Dr. Jeremy N. McNeil, named in 2004 the Helen Battle Professor of Chemical Ecology in the Biology Department at the University of Western Ontario, was elected as Fellow in 2015. His strong interdisciplinary research program in chemical ecology, emphasizes the reproductive biology of parasitoids and the behavioral and ecological aspects of the reproductive biology of both migrant and non-migrant species, where sex pheromones modulate mate location and mate choice.
McNeil was born in 1944 in Tonbridge, England. His family moved to Newfoundland in 1945, however he returned to England for high school and worked for two years as a hospital orderly then as a wine merchant in London. Moving back to Canada, he completed a B.Sc. in Honours Zoology at the University of Western Ontario (1969), followed by a Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. R. L. Rabb at North Carolina State University (1972), winning the ESA Southeastern Branch Robert T. Gast Award and the ESA-Entomological Research Institute Outstanding Graduate Award (now the John Henry Comstock Award). In 1972, he accepted a position in the Biology Department at Université Laval, Québec, where he remained for 30 years, being promoted to Associate Professor in 1977 and Full Professor in 1982. In 2003, he was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship and spent a year with Drs. Wittko Francke (University of Hamburg) and Stefan Schulz (Braunschweig University of Technology).
During his career at Université Laval and the University of Western Ontario, McNeil taught undergraduate and graduate courses in general entomology, integrated pest management, ecology, chemical ecology, and communication of science. He also taught similar courses as a visiting professor at universities in Brazil (Parana, Vicosa), Chile (Santiago), China (Beijing, Jinan), France (Rennes), Portugal (Azores), Switzerland (Geneva, Neuchatel), and the United States (Cornell).
McNeil authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers in behavioral and chemical ecology. He also trained more than 60 graduate students and postdocs, many now working in universities or government laboratories worldwide. He received a number of national and international research awards, including the 1979 C. Gordon Hewitt Award and 1987 Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Canadian Entomology from the Entomological Society of Canada; the 2008 F.E.J. Fry Medal of the Canadian Society of Zoologists; the 1986 Delwart Prize in Chemical Ecology, the 2004 Silver Medal of the International Society of Chemical Ecology; and the Order of Canada in 2014. He became a Fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada in 1981 and the Royal Society of Canada in 1999.
For more than four decades, both at home and abroad, McNeil combined his passions for insects and photography to actively engage in activities relating to the public awareness of science. He received several national awards for his outreach activities, including the 1996 J. Gordin Kaplan Award from the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, the 1998 McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada (1998, and the 2014 Partners in Research National Science Ambassador Award.
(updated November, 2016)