Dr. William B. Showers, retired research entomologist for the USDA-ARS and professor emeritus at Iowa State University, is recognized nationally and internationally for his outstanding research contributions to the fields of entomology and insect ecology. He organized interregional studies elucidating European corn borer ecotypes based on diapause response.
His seminal research on adult behavior demonstrated that European corn borers seldom mate on corn plants, but instead aggregate and mate in dense vegetation around cornfields. His innovative research on adult dispersal forms the basis of ongoing studies in several laboratories in the U.S. and Europe which are examining gene flow of this insect as it relates to resistance management to transgenic Bt corn. By leading complex cooperative regional projects, Dr. Showers was able to develop robust economic thresholds in corn for black cutworm which remain in use today. He organized a large interdisciplinary team that elucidated the mechanism for long-range migration of many noctuids, especially black cutworm.
Dr. Showers mentored numerous graduate students, and was a long-time, active member of the regional committees NC-205 and NCR-148. He has shown steadfast devotion to the ESA and the North Central Branch through 52 years of active membership and service. He served on numerous NCB committees, including the Executive Committee, often as Chair, and he is a recipient of the C.V. Riley Achievement Award. He has been an active member of ARPE, now BCE, for more than 30 years. He earned his B.S at the University of Arizona, his M.S. at Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.
(updated August, 2009)