Delfosse Named Entomology Chair

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Ernest Delfosse, senior national program leader with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has been named chairperson of the MSU Department of Entomology. His appointment was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees at its Feb. 22 meeting and becomes effective May 1.

Delfosse succeeds Rich Merritt, who has been chairperson of the department since 2004 after having served in the position on an interim basis beginning in 2002. Merritt will return to his faculty position within the departments of Entomology and Fisheries and Wildlife.

“Dr. Delfosse is a widely recognized researcher and brings strong scientific leadership to MSU,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, dean of the MSU College of Natural Science. “His expertise will connect with many faculty members and students across the university and throughout the state.”

Delfosse will provide leadership for the MSU Department of Entomology and work closely with other university units to build interdisciplinary partnerships with public, private and government research groups. He will be a jointly tenured professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Natural Science and will contribute to the academic, research and outreach programs of both colleges.

“Dr. Delfosse has a distinguished record in research and technology transfer in an extensive range of entomology and weed science issues,” said Jeffrey D. Armstrong, dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Through his leadership, the department will continue to build upon its 100-year legacy as a national leader in entomological education, research and Extension that are relevant to the needs of our constituents.”

At the ARS, Delfosse has been responsible for managing research scientists in 55 locations throughout the United States and six ARS overseas biological control laboratories. He also served as a the director of the USDA National Biological Control Institute (NBCI) from 1991 to 1997, and he was a research scientist and research leader with the Division of Entomology of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia from 1979 to 1991.

Delfosse is an active member of many professional societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, Gamma Sigma Delta and the International Organization of Biological Control. He is also a 30-year member of the Entomological Society of America. His accolades include numerous USDA ARS citations for superior service, several White House commendations and acknowledgements from various sections of the Entomological Society of America. He was named 1994 Entomologist of the Year by the Florida Entomological Society.

Delfosse has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and been a guest lecturer for more than 40 university courses. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at the Australian National University in its Department of Entomology.

Delfosse received his doctoral degree in entomology from the University of Florida (1975), his master’s degree in entomology from South Dakota State University (1972) and his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Louisville, Kentucky (1971).

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