Penn State entomologist named one of the top scientists in his field

An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), an honor that means he is among the top insect scientists in the world.

Thomas Baker, a professor of entomology who specializes in chemical ecology research, will be recognized in December in Indianapolis, Ind. at the annual meeting of the ESA.
 
"This is a highly prestigious award, granted only to a few entomologists every year," said Bruce McPheron, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "Baker is just the second Penn State entomologist to have achieved this distinction."
 
ESA Fellows are selected for their outstanding contributions in entomological research, teaching, extension or administration, said an ESA spokesman. Up to 10 entomologists from among the 6,500-member organization are singled out for the annual award.
 
Before coming to Penn State in the fall of 2003, Baker was a faculty member at Iowa State University and at the University of California at Riverside. He served as chairman of the departments of entomology at those institutions for a total of 12 years.
 
"I am very gratified by being elected an ESA Fellow," Baker said. "It is a really high honor to have a lifetime of achievement in my field recognized like this."
 
"I work in an area where we can learn new things about insect attractants such as pheromones and about insect olfaction in general, and then apply this knowledge to create new tools and strategies for insect control and pest detection. I have tried to balance aspects of basic and applied research over my career."
 
Gary Felton, head of Penn State's Entomology Department, nominated Baker as an ESA Fellow based on his exemplary research on insect chemical-communication systems, his extensive efforts to apply his findings for the benefit of society and his laudable service to the science of entomology.
 
"Over his career, he has made pioneering advances in the field of insect behavioral responses to pheromones that have earned him an international reputation as a leader in this field," Felton said.
 
Founded in 1889, the ESA is a nonprofit organization that includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies and private industry.
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Last Updated November 18, 2010