ESA Recognizes 2015 Fellows
Annapolis, MD; Aug. 26, 2015 – The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2015. Election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during Entomology 2015, ESA’s 63rd Annual Meeting, which will be held November 15-18, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Serap Aksoy is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health. She is internationally known for her work with vector genomics, genetics, and immune and symbiotic physiologies with a focus on tsetse flies and trypanosome parasites.
Aksoy was born in Turkey in 1955 and grew up in Istanbul. After coming to the United States, she received a B.S. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in biology from Columbia University. She joined Yale’s Department of Internal Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow and studied the molecular aspects of the African trypanosome parasite. In 1988, Aksoy joined the faculty at Yale School of Public Health, where she has built a large program for investigations on tsetse flies and African trypanosomes, with direct implications for disease control in Africa. She also served as the department chair from 2002-2010.
The overarching paradigm for Aksoy’s program is an interdisciplinary approach to investigation of disease transmission—spanning from basic research on vector, parasite, and symbiont biology in the laboratory to the population genetics/genomics of the vector and parasite in natural populations and disease epidemiology in the field. Her investigations have helped pioneer development of an innovative control method involving use of beneficial symbionts to render the insect’s environment inhospitable for disease-causing pathogens. She has collaborated extensively with colleagues in East Africa to build research capacity in tsetse-transmitted diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. She led an international consortium, International Glossina Genome Initiative (IGGI), to develop genetics and genomics knowledge for tsetse flies. The consortium has recently completed the genome sequence of Glossina morsitans and the sequencing of five additional species.
Aksoy has published more than 120 peer-reviewed research articles and numerous reviews and editorials, as well as a book, Insect Transgenesis. Her work has been funded by diverse research agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and World Health Organization, along with the Li Foundation and Ambrose Monell Foundation. She has been a leader within many professional societies, as well as many international, national, and university committees and boards. Aksoy has been the co-Editor-in-Chief of PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases since 2009.
She has been a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) since 2013 and is an ASTMH Council Member (2014-2018). She is a Fulbright Scholar (2015) and winner of the 2015 Research Innovation and Leadership award given by the Connecticut Technology Council.
Aksoy and her husband Sait Aksoy live in Woodbridge, Connecticut, and enjoy kayaking in the lakes, rivers, and shoreline communities.
Dr. Deane Bowers is the Curator of Entomology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and Professor and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. She is internationally known for her research on the chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions and multi-trophic interactions, as well as the biology of the Lepidoptera.
Bowers was born in New York in 1952, but soon after that her family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where she grew up. It was here that she became fascinated with insects, especially butterflies and moths. She received a B.A. in zoology from Smith College in 1974 and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1979. She then spent two years at Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1981, she began her first faculty position at Harvard University, as an Assistant Professor and Curator of Lepidoptera. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986. In 1989, she moved to the University of Colorado, where she was jointly appointed between the Museum of Natural History and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She was promoted to Full Professor in 1996. She began her service as Chair in 2014.
Bowers’s interdisciplinary research is focused on the chemical ecology of insect-plant-natural enemy interactions, with a particular interest in insects that have the ability to sequester plant chemicals to render themselves unpalatable. She has also investigated factors that can contribute to variation in plant chemistry and how that variation affects other trophic levels, including not only herbivores, but also predators and parasitoids. More recently, she has collaborated on a project investigating how biofuel crops affect native bee communities and become involved in a citizen science project focused on bees. She has published more than 130 papers and book chapters and generated more than $4.5 million in grant funding. As curator, she has overseen extensive growth of the Museum’s entomology collection and received funding for improvement of the collection. She served as interim Director of the Museum in 2007-2008. Bowers enjoys mentoring students and has graduated 14 Ph.D. and 13 Master’s students, as well as supervising eight postdoctoral fellows and dozens of undergraduate researchers.
Bowers has given more than 300 invited and contributed presentations, been active on several editorial boards, and served as editor of the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. She received the University of Colorado at Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence Award in Research in 1996. She was chair of the Gordon Conference on Plant-Herbivore Interaction in 1998.
In addition to her overall fascination with insects, Bowers enjoys cooking, gardening, spinning, weaving, and natural dyeing, especially, of course, with insects.
Dr. Sarjeet Gill is Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and an Entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of California at Riverside.
Gill received his doctorate in insecticide toxicology from the University of California at Berkeley and joined the Department of Entomology faculty at the University of California at Riverside in 1983. He helped establish the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, serving as Chair of the Department and Director of the Program. Gill is currently the editor of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a premier journal in entomology, and he co-edited the series Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science.
Gill’s laboratory has two principal research foci. The first area is to elucidate the mode of action of insecticidal toxins derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. These toxins are active against agricultural pests as well as vectors of human diseases. More recently, his work has also included another gram-positive bacteria, Clostridium bifermentans, which is mosquitocidal. The research in Gill’s lab aims to gain a molecular understanding of the toxins involved and how these toxins interact with cellular targets, thereby disrupting ion regulation and lethality. A second area of research focuses on understanding mosquito midgut and Malpighian tubules function (in particular ion and nutrient transport), changes that occur following a bloodmeal, and how toxins affect these functions.
Gill is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology. He has served on numerous grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Le Kang is Professor of Entomology in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is internationally recognized for his research on the ecological genomics of insects.
Kang was born on April 5, 1959, in Huhehot City, Inner Mongolia, China. He received a B.A. in plant protection from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in 1982. He then enrolled in China Agricultural University (formerly Beijing Agricultural University), where he obtained an M.S. in entomology in 1987. In 1990, he received his Ph.D. in ecology from the Institute of Zoology (CAS). In 1991, he accepted a position as an Associate Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Zoology. He was a visiting scientist at Kansas State University in 1992 and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1993. In October 1993, he returned to the Institute of Zoology and has continued there for 23 years. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1995 and has served as Director-General of the Institute since 2012.
Kang began his explorations of the ecology of grassland grasshoppers in 1987. In 1995, he expanded this to include the study of the cold tolerance of locusts, grasshoppers, and dipteran leafminers. At same time, he also studied plant-leafminer-parasitoid interactions. Since 1999, he has been working on the ecological genomics of locusts. His research has revealed much of the coding and noncoding RNA involved in locust phase change, in which olfactory-related genes play an important role. He has also identified genes in the dopamine pathway and in microRNA-133 that act as a maintenance mechanism of gregarious locusts. He has contributed substantially to our understanding of the general principles of metabolomic and immunity-specific differences between solitary and gregarious locusts, specifically demonstrating that gregarious locusts have a more active lipid metabolism and stronger resistance to fungal pathogens. He decoded the entire genome sequence of the locust, the largest genome sequenced in animals to date. He has published more than 157 peer-reviewed scientific papers with 2,387 citations.
Kang has mentored more than 50 graduate students and 10 postdoctoral researchers. Since 1995, he has been teaching evolutionary ecology to hundreds of graduate students every year. He serves as president of the Entomological Society of China, and as Editor-in-Chief of Insect Science, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Protein & Cell, and editor for several international journals, including Journal of Insect Physiology, Current Opinion in Insect Science, and Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, among others.
Kang has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska in 2009. He has received several important awards including the prestigious Life Science & Biotechnology Prize, Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (Hong Kong) in 2011, the ESA International Branch Distinguished Scientist Award in 2013, and Tan’s Life Science Achievement Prize in 2015.
Dr. Michael R. Kanost is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Kansas State University. He is internationally known for his research in biochemistry and immunology of insects.
Kanost was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1956 and moved with his family to Broomfield, Colorado, at age 12. He received a B.S. with majors in zoology and entomology from Colorado State University in 1979. He earned a Ph.D. in entomology at Purdue University in 1983, mentored by Dr. Peter Dunn and investigating synthesis of hemolymph antibacterial proteins stimulated by bacterial infection in Manduca sexta. From 1983-1986, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, working with Dr. G.R. Wyatt on regulation of hemolymph protein synthesis by juvenile hormone. He moved to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Arizona, working with the late Dr. Michael Wells at an exciting time, the beginning of the Center for Insect Science. He was a Research Associate (1986-1989) and then Research Assistant Professor (1989-1991) at Arizona, investigating biochemistry of lipophorin and then beginning a study of serpins in insect hemolymph that has continued for 25 years. In 1991, Kanost became Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Kansas State University, with promotion to University Distinguished Professor in 2005. He served as head of the Department from 2002-2012.
Kanost has served as major professor for 23 Ph.D. and M.S. students and as research mentor for 19 postdoctoral scientists and 42 undergraduate students. He has taught numerous biochemistry courses, including many offerings of Advanced Topics in Insect Biochemistry. He has authored more than 180 journal articles and book chapters, and his publications have been cited more than 10,000 times. Kanost’s research has focused on functions of hemolymph plasma proteins and hemocytes in immune responses, biochemistry of insect exoskeletons, and functions of insect muticopper oxidases. He helped lead the sequencing and annotation of the genome of Manduca sexta, an important model species for insect research. His research on caterpillars, mosquitoes, and beetles has been supported with more than $17 million in grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others. He received a MERIT Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in 2011 in recognition of the track record of productivity, creativity, and impact of his research.
Kanost is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he has received awards including the ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology (2007), Purdue University College of Agriculture Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award (2008), University of Kansas Olin K. Petefish Award in the Basic Sciences (2011), and the Purdue University John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology (2015).
Kanost and his wife Jill have been married since 1977 and have four children. Kanost plays the cello in the Salina (Kansas) Symphony, and he enjoys growing tomatoes.
Dr. Jeremy N. McNeil has developed a strong interdisciplinary research program in chemical ecology, with particular emphasis on the reproductive biology of parasitoids and the behavioral and ecological aspects of the reproductive biology of both migrant and non-migrant species where mate location and mate choice are modulated by sex pheromones.
McNeil was born in Tonbridge, England, in 1944; his family then moved to Newfoundland in 1945. He went to high school in England and worked for two years as a hospital orderly then as a wine merchant in London. He returned to Canada, where he completed a B.Sc. in Honours Zoology at the University of Western Ontario (1969), followed by a Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. R. L. Rabb at North Carolina State University (1972). He won the ESA Southeastern Branch Robert T. Gast Award and the Entomological Society of America-Entomological Research Institute Outstanding Graduate Award (now the John Henry Comstock Award).
McNeil returned to Canada in 1972, taking a position in the Biology Department at Université Laval, where he remained for 30 years, being promoted to Associate Professor in 1977 and Full Professor in 1982. In 2003, he was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship and spent a year with Drs. Wittko Francke (University of Hamburg) and Stefan Schulz (Braunschweig University of Technology). In 2004, McNeil was named the Helen Battle Professor of Chemical Ecology in the Biology Department at the University of Western Ontario.
During his career at Université Laval and the University of Western Ontario, McNeil has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in general entomology, integrated pest management, ecology, chemical ecology, and communication of science. He has also taught similar courses as a visiting professor at universities in Brazil (Parana, Vicosa), Chile (Santiago), China (Beijing, Jinan), France (Rennes), Portugal (Azores), Switzerland (Geneva, Neuchatel), and the United States (Cornell).
McNeil has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers in behavioral and chemical ecology. He has also trained more than 60 graduate students and postdocs, many now working in universities or government laboratories worldwide. He has received a number of national and international research awards, including the C. Gordon Hewitt Award (1979) and Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Canadian Entomology (1987) from the Entomological Society of Canada, the F.E.J. Fry Medal of the Canadian Society of Zoologists (2008), the Delwart Prize in Chemical Ecology (1986), the Silver Medal of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (2004), and the Order of Canada (2014). He is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada (1981) and the Royal Society of Canada (1999).
For more than four decades, McNeil has combined his passions for insects and photography to actively engage, both at home and abroad, in activities relating to the public awareness of science. He has received several national awards for his outreach activities, including the J. Gordin Kaplan Award from the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies (1996), the McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada (1998), and the Partners In Research National Science Ambassador Award (2014).
Dr. James R. Miller, Distinguished Professor of Entomology at Michigan State University, is internationally recognized for pioneering research in insect physiology, chemical ecology, and behavior that has significantly enhanced insect detection and management.
Miller was born in 1948 in the farming community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Exposure to animals, plants, and nature fed his childhood appetite for biology. Public high school teachers rejected Miller’s plans to farm and entered him into Millersville University in 1966. Entomologist William J. Yurkiewicz guided Miller’s undergraduate research on lipid metabolism of insects, resulting in two peer-reviewed publications and acceptance into a National Science Foundation-sponsored Ph.D. program in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University in 1970 under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph O. Mumma. Pioneering Ph.D. research on the chemistry and physiology of the defensive agents of Dytiscidae and Gyrinidae led to a John Henry Comstock Award and an offer for postdoctoral research on moth sex pheromones with Dr. Wendell Roelofs of Cornell University in 1974. Miller joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1977, where he has remained. He has taught insect physiology as well as insect behavior. He assists teaching insect ecology, medical entomology, aquatic entomology, and international integrated pest management. Miller’s Nature and Practice of Science Graduate Seminar course has long been in demand by graduate students across MSU. Miller served from 1996-1999 as Associate Dean of MSU’s largest science college and Director of the Division of Science and Mathematics Education.
Among his research accomplishments, Miller (with collaborators) introduced the field of chemical ecology to the internal standard method for accurately quantifying tiny amounts of natural products; made the wind-tunnel accessible to all as the recommended method for quantifying insect orientational behaviors; produced a classic series of papers on onion fly-onion interactions establishing that resource acceptance is strongly influenced by visual and physical cues in addition to chemicals; originated the rolling-fulcrum model of animal decision making and the push-pull tactic of pest management, now of great practical importance to maize production in Africa; expanded our knowledge of what constitutes suitable habitats for African malaria mosquitoes; discovered that avermectins administered to African cattle just before the rainy season can suppress malaria epidemics; maintained and expanded mechanistically meaningful vocabulary for insect behavior; and elucidated the dominant mechanisms whereby mating disruption using pheromones operates, thereby increasing the effectiveness and economics of this important pest management tactic. Miller’s recent Springer Brief book, Trapping of Small Organisms Moving Randomly, promises to elevate insect pest management to a new level by enabling accurate measurement of absolute rather than relative pest density. Miller is senior author on 120 peer-reviewed publications and a principal investigator on grants totaling more than $20 million. He has been major professor for 30 graduate students and served on 125 graduate guidance committees. He is editor of the Behavior Section of Environmental Entomology and serves on the Sea Lamprey Control Board.
Miller received the MSU Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Professor of the Year Award and was named Distinguished Professor in 2007. He received the ESA North Central Branch Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching as well as the Award of Excellence in Integrated Pest Management. Penn State University College of Agriculture awarded Miller a Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Miller and his lifelong sweetheart, Naomi, enjoy country living and have two children and four grandchildren.
Dr. Steven Naranjo is Director of the USDA-ARS Arid Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona. He is internationally recognized for his research in integrated pest management (IPM), insect sampling and decision aids, conservation biological control, insect population ecology, and environmental risk assessment of transgenic crops.
Naranjo is a native of Colorado and completed his B.S. in zoology at Colorado State University (CSU) in 1978. He worked for several years as a biological technician in the Capinera laboratory at CSU before going on to do graduate work at the University of Florida (M.S. Entomology, 1983) and Cornell University (Ph.D. Entomology, 1987). He joined USDA-ARS in 1988 as a postdoctoral research associate in Brookings, South Dakota, and then as a Research Entomologist at the Western Cotton Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1990-2005. In 2006, two Phoenix-based laboratories were relocated to a new Center in Maricopa, where he served as Research Leader of the Entomology Unit from 2006-2012 before becoming Director. Naranjo holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona.
Naranjo has contributed to knowledge and development of IPM programs in several field crops. He was a key architect in the implementation of a cotton IPM program in Arizona that has been widely adopted in other parts of the world. In Arizona, the program has reduced insecticide use by nearly 90% and saved growers hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 18 years. He has conducted important long-term field studies to document the non-target effects of transgenic Bt cotton with specific emphasis on natural enemy abundance and function. He also led and collaborated on several large meta-analyses to quantify non-target effects of Bt crops worldwide. This work has collectively demonstrated the low risk of Bt technology to the environment and aided regulatory agencies.
He has authored more than 200 scientific papers, books, book chapters, and technical reports and has presented numerous invitational papers and seminars at professional conferences, symposia, and academic institutions. Naranjo served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Crop Protection from 1995-2006 and currently serves as Subject Editor for Environmental Entomology, covering the topic area of Transgenic Plants and Insect, a section that he founded in 2005, and as Review Editor for Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology. He has mentored and advised a number of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. He has served or currently serves on a number of state and national agricultural boards, advisory committees, professional committees, and grant panels and is highly sought for peer review on grant proposals and manuscripts. Naranjo was president of the ESA Pacific Branch in 2013-2014.
Naranjo has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including the UDSA-ARS Early Career Scientist of the Year, the ESA Recognition Award in Entomology, the ESA Pacific Branch C.W. Woodworth Award, and the Entomological Foundation IPM Team Award.
Naranjo is married to Roberta and they have a son, Nathan. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking and restoring vintage automobiles.
Dr. Michael J. Raupp is Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Raupp earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. He served as Department Chair and Associate Dean and Extension Director at Maryland, and as President of the ESA Eastern Branch.
Dr. Raupp’s extension programs provide training on the theory and practice of integrated pest management to green industry professionals and the general public. His research programs focus on global change issues, including invasive species and urbanization. His professional and extension achievements include more than 250 publications and 1,100 presentations. A regular guest on NPR, Dr. Raupp has appeared on all major television networks in this country and several abroad and has been featured on National Geographic, Science Channel, and PBS NewsHour. His “Bug of the Week” website (www.bugoftheweek.com) and YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/BugOfTheWeek) demystify insect behavior and natural history to thousands of viewers weekly in 87 countries around the world.
Dr. Raupp has received a dozen regional or national awards for excellence in extension programming and media communications, including the Secretary of Agriculture’s Award for Environmental Protection, the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, the Maryland Board of Regents’ Award for Excellence in Public Service, and the R.W. Harris Author’s Citation from the International Society of Arboriculture. His most recent book, 26 Things that Bug Me, introduces youngsters to the wonders of insects and natural history, while Managing Insect and Mites on Woody Landscape Plants is a standard for the arboricultural industry.
Dr. David M. Soderlund, professor of entomology at Cornell University, was elected as Fellow in 2015. He is recognized internationally as a leading authority on the toxicology and mode of action of insecticides affecting ion channels.
Soderlund was born in Oakland, California, in 1950. He received a B.S. in biology with high honors from Pacific Lutheran University (1971) and a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California at Berkeley (1976) under the direction of John Casida. Following postdoctoral research with Michael Elliott at Rothamsted Experimental Station in the United Kingdom, he joined the Entomology Department at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in 1978, where he is Professor of Insecticide Toxicology. He served from 2007-2010 as the last Chair of the Entomology Department at Geneva, guiding that department's merger in 2010 with Cornell’s Entomology Department in Ithaca, and then was Associate Chair of the merged Entomology Department at Cornell from 2010-2012. From 1999-2015, Soderlund also served as the Director of the Northeast Region IR-4 Program at Cornell, part of a national cooperative program between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and land-grant universities to register crop protection tools for use on specialty crops.
Soderlund’s research, spanning more than 35 years, has produced numerous contributions to the science of insecticide toxicology, but he is best known for his research on the toxicology and mode of action of insecticides affecting voltage-gated sodium channels. This work, which includes studies of sodium channels from rats and humans as well as insects, has identified molecular mechanisms of target site resistance to pyrethroids in insects and characterized the action of insecticides on individual mammalian sodium channel isoforms. These studies not only identified differences in sensitivity between isoforms that underlie pyrethroid neurotoxicity but also provided an experimental platform for the study of insecticide action on human sodium channels, an area of research with important regulatory implications. Soderlund has authored more than 110 research publications and 21 reviews and book chapters, and he holds four patents. He has mentored 24 postdoctoral scientists and 14 graduate and undergraduate students.
Awards that have recognized Soderlund’s accomplishments and contributions include: Centennial Alumnus of Pacific Lutheran University (1990); ESA Eastern Branch Distinguished Achievement Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology (2001); American Chemical Society International Award for Research in Agrochemicals (2008); and the Paul A. Dahm Memorial Lectureship at Iowa State University (2009). Soderlund served as Associate Editor of Invertebrate Neurobiology (2001-2007). He currently serves on the editorial boards of Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology (since 1987) and Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology (since 1991).
Soderlund and his wife, Carol, have two children and one grandchild. Soderlund’s other interests and activities include nature and landscape photography, sailboat racing, and playing the trombone in local wind ensembles.
The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.