Dr. Tom Baker Talks About Harry Shorey, a Pioneer in Pheromone Biology

At the 2015 annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Dr. Tom Baker (Penn State University) delivered the Founders’ Memorial Lecture. The Founders’ Memorial Award was established in 1958 to honor the memory of scientists who made outstanding contributions to entomology. Each year at ESA’s Annual Meeting, the recipient of the award delivers the Founders’ Memorial Lecture, the topic of which is always a deceased entomologist.

The subject of Dr. Baker’s lecture was Dr. Harry Shorey, a pioneer of sex pheromone research and applications. Dr. Shorey’s discovery of mating disruption was an important contribution to integrated pest management and environmental protection. His research led to the use of synthetic pheromones for reducing the damage caused by many destructive moth species in North America, particularly the gypsy moth and the pink bollworm.

“Harry Shorey was in every sense of the word a founder of the science of pheromone biology,” said May Berenbaum, ESA’s 2016 President. “Among his considerable contributions, he pioneered the methods that formed the basis of current practice and established many of the basic principles that still today guide investigations into chemical communication among insects. The lasting impact of his work is evidenced by the fact that papers he published four decades ago are still cited (multiple times every year) today!”

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