The ivory-billed woodpecker was considered extinct till it was rediscovered within the “Massive Woods” area of jap Arkansas in 2004. This specimen is within the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. (Picture by Fran Keller)
That is the story about an entomologist, a rhino, a woodpecker and E. O. Wilson.
Again in Could of 2005, entomologist Fran Keller, a professor at Folsom Lake Faculty and a UC Davis doctoral alumnus, interviewed E. O. Wilson for a presentation on the 2005 Entomological Society of America assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
This week remembrances are pouring in for Wilson, the legendary Harvard emeritus professor, biologist, naturalist and creator who died Dec. 26 at age 92 in Burlington, Mass. (See UC Davis tributes on the Division of Entomology and Nematology web site.)
Acknowledged as one of many world’s most influential scientists, Wilson was often called “The Ant Man,” “The Father of Sociobiology,” “The Father of Range” and “The Trendy-Day Darwin,” for his pioneering and trailblazing work that drew world admiration and received scores of scientific awards.
However amongst his friends, colleagues and mentees, he was often called “Ed.”
“Our division of entomology helped fund my journey to Harvard,” Keller recalled, “and he agreed to fulfill me over the course of two days in Could 2005. The ESA symposium befell in mid-December. I recorded our interview on a cassette tape,” she mentioned, including she hopes to publish it in a journal.
“We walked across the MCZ (Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology) for a bit collectively, speaking about species discovery, biodiversity and extinction,” she recalled. “We stopped on the show of birds and the ivory-billed woodpecker. We stopped at Darwin’s finches on show. We went into the room the place the rhinos have been displayed and as we stared collectively on the rhinos, silent, I could not assist myself and I started to cry. I apologized for my emotional show and mentioned ‘It simply makes me horribly unhappy that I’ll by no means get to see this animal within the wild, that it might be misplaced eternally. I am an entomologist, I do not know why this rhino makes me so unhappy. I did not cry in entrance of the ivory-billed woodpecker.”
This rhino specimen on the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology drew an emotional response from entomologist Fran Keller. “It simply makes me horribly unhappy that I’ll by no means get to see this animal within the wild, that it might be misplaced eternally,” she informed E. O. Wilson. (Picture by Fran Keller)
Wilson responded: “Everybody has an animal that reaches them or that they join with at some degree, despite the fact that you have been born an entomologist, maybe yours is the rhino.”
“After my interview with Ed, I purchased the e-book within the MCZ, The Rarest of the Uncommon: Tales Behind the Treasues on the Harvard Museum of Pure Historical past. In that e-book, it highlights the extinct and uncommon species held within the MCZ collections. A type of specimens is the final Xerces butterfly, which was caught by Harry Lange (UC Davis emeritus professor of entomology). Harry’s quote in that e-book, ‘I did not realize it was the final one, I assumed there could be extra’ after which my time consuming lunch after which wandering the MCZ assortment and chatting with Ed impressed me to create the Xerces t-shirt for the Bohart Museum of Entomology.”
One in every of Keller’s mentors, Tom Schoener, studied with Wilson. “I labored on plant ecology and island biogeography for my undergrad analysis (Sacramento Metropolis Faculty),” she mentioned, “and continued that for awhile in grad college (UC Davis). Ed Wilson was one of many founders of island biogeography.” And, as a undergraduate at Sacramento Metropolis Faculty, Keller was a part of a discipline journey to listen to Wilson communicate at his 2002 e-book tour on The Way forward for Life.
Wilson’s work, On Human Nature, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1979. He received a second Pulitzer in 1991 with The Ants, co-authored with colleague Bert Hölldobler. In 1990, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Wilson the Crafoord Prize in biosciences, the very best scientific award within the discipline. In 1996, Time journal named him certainly one of America’s 25 most influential folks. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Nationwide Medal of Science for his contributions towards the development of information in biology.
Wilson, in keeping with studies, all the time thought-about himself an Alabaman who went to Harvard, relatively than a Harvard professor born in Alabama. Born June 10, 1929 in Birmingham, Ed graduated from the College of Alabama in 1949 with two levels in biology, and acquired his doctorate in biology from Harvard in 1955. He joined the Harvard school in 1956. Though formally retiring in 1996, he remained energetic as an emeritus professor and honorary curator till his dying.