A HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENTOMOLOGY (NOW ENTOMOLOGY AND WILDLIFE ECOLOGY) AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE
Dale F. Bray (1981), edited and updated by Judith Hough-Goldstein (2016)
History is defined as “…a systematic written account of events, particularly those affecting a nation, an institution, science or art, and usually connected with a philosophical explanation of their causes; distinguished from annals and chronicles which simply relate facts and events in strict chronological order” (Webster).
Stearns (1957) wrote a history of the department which, although useful, was more nearly a chronicle than a history. Much that needs to be included is missing. For instance, very little mention is made of the people who worked for and created the department and nurtured its development, what they did, and where some may have gone after serving at Delaware. This history is an attempt to review why we, as a department are where we are today (1981; updated to 2016).
EARLIEST DAYS OF ENTOMOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY
The Delaware Agricultural Experiment Station was founded in 1888, and was a part of the University of Delaware at Newark, Delaware. The first teaching of entomology at the University preceded the creation of the Experiment Station by two years (1886). Dr. Frederick D. Chester who was Professor of Geology and Agriculture taught the course “Insects Injurious to Vegetation.” It would be interesting to know if his course relied on the 1842 classic by T.W. Harris, “Report on Insects Injurious to Vegetation.”
The earliest entomological research was done by Beckwith and Powell of the Horticulture Department. They had one insect cabinet for specimens as well as some office and laboratory equipment. They reared insects, and studies were accurately made of life histories. They also surveyed farmers and growers in Delaware concerning the important insects of Delaware. Their list of important insects included the following, most of which are still of some importance today:
Colorado potato beetle
Peach tree borer
Striped cucumber beetle
They also included several species that are less important in Delaware today:
Apple tree borer
Harlequin cabbage bug
They conducted research on the life histories and control of the codling moth, black peach aphid, plum curculio and the San Jose scale. The earliest controls for these pests seemed to be a mixture of pyrethrum and kerosene made into an emulsion.
Apparently Beckwith championed the cause of entomology and laid a foundation for a department of Entomology. Powell, a horticulturist, felt that entomology could be handled by the Horticulture Department. Powell apparently played a key role in preventing the creation of a department of Entomology at that time.
William H. Bishop, a Professor of Agriculture and Biology taught a course in entomology that was required for agriculture majors in 1895.
THE FIRST STATION ENTOMOLOGIST
The first person at the Station to be given the title of Entomologist, E. Dwight Sanderson, was an Associate Professor in Zoology, a joint appointment. He continued the teaching of Entomology (as a required course for some). Sanderson was a competent photographer and left a large collection of glass negatives of his entomological work. Unfortunately, these were discarded or lost about 1957-58. He made the first reference collection of Delaware insects and prepared displays of insects for growers. His major research was on the strawberry root aphid. He left Delaware and gained an appointment at Texas A&M.
The second Station Entomologist was C.O. Houghton, a Professor of Horticulture. He made the first serious collection of insects in Delaware. His research reflected personal interests but he did a significant amount of work as the Station Entomologist covering all modern aspects such as teaching, research, and even extension before he was transferred to the College Faculty as distinct from Station Entomologist in 1908. He continued in the College until his retirement in 1925. He made a large collection of insects and stored them in an old apothecary’s cabinet that was donated to the department in the 1960s by his son. The cabinet had been painted or stained a dark color but was found to be a beautiful black walnut cabinet. This was kept for many years first in our Worrilow Hall classroom and later in the “prep room” in 013 Townsend Hall; however, the specimens kept in it were gradually removed, relocated, or destroyed, and the cabinet was discarded during renovations in 2015.
Harry Haywood became Director of the Station in 1907 and he apparently prevented the creation of a Department of Entomology. He left an impression of one who was “most unenlightened about Entomology.” He was Director until 1919 and during that time there were no significant Entomology publications.
CREATION OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Entomology was created in 1925 largely in response to demands by the state’s fruit growers, who were suffering serious losses due to the damage caused to fruit by insects. Herbert Dozier was Chair of the Department and he remained so until 1929, when L.A. Stearns became Chair. Stearns held that position until 1957 and he gave Entomology its first continuity at the University of Delaware. Stearns was the first to gain financial support for research and for the Cooperative Extension Service at the Experiment Station.
|L. A. Stearns|
Stearns was a New Englander with a strong work ethic. An amusing example of this was his somewhat curious belief that “the only time one should justifiably stay home because of illness is when one has to be carried into the department.” He was very responsive to expressed needs from influential fruit growers and/or politically powerful quarters. He was conservative economically and was disdainful of collectors and systematic or taxonomic entomologists. He preferred publishing in Station Bulletins and publications of local societies such as the Peninsula Horticultural Society rather than in national Entomological Society journals. His research as well as his Extension Service activities were largely with fruit insect control and salt marsh mosquito control. He was a strong supporter of the Cooperative Extension Service.
Dozier left the department soon after Stearns became Chair, and Donald MacCreary replaced Dozier in 1930. His amicable personality was most helpful in the growth and development of the Department.
The growth of the Department was sluggish under Stearns until the World War II era and its aftermath, when it expanded rapidly. Some of the employees, their accomplishments and where they eventually ended up are as follows:
John Amos — VPI
Richard Back — Union Carbide
J. Beacher — Aerosol Development
Robert Berry — S.B. Penick Co. and Delaware Department of Agriculture
Eugene Gerberg — Organized the Department insect collection to a workable and effective unit. Went on to establish a Pest Control Firm as well as an Entomology Supply Company.
Carl Huffaker — Univ. of California, Berkeley
Arnold Mallis – A leader in urban pest control and author of Entomological History and Pest Control
Roger Pierpont — American Cyanamid
The UD Insect Reference Collection grew substantially while Stearns was chair. In 1957, Stearns listed the contents of the insect collection as 90,000 pinned specimens (72,000 identified), 40,000 liquid specimens (26,000 identified) and 5,000 slide specimens (all identified). Of particular interest, the museum included the collection of Frank Morton Jones, 2,000 specimens including 850 species of Lepidoptera (specimens mostly from northeastern U.S.). Jones was an “internationally known naturalist” (Stearns 1957:33), who received an honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Delaware in 1931.
GROWTH OF FACULTY AND STAFF FROM WORLD WAR II TO THE PRESENT
Walter A. Connell (1946-1975). Research included vegetable insects and their control and mites; he was a noted author on the Nitidulidae (sap beetles). He added perhaps 2000 insect specimens to the department’s reference collection, including about 500 nitidulids. Connell played a major role in the establishment of the teaching program. Though not a colorful teacher, he was rated as the most influential teacher in a student survey made in the 1970s. He retired in the 1970s as a Professor. After his retirement he continued to work on his beetles, and was called on regularly to identify sap beetles from all over the world.
|Walter A. Connell|
James Warren (1947-1949). James was an instructor. He did research on corn insect control and nematodes on oaks; he resigned in 1949 and worked at E.I. DuPont. He was not a faculty member.
Jack Linehan (1948-1979). A USDA-FWS wildlife biologist housed in the department to conduct research on the control of blackbird damage in field and sweet corn. He retired in the late 1970s. He was not faculty nor a member of the Department.
Dale F. Bray (1949-55 and 1958-83). Began as a full-time Research Fellow, promoted to Instructor and Assistant Professor. Worked on the development of a sugar-based sticker for pesticides, and on insects affecting oaks. Bray took a leave of absence to gain a PhD at Rutgers University, 1951-1954, and then joined the F. A. Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories as an Associate Entomologist 1955-58. He returned to the Department June 1, 1958 as Chair following the retirement of Stearns.
When Bray became Chair he sought advice from several other Department Chairs in nearby states concerning what should be Delaware’s main research objective. Every Chair advised him to concentrate on insect physiology. Inasmuch as this seemed to be a field already dominated by larger departments, the stress here was given to mosquito research as well as vegetable and fruit insect pests. In addition, emphasis was given to teaching undergraduate students in Entomology, and to environmental issues. As a result of this policy the department had more undergraduate majors than most other departments of Entomology and for a brief time it had more majors than any other Entomology department in the nation.
The department gained recognition for faculty excellence during Bray’s tenure as Chair. He founded the Delaware Pest Control Association and was active in the extension Apiculture program, establishing the first apiary on the Newark Farm in 1949. Bray died in 2001.
|Dale F. Bray|
Herbert Milliron (1950-1958). Served as the USDA-supported insect survey entomologist. He participated in some graduate teaching and proved to be a very demanding teacher. He had extensive knowledge of entomology, especially in taxonomy and entomological literature. He left for a position in Canada. This was not a faculty position.
Richard Darsie (1950-1962). Supported by the State Highway Department to conduct research on mosquito control as well as to provide Extension-type work for the Highway Department on mosquito problems of the state. He left to join CDC and AID in 1962. This was not a faculty position.
Charles A. Triplehorn (1951-55). Replaced Bray for 2 years while Bray was gaining his PhD at Rutgers. He remained another 2 years thereafter to replace Connell who was on leave to obtain his PhD. Triplehorn was a popular member of the department and an enthusiastic teacher. He also conducted some field research on the Asiatic oak weevil. Most of his career was spent at Ohio State University as a Professor of Entomology.
Lewis P. Kelsey (1955-1979). Insect morphologist who also conducted field research on fruit and vegetable insects. Because fruit was becoming less important in Delaware over the years, he worked more on ornamental pests and on the Scenopinidae (window flies). He published a Smithsonian Institution Bulletin on the Scenopinidae of the World, an outstanding systematic/taxonomic work from this department. He was a gifted draftsman, which is amply displayed in that publication. He died in 1985.
|Lewis P. Kelsey|
Paul P. Burbutis (1958-1987). Replaced Milliron as the State’s Survey Entomologist but with a faculty appointment. He was a most enthusiastic worker in whatever he did and was always cheerful; his infectious laugh could often be heard in the hall near his lab/office. He was heavily involved in bell pepper insect control studies, especially for the European corn borer, and was the outstanding pepper insect specialist in the nation. He had the highest rate of publication in the department during the 1960s and 70s. Burbutis found, named, and described a new species of Trichogramma, an egg parasitoid of the European corn borer, and conducted field tests of its effectiveness as a natural control of the borer. He served as Department Chair from 1984-1987, just before his retirement. He played saxophone in several bands, and remained active in music during a long retirement. He died in 2011.
|Paul P. Burbutis|
Robert W. Lake (1963-1987). Joined the department as a partial replacement for Darsie. Later he worked closely with Frank Murphy on salt marsh mosquito control studies and as a liaison with the State Highway Department. He was a gifted field biologist and helped in the development of the micro-marsh technique for mosquito research. He and Frank Murphey both promulgated the use of strategic marsh ditching over the customary grid-type ditching in Delaware’s salt marshes. In the 1980s, Lake worked with Bill Ritter and Stacey Chirnside, then with the Department of Bioresources Engineering, on water quality assessment of the Appoquinimink watershed. Bob assessed and compared the types of macro invertebrate species found in stressed and pristine surface waters in the watershed, while Ritter and Chirnside determined nutrients, microorganism and sediment concentrations. This was not a faculty position.
- Paul Catts (1964-1980). Catts had been an MS student in Entomology at UD, and returned after earning his PhD from Berkeley in Parasitology. He replaced Darsie but with a faculty appointment. He conducted salt marsh mosquito control studies and also studied trapping methods for tabanid control. In his later years at Delaware he became heavily involved with general ecology research, especially in woodlands. In 1965, the efforts of Dr. Catts, Dr. Robert Jones, and others led to the creation/preservation of the UD Woodlot (AKA Ecology Woods or UD Woods). Catts’ greatest interest seemed to be in forensic entomology especially with insects infesting corpses, and in 1970 he wrote the “Manual of Medical Entomology,” which later went through several editions. He was a very popular teacher especially in medical entomology, and won the ESA Eastern Branch Excellence in Teaching Award in 1975. Catts was a gifted artist, contributing covers and popular articles about insects, birds and other ecological subjects in Delaware Conservationist. Some of his paintings can still be seen at the Delaware Nature Society’s Ashland Nature Center. Catts left in 1980 to become Chair of the Department of Entomology at Washington State University, where he continued his work in forensic entomology, becoming internationally recognized in that field. He died in 1996, and was inducted posthumously into the UD Wall of Fame in 2001.
|E. Paul Catts|
Franklyn E. Boys (1965-1985). Boys joined the staff as Agricultural Chemical Specialist where he remained until MacCreary retired in 1968 whereupon Frank became the Extension Entomologist. He was a popular Extension person and was in demand as a speaker. He retired in 1985, and died in 2016. This was not a faculty position.
John S. McDaniel (ca. 1965-1982). Succeeded Frank Boys as Ag Chemical Specialist (Extension Pesticide Specialist). He was very popular both among the general public and in the department. He was probably the most widely read person in the department, if not the College of Agricultural Sciences, and had the keenest sense of humor in the Department. He died in 1982. This was not a faculty position.
Frank J. Murphey (1965-1979). Replaced Catts as the contact person working with the State Highway Department on mosquito control research. He also was the first person to serve as the department’s insect physiologist. He isolated the first known mosquito oviposition attractant and along with Lake originated the micro-marsh technique for salt marsh mosquito research. He and Lake pressed for strategic ditching over conventional grid type ditching on Delaware’s salt marshes. Murphey was an Associate Professor at the time of his retirement in 1979; he died shortly after retiring.
|Frank J. Murphey|
Robert Jones (1965-1969). The first department wildlife biologist with a faculty appointment. He studied the effect of urbanization on local woodlots. He left for a position with Delta Marsh Research Station in Manitoba. This was a faculty position.
Jerry Longcore (ca. 1965-1967). Longcore was a Research Associate hired to work on the original woodlot project funded by UDRF with Catts and Jones. He left to join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent, MD.
Roland R. Roth (1971-2005). Roth joined the faculty as an ecologist and ornithologist and continued and expanded the research started by Jones. His research focused on wood thrush, gray squirrel, and yellowjacket populations in woodlands, and he collaborated with Rich Rust on a side-project on mayapples. He assumed oversight of the UD Woodlot (Ecology Woods) when he joined the department, and remained vigilant in combatting proposed construction and other activities that would degrade the woods. Thanks to his efforts, a protective chain-link fence was erected around the woodlot in 1975. He and his students censused wood thrushes nesting in the woodlot every summer from 1974 until his retirement, when the effort was taken over by Greg Shriver. This intensive and long-running effort provided one of very few long-term data sets for any bird species. Roth taught courses in ornithology, mammalogy, and ecology, and was a popular teacher and advisor, winning the University-wide Excellence in Advising Award in 1994. Following the retirement of Burbutis he became Acting Chair (1987-1988) and Chair (1989-1991). While he was Chair, with the encouragement of then Dean Crossan, Roth developed the Wildlife Conservation and Entomology Concentrations within the Entomology Major to meet the interests of an increasing number of students. These later evolved into majors. Roth was suddenly and unexpectedly stricken with Guillain-Barré Syndrome in September 1999, but slowly recovered and was able to return to work the next fall. He continued teaching and research until his retirement in 2005.
|Roland R. Roth|
Richard W. Rust (1972-1978). Because Entomology had the heaviest teaching load in the College each fall semester, the department was granted an extra faculty position in the early 1970s, which was filled by Rust. This heavy fall load of teaching resulted in part from a strategy to permit more time for research in the spring semester, which was deceptive to the Dean and aroused resentment in other departments. However, it wasn’t all benefit to Entomology because for seven years after the appointment of Rust the Department suffered budget-wise as a result of other departments that were distraught over Rust’s appointment and put unusual pressure on the Dean. Rust taught courses in entomology and mammalogy and co-taught Ecology Laboratory with Catts and Roth. He studied insect behavior and pollination ecology as well as conducting trap crop studies with beans. He was one of the most highly trained entomologists in the Department. He left for a position in the Biology Department at the University of Nevada in Reno, from which he is now retired.
Charles E. Mason (1975-2016). Mason replaced Connell as a faculty member, and initially worked with honey bees and taught introductory entomology for majors. He initiated a popular course in apiology and apiculture in 1976. When Burbutis retired, Mason continued the European corn borer parasitoid studies started by Burbutis, and expanded attempts to control the borer with a Chinese Trichogramma species, visiting China as part of this effort. Later work focused on biology and management of the European corn borer and resistance management strategies for B.t. corn. Mason was an active participant in Regional Research Project NC-205, on Integrated Crop Management Effects on Stalk-Boring Lepidoptera. He taught various entomology courses, including the senior capstone course, and co-taught a course with Marine Science on comparative terrestrial and marine ecology. He retired in 2016.
Richard G. Weber (1976-1998). Weber earned his MS in the department, and after gaining a PhD at Kansas State, he returned to Delaware and took over much of the mosquito work that Murphey and Lake had conducted, eventually as a Research Associate. He was a gifted insect photographer, and taught close-up nature photography primarily to continuing education students, including several department faculty and staff. Weber taught insect morphology after Kelsey retired and medical entomology after Bray retired. This was not a faculty position.
John Paul, Jr. (1979-1983). A temporary non-faculty Research Associate appointment under the forest ecology program, supported by McIntire-Stennis funds in place of two GRAs for Roth.
Joanne W. Whalen (1979-2016). Joanne was hired by Extension and subsequently earned her MS in the Department. As Extension Specialist in Integrated Pest Management, she developed a very effective and highly regarded program. She won numerous awards for her extension work, most recently the 2016 Ratledge Family Award, which recognizes the contributions of University of Delaware faculty, staff and students who exemplify excellence in public service to the citizens of our state. She is slated to retire at the end of 2016.
Thomas K. Wood (1979-2002). Wood joined the department as an Associate Professor in insect ecology with a good background in insect physiology. Early on he obtained large NSF grants to support his research, which was devoted to understanding all aspects of the Membracidae, including anatomy and physiology, behavior and social biology, genetics, and systematics. Both he and his students put in long hours in the lab and field. Wood is best known for his work on sympatric speciation in Enchenopa treehoppers, which can be found in some ecology textbooks. He taught insect ecology. Wood fought cancer for a year and a half while continuing to work tirelessly until two weeks before his death in 2002.
|Thomas K. Wood|
Michael Ma (1979-1981). Joined the department faculty as an Assistant Professor of Insect Physiology. Shortly thereafter he left to join the Entomology Department at Maryland.
John C. Reese (1979-1982). Joined the faculty as a replacement for Lewis Kelsey in the area of economic entomology with emphasis on plant resistance to insects. He left after 3 years to join the Department of Entomology at Kansas State, where he spent the remainder of his career.
Mark Graustein (1980-1990). Succeeded John McDaniel as Ag Chemical Specialist and took over the position of Extension Entomologist after Frank Boys retired. As an undergraduate at Delaware he prepared and won an NSF grant involving several other undergraduates. He left the department in 1990 and accidentally drowned in 1992.
Douglas W. Tallamy (1981-present). Tallamy came on as a faculty member assigned to study vegetable insects with emphasis on phagostimulants. He conducted notable research on insect parental care, subsocial insect behavior, and the influence of cucurbitacins on insect behavior, both positive and negative. His later work on the impact of non-native plants on insect populations and subsequent impact on higher trophic levels such as birds has been very influential, both to researchers in the field of plant-insect interactions and to the general public. He became especially well-known and a hero to native plant enthusiasts with the publication of his book, “Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants,” which won the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers Association. Tallamy continues to give frequent lectures and keynote addresses at professional conferences, universities, botanical gardens, museums, Earth Day celebrations, and other such events. He teaches ecology and entomology courses including advanced ecology, behavioral ecology, and insect ecology and conservation. He led a popular Winter Session study abroad trip to Costa Rica for many years (now led by Shriver and McCarthy). Tallamy served as Department Chair from 2002-2012.
Dewey M. Caron (1981-2009). Caron was hired as Department Chair in 1981 (following Bray), served until 1984, and then stepped down to join the faculty. He developed an active apiology program, with an emphasis on extension and teaching. He took over Mason’s course on apiology and apiculture in addition to the large introductory entomology course, and authored the apiculture textbook, “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping.” Before the renovation of Townsend Hall (1998-2000), there was a large lecture room on the second floor, and Caron’s booming teaching voice could often be heard by those walking through the halls. He taught a full – or more than full – course load every semester, while crisscrossing the state as advisor to the Delaware Beekeepers’ Association and giving numerous extension presentations. He received several prestigious teaching awards. Caron was active in the Eastern Apiculture Society and MAAREC (Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium), and was much loved by local beekeepers. He was involved in international development in Panama, Central America, and Bolivia. Following retirement, Caron moved to Oregon where he continues apiology and apiculture-related activities as an Affiliate Professor at Oregon State University.
|Dewey M. Caron|
Judith A. Hough-Goldstein (1981-2017). Hough-Goldstein was the first female faculty member in the department, and the only (although not the first) female faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences when she was hired in 1981. She initially worked on biology and non-chemical approaches for control of agricultural pests including the seedcorn maggot and Colorado potato beetle. In 1996, she began a project with the U.S. Forest Service on biological control of an invasive plant from Asia, mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata). Her laboratory was the first to study and release a host-specific Asian weevil (in 2004), which has proven quite effective in controlling the weed. This work was recognized by research awards from USDA APHIS-PPQ and the Delaware Invasive Species Council. Hough-Goldstein taught introductory entomology, entomology laboratory, insect pest management, and biological control, and won a University-wide graduate student mentoring award in 2004. She served as Vice Chair (2005-07) and Chair (2008-09) of the Delaware Invasive Species Council, and as Department Chair from 1996-2002, the first female department chair in the College. The department added a PhD program during her tenure as chair. She is slated to retire in 2017.
Martin Spellman (1982-2006). After beginning an MS in Entomology with Burbutis, Spellman transitioned into working for Extension, eventually serving as Extension Associate with Joanne Whalen from 1996-2006. He then left the University and currently works for a commercial pest control firm.
Clifford B. Keil (1983-2008). Keil joined the faculty as an insect physiologist/economic entomologist replacing Reese. He studied insect resistance to insecticides and control measures for insects infesting mushrooms in the mushroom industry. He taught insect physiology, genetics, and forest ecology courses, and study abroad courses in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with Plant Sciences professor Tom Evans. In 2007 Keil left UD and moved to Ecuador, where he is currently Professor and Director of the Museum of Invertebrates at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.
Robert T. (Tommy) Allen (1991-1996). Hired to succeed Roth as Department Chair, Allen was a systematist with an interest in apterygote insects. He taught insect taxonomy and introductory entomology. He left after one 5-year term as Chair.
Susan Whitney King (1992-2009). An Extension Specialist focused on pesticide safety education and urban entomology, Whitney King conducted classes for the State of Delaware for those seeking Pesticide Applicator Certification training. She also did research on termite biology and control, and was active in the American Entomological Society.
Charles R. Bartlett (1996-present). Bartlett obtained an MS at UD on avian ecology working with Roth, but then switched to systematic entomology for his PhD work at NC State. Initially hired at UD as a post doc to assist with teaching entomology courses following Allen’s departure (a condition of Hough-Goldstein’s for accepting the Chair position), Bartlett subsequently became a continuing-track (formerly called non-tenure-track) faculty member with teaching as his primary responsibility. He teaches insect taxonomy, insect morphology and physiology, and insect field taxonomy, a course that requires an enormous insect collection, striking fear in his students’ hearts. Nevertheless, he is a popular teacher. He is also Director of the University of Delaware Insect Reference Collection, and conducts research primarily on systematics of delphacid planthoppers. Under his care, the collection has grown substantially, providing an important resource for teaching and outreach in addition to research.
Pamela Plotkin (1997-1999). Plotkin was hired as a wildlife biologist following Allen’s departure, and studied sea turtles. She had numerous disagreements with the Chair and with other department faculty members, and left after 2 years.
Jack Gingrich (1999-2015). A retired Army medical entomologist, Gingrich served as an adjunct professor, teaching medical and veterinary entomology and co-advising several department graduate students in that area with Chuck Mason. During summers from 2001-2015, Gingrich was contracted by State of Delaware Mosquito Control Section to identify (with student help) mosquitoes caught in traps throughout Delaware, a role previously held by department affiliates MacCreary (1932-49), Darsie (1950-62), and Lake (1963-83), and currently (2016) by Charles Bartlett. This was not a faculty position.
Jacob L. Bowman (2000-present). Originally hired as an instructor to help with the wildlife teaching program during Roth’s unexpected illness, Bowman subsequently was hired as a regular faculty member to take Plotkin’s place in the area of wildlife biology. Bowman was instrumental in revising and shaping the Wildlife Conservation major. He encouraged the hiring of new wildlife faculty and establishment of new courses to support this major as well as the graduate program in wildlife ecology. Along with Jon Cox (a talented photographer in the UD Art Department), Bowman has led and continues to lead exciting and popular Winter Session study abroad programs, most notably to Tanzania. He has also worked to improve wildlife habitat on the UD farm. Bowman teaches wildlife research techniques and conducts research primarily on deer ecology and management. He has served as Department Chair since 2012.
Christopher Goguen (2000). Goguen was hired as a visiting professor for one year to assist with teaching needs in ornithology and wildlife conservation and ecology. He is currently a faculty member at Penn State Hazleton.
Vincent D’Amico (2001-present). D’Amico is a Research Entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service, but maintains an office in Townsend Hall, is an adjunct professor in the department, and has close ties to many of our faculty and students. With Greg Shriver, D’Amico started the FRAME (Forest Fragments in Managed Ecosystems) program, a long-term study of small forests in cities and suburbs with a goal providing useful recommendations for improving ecosystem function and services. Vince is a talented graphic artist and has helped numerous faculty and students to improve their presentation skills.
Christopher K. Williams (2004-present). Williams was hired as a wildlife ecologist following the death of Tom Wood, as the department moved toward a goal of having equal numbers of wildlife and entomology faculty. Williams established the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Program, and conducts research on wildlife population ecology and wildlife-habitat interactions. He teaches courses in population ecology, and wildlife policy and administration. He is a faculty affiliate with the Quantitative Biology Program and the Delaware Environmental Institute at UD.
Gregory Shriver (2005-present). Hired to take Roth’s place as an ornithologist, Shriver continued and expanded the long-running wood thrush study. He also helped establish and is an active participant in the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP), a group of academic, governmental, and non-profit collaborators gathering the information necessary to conserve tidal-marsh birds. In addition, he helped initiate the FRAME program with D’Amico. Shriver teaches conservation biology and ornithology, and leads study abroad trips to Costa Rica every other year.
William Cissel (2006-present). Hired to take Spellman’s place as an IPM Extension Associate, Cissel works primarily on vegetable and field crop pests with Whalen.
Brian A. Kunkel (2006-present). Extension Specialist, Ornamental IPM, Kunkel assists home gardeners and industry professionals, and has cooperative research projects across the Mid-Atlantic region that address various nursery and landscape needs.
Deborah A. Delaney (2010-present). Hired to take Caron’s place as a honey bee specialist, Delaney developed the apiculture program at UD to include a substantial research component in addition to teaching and extension. Delaney conducts research on honey bee population genetics and health, pollination ecology, and related areas. A creative and popular teacher, she teaches the introductory entomology lecture course, apiology lecture and lab, and a more advanced course on pollination ecology. She oversaw a major rehabilitation and revitalization of the UD Apiary, including production, harvest, and marketing of “Dare to Bee! Honey,” which is sold at the UD Creamery.
Kyle P. McCarthy (2011-present). McCarthy was hired as a continuing-track assistant professor, with a 75% teaching and 25% research component. He immediately proved to be a popular teacher, with his large wildlife ecology and conservation lecture course (ENWC 201) increasing in size as word got around (this has been our largest class since 1971). He also teaches wildlife management and mammalogy, and conducts a study abroad program in Costa Rica every other year during Winter Session. McCarthy’s research program studying exotic large cats such as snow leopards is also attractive to undergraduates and graduate students.
Jeffrey J. Buler (2011-present). Buler spent several years as a research scientist at UD before being hired as an assistant professor in wildlife biology. He is a specialist in radar biology, i.e., using radar to study biological phenomena, especially bird migration. He teaches wildlife habitat management, landscape ecology, and ecological modeling.
Anastasia Chirnside (2011-present). Stacey Chirnside joined the department as a continuing-track assistant professor following the disestablishment of the Department of Bioresources Engineering, where she was a research scientist for 34 years. Her research focuses on water quality and waste management in agriculture; bioremediation of recalcitrant compounds and pathogens in soil, water, and wastewater; and green infrastructure for storm water runoff control. She is director of the soil and water quality analytical laboratory where a variety of sample matrices are analyzed for pesticides, nutrients, metals and pathogens. Chirnside is the department’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and the College’s representative on the University’s Chemical Hygiene Committee. She teaches classes on land and water management, and comparative terrestrial and marine ecology.
William Ritter (2011-2014). Ritter, a tenured full professor, was also nominally transferred to our department from Bioresources Engineering following its demise. He retired in December 2014.
Ivan Hiltpold (2016-present). Hiltpold was hired to take Mason’s place (while technically filling Ritter’s line) as an agricultural entomologist. His research interests are in soil ecology and trophic interactions involving plant roots and microorganisms.
THE TEACHING PROGRAM
The Entomology major for undergraduate students began in 1925, but because of the small numbers of students majoring in both Entomology and Plant Pathology, a joint major called Entomology-Plant Pathology was created in 1945. This major persisted for a number of years, but gradually faded away in the 1970s. Probably one reason for the gradual demise of this unique major was the fact that the Plant Pathology Department was absorbed by the newly created Plant Science Department, where the joint major lost its identity.
In the early 1960s, students urged the department to offer more courses in ecology, and the department responded with an enlarged offering of such courses. This led to the addition of a faculty member to teach ecology, conservation, and vertebrate biology in the department (first Jones and then Roth). The wildlife/ecology component of the department led to the erection of the ecology option as a semi-major in the 1970s. The increase in Entomology majors was influenced to quite a degree by students who were interested in wildlife biology and ecology rather than in entomology. At the same time that the number of faculty was increasing, non-faculty professionals were added to the staff. From 1948-1979, a U.S. Department of the Interior wildlife biologist (Linehan) was housed in the department as a professional. Along with his job duties, he also regularly banded birds in the UD Woodlot, contributing many records to the federal banding data. He added to the flow of information among those interested in nurturing the ecological atmosphere in the department, but there was no faculty appointment. He left that position with USDI upon retirement in the late 1970s.
The department’s name was changed to Entomology and Applied Ecology in the mid-1960s. However, undergraduates still had to major in Entomology. Finally, in 1991 a Wildlife Conservation Concentration was added, and in 1999 Wildlife Conservation was established as a full-fledged major, as new wildlife faculty were hired and new courses initiated to support the major. The Wildlife Conservation major was popular from the start, quickly growing to more than 100 majors. However, the Entomology major had fewer takers, and was threatened with disestablishment if it did not grow. Therefore, in 2014 we undertook a major revision of the Entomology major (spearheaded by Delaney), renaming it Insect Ecology and Conservation (IEC), in an attempt to gain more majors. At the same time, the Wildlife Conservation major was slightly revised and renamed Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
Though relatively few in numbers, our Entomology/IEC majors tend to be exceptionally passionate about the field. Few such degrees are offered by universities in the Northeast, so high school students in the region who know they want to be entomologists tend to end up at UD. In addition, the presence of the USDA-ARS Beneficial Insects Research Laboratory (now called the Beneficial Insects Introduction Research unit) on campus provides a rich source of research experience and part-time jobs for these students. This laboratory moved to the UD Agriculture College campus from Moorestown, NJ, in 1973, with encouragement from Bray and Burbutis.
The Master’s degree in Entomology started in the 1940s, with the first degree granted in 1949. The name of this degree was changed to Entomology and Applied Ecology in 1999, to accommodate students working in wildlife ecology. The graduate program in entomology was initially largely supported by various grants, primarily from industry sources or the State Highway Department in addition to federal Hatch funds. The graduate program in wildlife biology was initially supported by federal Mcintire-Stennis funds. During the 1990s and into the early 2000s we were also able to support as many as six graduate students each year on Biology TA lines, because the Department of Biological Sciences taught large courses and didn’t have enough graduate students of their own. However, with the advent of decentralized budgeting, these TAs all went back to Biology.
A PhD program in Entomology and Applied Ecology was added in 1999. In 2003 the department name was changed to Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, and at that time an MS in Wildlife Ecology was initiated, separate from the MS in Entomology. The PhD in Entomology and Wildlife Ecology was offered with two concentrations (Entomology and Wildlife Ecology) beginning in 2004. All of our graduate programs have flourished. For example, in Fall of 2015 we had 34 graduate students, including 13 PhD (7 Entomology and 6 Wildlife Ecology) and 21 MS (7 Entomology and 14 Wildlife Ecology). Nearly all of our graduate students are fully funded, including tuition and a stipend, most on grants or contracts obtained by faculty from a variety of sources, but with continued Hatch and McIntire Stennis assistantships as well as one Entomology and two Wildlife TAs. In recent years, scientists at the Beneficial Insects laboratory (all of whom are adjunct faculty members) have supported more graduate students in our department. These students do their research at the USDA lab but take courses and are academically advised by our faculty.
RESEARCH IN ENTOMOLOGY AND ECOLOGY – through 1981 (D. Bray)
Research in entomology, ecology, and wildlife biology as well as woodland ecology was financially supported (through 1981) as shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1. Financial support for research programs in the Department of Entomology and Applied Ecology (through 1981)
Hatch Act Funds – An on-going source of funds provided by the Hatch Act authorized by the U.S. Congress. For many years this was the major source of support for entomological research in the department. These funds were matched with State funds through the Agricultural Experiment Station.
State of Delaware – Research Funds.
State Highway Department of Delaware – An annual provision by the State Highway Department of Delaware which was responsible for mosquito control in Delaware and to a lesser extent to support biting fly research.
Mcintire-Stennis Funds – An on-going source of funds provided by the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Forest Service to conduct research on Woodland Management problems. These funds were matched with State funds through the Agricultural Experiment Station.
Miscellaneous Industry Grants – Primarily this source of funds supported research on control of insect pests and ecological evaluations of the methods used to reduce and/or control various pests of crops, mosquitoes, biting flies, etc. These usually amounted to about 2-6 percent of the research budget.
NIH and NSF Grants – The department received few of these grants. This was partly or completely due to the fact that all NIH and NSF grant proposals had to be approved by a committee of faculty members largely from the College of Arts and Sciences where the Agricultural requests were automatically rejected as ineligible because the Agricultural College already had a special “Grant,” namely Hatch Act funds. Since that restriction was dropped this department has obtained some NIH as well as NSF grants.
UDRF – The University of Delaware Research Foundation, a source of research funds created by donations of private citizens to support research which were to be selected on the basis of merit alone. This was the source of start-up support for the woodland ecology research.
State of Delaware – Annual appropriation, the amount of which I (Bray) never knew while I was Chair of the Department.
Early entomological research was generally in response to growers’ need for help with certain insect control problems. Orchards and vegetable crops in Delaware were experiencing the greatest insect problems in agriculture, and down-state citizens were plagued each summer by hordes of mosquitoes that swarmed from the salt marshes and spread across the two southern counties of Delaware. These three problems, fruit insect pests, vegetable crop insect pests, and salt marsh mosquitoes, received the greatest attention. At the time it seemed obvious that quick control measures were the logical way to reduce the problem, hence the beginning of the widespread use of chemical insecticides. In addition, salt marsh ditching to facilitate more rapid drainage of the salt marshes was used. Unfortunately, the ditches were established on a grid basis rather than in a strategic pattern that facilitated more effective drainage of the intermittently flooded salt marshes.
The study of impoundments as a new management tool for mosquito control was begun in response to the obvious need to reduce the use of chemical insecticides being sprayed on the marshes annually. The flooding of large areas of marshes and the maintenance of the flooded areas prevented egg-laying by pest mosquito species that depended on large areas of exposed mud rather than standing water on which to lay their eggs. Not only did impoundment greatly reduce mosquito populations, it proved to be a boon to many species of wildlife. Strategic ditching gradually began to replace grid-type ditching and proved to be less expensive than the latter. In addition, the creation of small pools associated with strategic ditching patterns increased the effectiveness of small minnows as a control factor.
Over the years the acreage of fruit orchards in Delaware diminished greatly. Orchard insect pest control continued to be important because of the many new chemical insecticides that were developed shortly after World War II. A similar trend occurred in insect control on vegetable crops. Gradually emphasis was given to other farm crops such as alfalfa, peas, and lima beans. As fruit insect research declined, vegetable and forage crop insect problems received more attention. In some cases, such as with the alfalfa weevil, these studies were augmented by introduction of biological control agents by scientists at the Beneficial Insects Laboratory.
In the 1970s, the largest bell pepper canning operation in the nation, which was located in Delaware, was having major problems with the European corn borer. This insect fed inside what appeared to be normal bell peppers, and occurred in great numbers, ending in the rejection of such infested fruit destined for canning. On one day in the mid-1970s, several tons of freshly picked bell peppers were infested with so many corn borer larvae that graders on the inspection line could not discard infested fruit adequately to prevent the borers from being canned along with the peppers. This ended in total rejection of several tons of peppers. One might wonder why the peppers could not be sold on the fresh market. The reason was the presence of the borers therein resulted in U.S. rejection because the borers were legally regarded as filth. Had this situation continued, bell pepper production in Delaware would have been eliminated. Research for a biological control agent would have been too late, but chemical insecticides were found to be very effective, which kept the pepper industry going for several years before the processing plant failed due to other non-entomological problems.
The European corn borer continued to be a major problem for many vegetable crops in Delaware, which stimulated a search for effective parasitic species of the borer. One was found, a new species of Trichogramma, and it was cultured in the laboratories of the Entomology and Applied Ecology Department by Burbutis. Field tests through the release of large numbers of the parasitoid initially looked promising but eventually proved to be inadequate to reduce the borer population. Later, a related parasitoid was found in China and department studies showed it to be potentially more effective in control of the borer.
Present research (1981) generally is more nearly “basic” in nature, whatever that may mean to others. Examples are the determination of what attracts insects to certain plants and what induces them to feed thereon. Other research seeks disease agents of insects such as certain fungi. Perhaps the most “basic” or fundamental research going on at present (1981) is the evolutionary study of a treehopper (membracid) species that is on the verge of being “evolved” by controlled studies into two species that no longer can interbreed. This is being done by Wood. Other research is being carried out to test parasitic insects and/or parasitic fungi in controlling pest species. This is being done by Keil and Mason. Investigations of plant resistance to insect attack are also being conducted, along with studies of what chemicals in plants act as attractants or repellents to insects. This is being done by Tallamy and Hough-Goldstein. Ecological and studies have been carried on in the University Woodlot to gain insight into the ecology of various species there and in area woodlots. These studies have been under the direction of Roth.
RESEARCH IN ENTOMOLOGY AND WILDLIFE ECOLOGY – 1981-present
As of 2016, the department has moved to a position of equal faculty representation from entomology (five faculty) and wildlife ecology (five faculty), with all five of the current wildlife faculty having been hired since 1999. Two of the entomology faculty members were hired since 1981, and have continued in the research areas of former faculty members, i.e. insect systematics (Bartlett) and honey bee biology (Delaney). Thus the major change in department research since 1981 has been the development of a robust program encompassing a number of different areas of wildlife ecology, conservation, and management, as detailed in individual faculty sections above. Tallamy, Hough-Goldstein, and Mason (and now Hiltpold) conduct research at the intersection of basic and applied entomology, while strictly applied entomological research has been conducted primarily by extension staff. All current faculty have mentored numerous excellent graduate students, including PhD students since 1999. Grant funding and productivity in terms of numbers of publications per faculty member have both been on a continual upward trajectory from 1981 to the present.
Regarding facilities, a major renovation of Townsend Hall in 1998-2000 gave department faculty standard wet laboratories for the first time. The planning process for this renovation was difficult and stressful, especially because the faculty did not trust then-Dean Nye, and suspected that two powerful Chairs in the College, Don Sparks of Plant and Soil Sciences and Jack Rosenberger of Animal and Food Sciences, were being given preferential treatment. Chuck Mason was our representative on the renovation planning committee, and he, Cliff Keil, Judy Hough-Goldstein (Chair at the time), and Roland Roth (especially with respect to teaching needs) were unyielding in insisting on our department needs. Initial plans would have shoehorned much of the department into a renovated portion of the Worrilow High Bay area, resulting in a reduction in our overall office, laboratory, and teaching space. However, once the decision was made to extend the south wing of Townsend Hall to match the size of the north wing (which was about twice as long as the south wing at that time), we were given six spacious new laboratories and a new wind tunnel room on the second floor, plus a new teaching laboratory with attached prep room on the first floor. Phase I of the renovation (1998-1999) involved building this new wing and renovating the central and south portion of the building. This required temporary relocation of the Tallamy and Bartlett offices and labs, including moving the entire Insect Reference Collection to the Insectary basement. In phase II (1999-2000), the north wing was renovated, and during this time most of our department personnel had to move their offices into a large trailer in the back parking lot; however, the new laboratories in the south wing could be occupied by then, which alleviated some of the strain.
The old South Greenhouse was also subsequently renovated (necessary because glass from the ceiling was starting to fall to the floor at unpredictable times), with two rooms devoted solely to our department. In addition, the Insectary, a small free-standing building located behind Townsend Hall, underwent a major renovation in 2015-2016, and was renamed the Field Ecology Laboratory.
DEPARTMENT CHAIRS and faculty hires during each Chair’s tenure
Herbert Dozier – 1925-1929
Louis A. Stearns – 1929-1957
Walter A. Connell (1946-1975)
Dale F. Bray (1949-55 and 1958-83)
Charles A. Triplehorn (1951-55)
Lewis P. Kelsey (1955-1979)
Dale F. Bray – 1958-1981
Paul P. Burbutis (1958-1987)
Paul Catts (1964-1980)
Frank J. Murphey (1965-1979)
Robert Jones (1965-1969)
Roland R. Roth (1971-2005)
Richard W. Rust (1972-1978)
Charles E. Mason (1975-2016)
Michael Ma (1979-1981)
Thomas K. Wood (1979-2002)
John C. Reese (1979-1982)
Douglas W. Tallamy (1981-present)
Dewey M. Caron – 1981-1984
Judith A. Hough-Goldstein (1981-2017)
Clifford B. Keil (1983-2008)
Paul P. Burbutis – 1984-1987
Roland R. Roth – 1987-1991
Robert T. Allen – 1991-1996
Judith A. Hough-Goldstein – 1996-2002
Charles R. Bartlett (1996-present)
Pamela Plotkin (1997-1999)
Jacob L. Bowman (1999-present)
Douglas W. Tallamy – 2002-2012
Christopher K. Williams (2004-present)
Gregory Shriver (2005-present)
Deborah A. Delaney (2010-present)
Kyle P. McCarthy (2011-present)
Jeffrey J. Buler (2011-present)
Jacob L. Bowman – 2012-present
Ivan Hiltpold (2016-present)
Stearns, L. A. 1957. Entomology at the University of Delaware. Delaware Notes. Thirtieth Series, University of Delaware, Newark.