David L. Denlinger, ESA Fellow (1994)

Dr. David L. Denlinger holds the title of Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State University (OSU), and is affiliated with the departments of Entomology and of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology.  He was elected as ESA Fellow in 1994.  He is internationally recognized for his contributions to insect diapause and cold hardiness, as well as his work on tsetse fly reproductive physiology. 

Denlinger was born in 1945 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He grew up on a farm and became interested in entomology through 4-H. He received his B.S. (1967) from Pennsylvania State University, followed by a Ph.D. (1971) with Judith Willis and Gottfried Fraenkel at the University of Illinois.  After spending a year with Jan de Wilde in the Netherlands, he obtained a two-year U.S. National Institute of Health postdoctoral fellowship to work at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1974, he returned to the U.S. to work with Carroll Williams at Harvard before accepting a faculty position at OSU in 1976. He attained the rank of professor in 1984 and served as chair of Entomology, 1994–2005.

Denlinger's laboratory focused on understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning diapause and responses to low temperature.  They provided some of the first insights into shifts in gene expression associated with diapause and identified the importance of stress responses, cell cycle regulation, and insulin signaling as components of the diapause response.  Work in Kenya and Panama helped establish a role for diapause in tropical species, and work in Antarctica was critical to understanding how organisms adapt to extreme climatic conditions. His early work on tsetse fly reproductive physiology defined the dynamics of its mode of reproduction and led to the use of hormones as control agents for this vector of African sleeping sickness.  His research has resulted in over 325 peer-reviewed publications, as well as several co-edited books including Low Temperature Biology of Insects and Photoperiodism. Over the last 35 years, nearly every OSU entomology graduate student has taken his highly praised insect physiology course. He has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdocs, receiving the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from OSU in 2009.

Denlinger served ESA on several committees and through his leadership in Section B. He was editor of the Journal of Insect Physiology, Current Opinion in Insect Science, and served on six additional editorial boards. He was also on the Council of the International Congress of Entomology. Major honors from the ESA include the C.V. Riley Achievement Award (1998), Founder’s Memorial Award (1999), and the Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology (2003). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1988), recipient of the Gregor Mendel Medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences (2006) and the Antarctic Service Medal from the National Science Foundation (2006). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.

He and his wife, Judith Y. Denlinger, are the parents of two sons, Michael and Jonathan. 

(updated February, 2015)