Christopher Beatty Chosen for 2022 ESA Founders' Memorial Lecture

Beatty's keynote will honor Jean-Henri Fabre, French naturalist, entomologist, and educator

Christopher Beatty, Ph.D.

Christopher Beatty, Ph.D.

Annapolis, MD; May 9, 2022—Christopher Beatty, Ph.D., visiting scholar in the Program for Conservation Genomics at Stanford University, has been selected to deliver the Founders' Memorial Award lecture at the 2022 Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia.

The Founders' Memorial Award was established in 1958 to honor the memory of scientists who made outstanding contributions to entomology. Each year at the ESA Annual Meeting, the recipient of the award delivers the Founders' Memorial Lecture, which posthumously honors the life and career of an influential entomologist.

At the 2022 Joint Annual Meeting, the subject of Beatty's lecture will be Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915), a French naturalist, entomologist, educator, and popularizer of science. Though Fabre received little formal education, through intense study he became an expert on the behaviors of a variety of arthropods.

He spent portions of his career teaching both high school and adult night-school courses, and he eventually published dozens of books, many of which described the lives of insects in a narrative form, with "remarkable humanistic elegance [that] brought his audience into the world of the insect," as one modern-day entomologist observed. Fabre's work became popular in France near the end of his life and was later translated into several other languages.

Jean-Henri Fabre

Beatty has focused much of his entomological career studying the behavior and ecology of dragonflies and damselflies, having served in research and teaching positions at the University of Vigo (Spain), Santa Clara University, Cornell University, the University of Kiel (Germany), and Stanford University. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed articles since 2003, and he is currently co-editing the forthcoming Dragonflies & Damselflies: Model Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press).

He earned a bachelor's degree (1996) in ecology, ethology, and evolution at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; a master's degree (2002) in environmental science from Oregon State University; and a Ph.D. (2006) in ecology, evolution, systematics, and population biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

In 2011, Beatty joined the Entomological Society of America and has been an active member since. He served as the 2016-2017 president of ESA's Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (SysEB) Section and is currently the SysEB representative to the ESA Education and Outreach Committee. He has also volunteered for a variety of community outreach projects, engaging public and K-12 audiences in insect science. Beatty is married to fellow entomologist Kathleen Harding; together they have a five-year-old son, Thomas.

"Chris is a champion for science, someone who has a strong history of community engagement and outreach," says ESA President Jessica Ware, Ph.D. "His wide breadth of interests, innate curiosity, and love of natural history make him a perfect choice to share the story of Jean-Henri Fabre, whose work has inspired so many."

In recommending Beatty for this recognition, Michael L. May, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University, wrote, "I would characterize [Beatty] as a true disciple of Fabre, albeit with a modern mindset and full knowledge and appreciation of the techniques and, especially, the questions that make entomology the exciting and powerful discipline it is today."

Beatty will deliver the Founders' Memorial Lecture, titled "The Passionate Observer: The Life and Times of Jean-Henri Fabre," at the 2022 Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia in Vancouver, during the Awards Breakfast, beginning at 7:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, November 15.


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