Schmidt-Jeffris Named New Editor of American Entomologist

Experienced ESA volunteer leader takes helm of magazine for insect scientists

Rebecca A. Schmidt-Jeffris, Ph.D.

Rebecca A.
Schmidt-Jeffris, Ph.D.

Annapolis, MD; May 17, 2023—Rebecca A. Schmidt-Jeffris, Ph.D., research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, has been named the next editor of American Entomologist, the Entomological Society of America's quarterly membership magazine.

The ESA Governing Board approved the selection of Schmidt-Jeffris after an open search was conducted in early 2023 by an appointed search committee. Schmidt-Jeffris will succeed Zsofia Szendrei, Ph.D., who resigned from the position in late 2022.

"American Entomologist is an important venue for critical thought and discussion in the insect science profession, and Dr. Schmidt-Jeffris has long been dedicated to building community among fellow entomologists and advancing our field," says ESA President Marianne Alleyne, Ph.D. "She will be a dynamic leader for ESA's flagship publication."

Alleyne also expressed the ESA Governing Board's gratitude to Szendrei for her skillful stewardship of the magazine during her tenure and to Matthew Lehnert, Ph.D., for serving as interim editor in early 2023.

Published both in print and online, American Entomologist features in-depth exploration and thought-provoking dialogue about the practice, value, and impact of insect science across a diverse entomological community. The magazine traces its history to 1955, when it was first published under its original banner of Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America.

American Entomologist

Schmidt-Jeffris brings a combination of extensive experience in scientific publications, public science engagement and outreach, and volunteer activity at ESA. At the USDA-ARS Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research Unit in Wapato, Washington, she specializes in research on biological control.

Jennifer Henke, ESA vice president and chair of the search committee, praised Schmidt-Jeffris' vision for the future of the publication. "Dr. Schmidt-Jeffris recognizes that, as a primary benefit for ESA's nearly 7,000 members, American Entomologist must take an expansive view of what it means to be an entomologist and the stories and ideas that will serve that diverse audience," Henke says. "Members of the search committee were impressed with her passion and enthusiasm for the role that a magazine plays in a scientific society."  

Schmidt-Jeffris will serve a four-year term as American Entomologist editor.

"I am very excited to continue serving our membership in this new capacity," Schmidt-Jeffris says. "American Entomologist has always had a special place in my heart since I received my first issue as a new member. I look forward to leading the production of many excellent issues that contain engaging stories for all readers, whether it is their first issue or their 101st issue."

Schmidt-Jeffris began her professional career in entomology in 2015 as a postdoctoral research associate in entomology at Cornell University before joining Clemson University in 2017 as an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. She began her current role with the USDA-ARS in 2019. As both a professional and a student, Schmidt-Jeffris has been active with ESA, including serving as chair of the Student Affairs Committee, member of the Early Career Professionals Committee, and president of the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section. She has also authored or co-authored 31 peer-reviewed articles and 32 articles in other publications, such as extension newsletters, book chapters, blogs, and magazines (including two articles in American Entomologist). Schmidt-Jeffris earned a B.S. in biology, with minors in chemistry and psychology, at Washburn University in 2010, and a Ph.D. in entomology at Washington State University in 2015.


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ABOUT: ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Society stands ready as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit

American Entomologist is the quarterly magazine for members of the Entomological Society of America. The magazine publishes articles and information of general entomological interest and includes columns, features, research, book reviews, letters to the editor, and obituaries. For more information, visit, or visit to view the full portfolio of ESA journals and publications.