Alvin M. Simmons

ESA Vice President-Elect

Dr. Alvin M. Simmons is a Research Entomologist at USDA-ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, SC. He received a B.S. in biology (East Carolina University, 1980), and M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1987) in entomology (University of Kentucky). Alvin leads two USDA-ARS appropriated projects (one on vegetable IPM and another on vegetable and ornamental research supporting the national IR-4 pesticide registration project), and Alvin is Interim Coordinator for USDA-ARS Minor Use Pesticide Program for Food and Ornamental Horticulture. Alvin’s IPM research notably concerns environmental-bionomics, biocontrol, plant resistance, insect-virus-plant relationships, and biopesticides. 

Alvin has authored/co-authored 104 refereed journal articles, plus book chapters, co-released 5 breeding lines, and provided over 300 technical reports resulting in over 200 pesticide labels. He has given invited talks at numerous professional conferences and has traveled to 30 countries. He is adjunct faculty with Clemson University and College of Charleston. Alvin actively provides entomological leadership in scientific societies. His extensive ESA service includes: Co-chair of 2016 International Congress of Entomology (ICE 2016), Co-chair of ESA’s bid for ICE 2016, Program Co-Chair, Chair of International Affairs Committee, President of Southeastern Branch-ESA, 11 years on Entomological Foundation Board of Counselors, Committee on Education and Youth; Linnaean Games Committee, etc. He serves on ICE 2020 Organizing Committee, International Plant Resistance to Insects Steering Committee, and others. Alvin’s honors include: first Department of Entomology Distinguished Alumni Award at University of Kentucky, IR-4 Meritorious Award, SEB-ESA Award for Excellence in IPM, SEB-ESA Recognition Award in Entomology, and Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

ESA Vice President-Elect Statement

My vision is to lead our organization into embracing new opportunities as stimulated by fairness and our ever-changing science, while retaining current components that serve us well. Insects and their relatives have adapted well to an ever-changing environment since the beginning of our planet – and have filled every conceivable niche. Analogously, since the beginning of our organization, we have adapted to scientific and societal changes. In the rear-view mirror of history, we see cumulative progress. Yet, we must continually enhance our organization. The foundation of my vision is that we are like a family. Each is unique, with different talents, covering every aspect of entomology, but our efforts coalesce for a common purpose. 

It was invigorating to witness the unveiling of the Grand Challenge proposal during ESA’s 2013 summer strategy session, and then participate in an Americas summit in Brazil in 2016 and a global summit on Grand Challenges in Orlando in 2016. I support ESA’s work with international organizations to pursue grand endeavors; a bigger impact can certainly result from cooperation versus isolation. The membership of our society can increase by 10% by 2025 with increases in domestic, international and members who are non-traditional entomologists. We need to continue to embrace inclusiveness within our society and with our stakeholders, and reexamine recognition opportunities within our society. Despite each of us being a part of one or more components of entomology, we are all entomologists (or practice some aspect of entomology), and we are family. So, let’s move forward together.

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