Entomological Society of America Names 2009 Fellows

Lanham, MD; August 31, 2009 – The ESA Governing Board has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2009. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting, which will be held December 13-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana:

Dr. Charles S. Apperson is a vector biologist with research and extension responsibilities in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He obtained a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of California, Riverside in 1974. After graduation, Apperson accepted a position as research entomologist for the Lake County Mosquito Abatement District in Lakeport, CA. In 1976, he joined the entomology faculty at NCSU as assistant professor. In recognition of his accomplishments in public health entomology, Apperson was awarded the William Neal Reynolds Professorship by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU in 2005. Apperson has published 110 refereed research publications, numerous conference proceedings and book chapters, and 50 extension publications. His entomological interests include the behavior, biology, and control of vector arthropods, especially mosquitoes and ticks. Apperson has established an international reputation for the breadth of his vector biology activities. In particular, Apperson is recognized for his contributions to an understanding of the host-feeding habits of mosquitoes and the biotic cues mediating oviposition by container-inhabiting Aedes mosquitoes.

Dr. Thomas C. Baker, upon graduation from high school, turned down Harvard University in order to attend Cornell because of his strong desire to attain a B.S. degree in entomology, which was awarded in 1972. He worked as a research technician for two years in Wendell Roelofs’ lab in Geneva, N.Y. and received his M.S. in entomology from Cornell in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from Michigan State University in 1979 under the guidance of Ring Cardé. He joined the faculty at UC Riverside in late 1979, where he served as head of the Division of Toxicology and Physiology from 1986-1988, and as chair of the department from 1988-1992. He moved to Iowa State University in 1992, where he served as chair of the Department of Entomology until 1999. In 2003 he started his professorship at Penn State University, where he has continued to perform his research in neuroethology of olfaction and its applications for agents-of-harm detection and integrated pest management.

Since his days as a Cornell undergrad under the spirited tutelage of George Eickwort, Baker has always been grateful to be able to serve society as a “paid explorer” and to be one of the small group of citizens who are allowed to look through the microscope and see what new things they can see and report. Baker’s always-small, but energetic and inquisitive, research groups over the years have helped advance our basic understanding of insect behavioral responses to pheromones and other odors, as well as the olfactory pathways underlying these responses. He feels fortunate to have had such talented and inspired graduate students and postdocs over the years explore with him the exciting new territories of insect chemical communication.

Dr. Brian A. Federici is a distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside. He received his undergraduate training at Rutgers University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in medical entomology from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Professor Federici’s research focuses on the basic and applied biology of pathogens of insects, with the overall aim of developing these and their products as biological, environmentally-safe insecticides. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and review articles. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology and a member of the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He has served as president of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.

Awards he has received during his career include ESA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, a similar award from the University of California, Riverside’s Academic Senate, the Founders’ Memorial Research Lecturer Award from the Society of Invertebrate Pathology, the USDA Secretary’s Individual Honor Award, the C. W. Woodworth Award for research from ESA’s Pacific Branch, and the Cook College Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers University. He has served on a variety of panels during his career, including scientific advisory panels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Vector Biology and Control. He is an elected fellow of the America Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Malcolm J. Fraser, Jr. earned his B.S. degree at Wheeling College in 1975, and his M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1981) in entomology with emphasis in invertebrate pathology at the Ohio State University in the laboratory of W. Fred Hink. Following postdoctoral work with Bill McCarthy at Penn State (1981) and Max D. Summers (1981-83) at Texas A&M University, he joined the faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and rose to his present position as professor. Dr. Fraser’s research has followed his interest in insect virology and invertebrate transgenesis from early work with baculoviruses to his latest work with Dengue fever virus.

Among his contributions are the development of an agarose-based plaque assay for baculoviruses that permitted the characterization of a unique group of baculovirus mutants associated with acquisition of host transposons. One of these transposons, named piggyBac, has been developed over the years into a functional gene vector for protist (Plasmodium falciparum), invertebrate, and vertebrate transgenesis. During his tenure in the Summers lab, he participated in the development of the baculovirus expression vector system. While at Notre Dame, he established the currently accepted model for baculovirus assembly, elaborated the genetics of transposon mutagenesis of baculoviruses, and developed the piggyBac transposon vector system. More recently he has pursued novel ribozyme approaches to suppression of Dengue fever virus in transgenic mosquitoes as part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health award.

He is a member of the newly endowed Eck Institute for Global Health at UND, and his current research projects include development of transgenic refractoriness for Dengue virus in Aedes as a possible means for intervention and prevention, developing improvements in transgenesis of mosquito vectors for both genetic manipulation and functional genomics analyses, and exploitation of transgenic Bombyx mori as protein bioreactors.

Fraser has mentored 11 postdoctoral associates, 12 Ph.D. students, and over 40 undergraduate research students. He has co-authored 7 patents and over 65 publications. Past honors include recipient of an NIH Research Career Development Award, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He has served as secretary and chairman of the Invertebrate Division of the Tissue Culture Association, and as panel member for the entomology and nematology study sections of both USDA-ARS and NIH/NIAID. Memberships include the American Chemical Society, American Society for Virology, American Society for Microbiology, AAAS, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Genetics Society of America.

Dr. Scott H. Hutchins is currently senior director and global leader of crop protection research and development for Dow AgroSciences. He has been with the company since 1987 and has served in a number of key positions. He has significantly influenced the science of entomology through his research on bioeconomics, integrated pest management (IPM), and host-plant response to insect-induced injury, especially concepts related to economic-injury levels. This has had broad-based implications related to the effective management of insect pests, especially as it relates to the private-sector community and practitioner. The conceptual principles and practices advanced by his research have led to the development of new, novel, and revolutionary technologies that have proven to be IPM-compatible tools. He has provided the outstanding leadership needed to launch global products for cropping systems and structural pest control that have reduced the use of non-selective tactics. His research and leadership in entomology has provided a revolutionary vision for new insect management“breakthrough” technologies in the industry, which have had a profound impact on insect management on a global scale.

The Society has benefited tremendously from Dr. Hutchins’ outstanding leadership skills. He provided the key leadership role in the restructuring and the renewal of the ESA, which has provided the framework for future growth and relevance of entomology as a science and profession. Bringing entomologists together with an exciting vision to promote the profession, both on a national and now on a global basis, is one of the single most important steps to the sustainability of our science.

Dr. Walter S. Leal, a chemical ecologist and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, is internationally recognized for his pioneering and innovative work in insect olfaction. He has identified and synthesized complex pheromones from such insects as scarab beetles, true bugs, longhorn beetles, moths, and the naval orangeworm. He and his laboratory discovered the secret mode of the insect repellent DEET. The groundbreaking research, published August 18, 2008 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is among the most widely downloaded and cited PNAS documents. His pheromone work has graced the cover of several journals, including Structure, and has been showcased in the popular press, including the BBC, New York Times, and National Public Radio.

His honors include the 2008 ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology, and the 2007 Silverstein-Simeone Award from the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE). His native Brazil awarded him its Medal of the Entomological Society of Brazil, and the Medal of Science (equivalent of ESA Fellow). The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology granted him its highest honor, Gakkaisho. Educated in Brazil and Japan, Leal holds a doctorate in applied biochemistry from Tsukuba University, Japan, with other degrees in chemical engineering and agricultural chemistry. He is a past president of ISCE, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. Under his tenure, the department was ranked number one in the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Norman C. Leppla has dedicated more than 40 years to advancing the science and practice of entomology by studying insects to protect agriculture and human health. His work is encompassed in the field of integrated pest management (IPM), emphasizing biological control and associated insect rearing technology. He has advanced pest management research and technology by developing new insect mass-production systems, establishing the first laboratory specifically to support the commercial biological control industry, leading the USDA-APHIS Methods Development Unit, collaboratively designing and establishing the National Biological Control Institute, leading the design and construction of the Central Florida Research and Education Center, and creating and leading the first comprehensive, statewide IPM program at the University of Florida.

Dr. Leppla works with faculty members, students, and cooperators to strengthen IPM research, extension, and education programs. He provides IPM education primarily through the UF Plant Medicine Program, which trains students to become plant health professionals, or “Plant Doctors.” Recent emphasis has been on plant biosecurity, safeguarding the U.S. against alien invasive species. He has authored almost 200 publications on a wide range of entomological topics, and has presented a greater number of papers on his research, extension, and administrative activities, often by special invitation. As a Board Certified Entomologist, Dr. Leppla frequently provides consultation on IPM, biological control, and insect colonization and mass production, and he mentors entomologists and scientists throughout the world. He is dedicated to the discovery and implementation of effective IPM technologies that protect the environment.

Dr. Alexander S. Raikhel earned his M.S. from St. Petersburg State University in Russia and was awarded his Ph.D. from the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, also in St. Petersburg. He immigrated to the United States where he re-established his career in entomology, first at the University of Georgia in Athens, then at Michigan State University, and, since 2002, at the University of California, Riverside. At Athens with Arden Lea, Alex commenced his studies into vitellogenesis in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. These early ultrastructural and immunocytochemical studies led directly to the purification and analysis of the many proteins involved in this important reproductive process, and to an understanding of the regulatory linkages between vitellogenesis and juvenile hormone. Within nine years of commencing this work, Alex succeeded in cloning and characterizing the first of many genes involved in vitellogenesis, work which has continued to this day. In recent years Alex has tackled, at multiple levels, the equally complicated task of dissecting the molecular basis of the immune response in A. aegypti and has, as is the case for his vitellogenesis research, established leadership in it. Alex’s research has established a critical physiological and molecular linkage between the need for a female mosquito to imbibe blood and the ability of blood-borne pathogens to subsequently evade her immune response. What has distinguished Alex’s research in both systems has been his meticulous approach to experimental design and analysis, and his embracement and advocacy of new and incisive genetic and biochemical tools. His logical, thorough, and analytical approach to experimentation has tremendously advanced our knowledge of critical genetic, biochemical, and physiological systems in mosquitoes, which will serve as a foundation for the sustainable control of mosquito-borne disease.

Alex has served as co-editor of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and he helped establish this as one of the major journals in the field. He established the Center for Disease Vector Research at the University of California, Riverside, and successfully recruited new faculty to it. He continues to develop new courses in vector biology which emphasize state-of-the-art techniques, and he has graduated many students who now contribute, through their own laboratories, to molecular insect science. Alex received ESA’s Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology in 2001. He is an AAAS Fellow, and in 2009 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his pioneering research in mosquito physiology and molecular biology.

Dr. Gene E. Robinson holds a Swanlund Chair at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since 1989. He is also the director of the neuroscience program, theme leader at the Institute for Genomic Biology, and a professor of entomology with affiliate appointments in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, the Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University.

Robinson’s research group studies the regulation of social behavior, using the honey bee. The research is integrative, involving perspectives from evolutionary biology, behavior, neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics. He has authored or coauthored over 200 publications. He pioneered the field of sociogenomics, spearheaded the effort to gain approval from NIH for the sequencing of the honey bee genome, and heads the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. His honors include: university scholar of the University of Illinois; G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Certificate of Distinction from the International Congress of Entomology; Burroughs Welcome Innovation Award in Functional Genomics; the ESA Founders’ Memorial Award; a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship; a Guggenheim Fellowship; fellow of the Animal Behavior Society; fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. William B. Showers, retired research entomologist for the USDA-ARS and professor emeritus at Iowa State University, is recognized nationally and internationally for his outstanding research contributions to the fields of entomology and insect ecology. He organized interregional studies elucidating European corn borer ecotypes based on diapause response. His seminal research on adult behavior demonstrated that European corn borers seldom mate on corn plants, but instead aggregate and mate in dense vegetation around cornfields. His innovative research on adult dispersal forms the basis of ongoing studies in several laboratories in the U.S. and Europe which are examining gene flow of this insect as it relates to resistance management to transgenic Bt corn. By leading complex cooperative regional projects, Dr. Showers was able to develop robust economic thresholds in corn for black cutworm which remain in use today. He organized a large interdisciplinary team that elucidated the mechanism for long-range migration of many noctuids, especially black cutworm.

Dr. Showers mentored numerous graduate students, and was a long-time, active member of the regional committees NC-205 and NCR-148. He has shown steadfast devotion to the ESA and the North Central Branch through 52 years of active membership and service. He served on numerous NCB committees, including the Executive Committee, often as Chair, and he is a recipient of the C.V. Riley Achievement Award. He has been an active member of ARPE, now BCE, for more than 30 years. He earned his B.S at the University of Arizona, his M.S. at Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry. More information on ESA is available at http://www.entsoc.org

Contact: Richard Levine, 301-731-4535, ext. 3009, or rlevine@entsoc.org