Dr. Ann E. Hajek, a professor of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, was elected as an ESA Fellow in 2018. She is nationally and internationally known for her research in invertebrate pathology, biological control, disease ecology, and invasive species.
Hajek was born in San Francisco, California, in 1952. She attended the University of California, Davis, for two years and graduated in 1974 from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), where she first learned about entomology. She then spent three years as a practicing entomologist and a science writer before beginning graduate studies at UCB. Studying at the Division of Biological Control, she earned her M.S. in 1980 and her Ph.D. in 1984. Moving to Ithaca, New York, Hajek worked in insect pathology at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) for 10 years. In 1994, the Cornell Department of Entomology conducted an international search for a professor of insect pathology, and Hajek accepted this position. She attained the ranks of associate in 2000 and full professor of entomology in 2005. Beginning with her time at BTI and continuing through her time at Cornell, Hajek has run an active research program including laboratory and field studies involving nearly 200 people in different capacities. She has also taught courses at Cornell on invertebrate pathology, symbiosis, biological control, and invasion ecology.
Hajek has worked with numerous natural enemies of well-established and novel invasive species, but her work has emphasized fungal entomopathogens and nematodes. Her research has focused on utilizing knowledge about disease ecology to help facilitate successful and environmentally safe biological control with entomopathogens. Hajek has published almost 250 research publications, literature reviews, and book chapters. She is most proud of the books for which she has taken a leadership role, including one single-authored introductory book on biological control (Natural Enemies) that has now (2018) been revised with a co-author. She has edited three books, including the recently published Ecology of Invertebrate Diseases (2018), and has also co-authored two versions of a catalogue of classical biological control introductions of pathogens and nematodes. Hajek has graduated two M.S. students and 10 Ph.D.s and has mentored 14 postdocs and eight visiting scientists. Hajek has been involved in the planning, design, and management of the quarantine facility at Cornell, enabling research on invasive species and biological control.
Hajek received the L. O. Howard Distinguished Achievement Award, Eastern Branch, ESA (2015) and the Distinguished Scientist Award, Nearctic Regional Section, International Organization of Biological Control (2011). Hajek served as visiting and honorary professor in zoology, University of Copenhagen (2011-2016) and adjunct professor, Anhui Agricultural University, China (2008-2011). She has presented invited talks in many U.S. states and in 14 countries on six continents. She has been very active in leadership roles within the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.
Hajek married James K. Liebherr, professor of systematic entomology, in 1984. Hajek's daughter Lisa is a practicing lawyer in Seattle, Washington, and her son Jonathan works in spatial analysis in Rochester, New York.
(updated August, 2018)