National society honors entomology professor

Author: Jules Bernstein
December 6, 2021

The Entomological Society of America, or ESA, has named Professor John Heraty an honorary member, acknowledging his service to the world’s largest organization for insect scientists.

Entomology Professor John Heraty in New Zealand.

Heraty has a strong research interest in biological control, which is a method of controlling pests like insects or mites using other insects such as parasitic wasps.

His studies focus on a group of minute wasps in the superfamily Chalcidoidea, which are highly understudied considering they rank among the largest group of insects, with as many as 500,000 estimated species. Most of them attack and kill other insects including aphids, whiteflies and armored scales. 

His true interests are on the evolution of the family Eucharitidae, which are parasitoids of the immature stages of ants. Other research interests include studies of the Hymenoptera on the Galapagos Islands, and on the biology of the entire superfamily. 

Since presenting at his first ESA meeting in 1981, Heraty has served on the society’s governing board as well as its publications council and a number of other committees, including the Presidential Committee on Student and Young Professionals. 

He is a strong believer in promoting student participation in the society, and has trained many graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who have gone on to present at ESA meetings. He also helped establish a research endowment to support continued research travel opportunities for graduate students and their projects. 

Candidates for honorary membership in the society are selected by the governing board, and then voted on by the members. Founded in 1889, the ESA has more than 7,000 members including researchers, teachers, students, administrators, pest management professionals, and hobbyists.