of the Society in 2020.

Honorary Membership acknowledges those who have served ESA for at least 20 years through significant involvement in the affairs of the Society that has reached an extraordinary level. Candidates for this honor are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by the ESA membership.

This year's honorees will be recognized during ESA's Virtual Annual Meeting, Entomology 2020, November 11-25.

ESA's 2020 Honorary Members are:

May BerenbaumMay Berenbaum
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. May Berenbaum is head (since 1992) and Swanlund professor (since 1996) of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on the chemical ecology, biochemistry, and genomics of plant-insect interactions and the challenges of climate change, biodiversity decline, GMOs, invasive species, and pesticide use. With ~300 refereed publications, she has been cited ~26,000 times. As a member of the National Academy of Sciences, she chaired committees on pesticides in agriculture and on the status of pollinators and has testified before Congress on pollinator decline. In 2011 she received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2014 she was awarded the National Medal of Science.

An active member for ~40 years, she has contributed to ESA by participating in more than 30 symposia (and organizing five symposia), serving on multiple committees, reviewing for six ESA journals, publishing in five ESA journals, serving as editor-in-chief of the allied Annual Review of Entomology for 21 years, and writing more than 100 Buzzwords columns for American Entomologist. In 2016, as ESA president, she was society host for the 25th International Congress of Entomology. As a Science Policy Committee member, she published op-eds on ESA's behalf in several high-profile venues, including Science. She has twice served as Council of Entomology Department Administrators chair and currently chairs the Council of the International Congress of Entomology. Among ESA awards she has received are the Founder's Award, election as Fellow, the Distinguished Teaching award, and the Entomological Foundation Medal of Honor. 

Mike IvieMichael Ivie
Montana State University

Dr. Michael Ivie has been an ESA member since 1977 and has attended all but one ESA Annual Meeting since 1978. He has served in a variety of roles in the Southeastern, North Central, and Pacific Branches.

At the Society level, he served 10 years on the Governing Board, representing Section A for two terms (1997–2002) and in the presidential accession (2003–2006), holding the office of president in 2005. During that time, he served on the Executive Committee for eight years (1999–2006). In addition, he served three years through the chair of Section A accession (1988–1990).

He is associate professor and curator at Montana State University, Bozeman, where he has been on the faculty since 1985.

Michael MerchantMichael Merchant
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Dr. Michael Merchant, BCE, professor of extension urban entomology for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service, has served the state as extension entomologist in Dallas for 31 years. His responsibilities include providing county agents and the public with technical assistance on structural pest control, turfgrass and ornamental insects, and public health entomology. His research spanned a wide variety of pest problems including fire ants, scale insects, spider and scorpion management, and the economics and implementation of IPM programs for schools. He is a regular trainer of pest management professionals and led establishment of the IPM Experience House training facility in Dallas. He is coauthor of the ESA publication IPM for the Urban Professional: A Study Guide for the Associate Certified Entomologist. Merchant holds a B.S. degree in environmental science from Western Washington University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Purdue University and Texas A&M University, respectively.

Merchant became an ESA member in 1982 and has attended more than 30 annual conferences. He has been continuously active in ESA volunteer roles including student judging, helping organize the first Insect Expo, chairing and serving on multiple committees, and organizing symposia. He served as Section F officer and then as first president of the newly formed MUVE Section. Prior to this, he served five years on the ESA Certification Board, including two years as director. During his time as director, he led the startup of the Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) program, which has since increased ESA membership and strengthened the certification program.

Gary R. MullenGary R. Mullen
Auburn University

Dr. Gary R. Mullen, is professor emeritus in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University (AU), Alabama. Dr. Mullen received his B.A. from Northeastern University (1968) and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University (1970, 1974) prior to joining the faculty at AU in 1975. He has devoted his career to teaching and research in medical-veterinary entomology and acarology, in addition to teaching courses in principles of ecology, population ecology, arachnology, and aquatic entomology. He retired from AU in 2009.

Dr. Mullen joined ESA as a first-year graduate student in 1969 and has been an active member ever since, receiving his 50-year ESA pin this past year. During this time he has served in many capacities at the national level, including: ESA Governing Board (1998-2001); secretary and chair, Section D, Medical-Veterinary Entomology (1990; 1991-1992); secretary and president, Teaching Section (1982; 1984); ESA Leadership Council (1998); ESA Special Committee on Linnaean Games (1984-1987); recipient of Distinguished Teaching Award (1989); and chair, Medical-Veterinary Entomology Textbook Steering Committee (1992-2000). As a member of the Southeastern Branch: Executive Committee (2003-2006); president (2004-2005); chair, Student Awards Committee (1983, 1984); faculty coach for Auburn University Linnaean Team (1983-1987, 1996-2005); and served on the following committees—Member Awards (1993-1996), ad hoc Annual Awards Luncheon (1990); Nominations for SEB officers (2001, 2008), and Nominations for national officers (2008).

He is lead editor and a major contributor to the book Medical and Veterinary Entomology (Mullen and Durden, eds, Elsevier/Academic Press), now in its third edition (2019).

Lisa G. NevenLisa G. Neven

Dr. Lisa G. Neven has served the Entomological Society of America at the national, Section, and Branch levels since 1992. She was the chair of the former Eb section, treasurer of P-IE, ESA Finance Committee member, PB-ESA member-at-Large, PB-ESA president (2015), and served on several committees at the National and Branch levels. She is a member and past chair of the Society for Regulatory Entomology Network. Dr. Neven has been a subject editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology since 2001, and deputy editor since 2016.

Dr. Neven is the research leader of the USDA-ARS Unit in Wapato, Washington. She conducts research on the development of non-chemical quarantine treatments for control of pests of tree fruits. She served on the North American Plant Protection Organization Fruit Panel as an expert as well as the chair. She served as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Association-Food and Agriculture Organization codling moth sterile insect technique collaborative working group. She is a member of the International Plant Protection Convention Postharvest Management Research Group. Dr. Neven is an adjunct professor at the Washington State University Department of Entomology and Central Washington University Biological Sciences Department.

Dr. Neven has published more than 110 papers on topics spanning environmental physiology, lipoprotein biochemistry and molecular biology, postharvest quarantine treatments, insect respiratory and thermal physiology, insect transgenesis, and ecological niche modeling. She has received more than $6 million in grants from various international, national, and commodity group funding agencies.

CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki,, 301-731-4535 x3009

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