Department of Entomology

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Department of Entomology

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The Department of Entomology was officially established at K-State in 1913 with George Dean as the first department head. Previously, courses on the subject had been taught as early as 1865 by Benjamin F. Mudge. From 1877 to 1883, entomology was taught as part of Botany and Horticulture. In 1897, Horticulture and Entomology were consolidated, but in the 1894 catalog, Entomology was listed as a separate subdepartment. After being officially established, Entomology remained in Arts and Sciences until July 1, 1953, when it was transferred to Agriculture.

Administrators of Entomology include Mudge (1865-1873), J. S. Whitman (1873-1876), E. A. Popenoe (1879-1897, 1899-1907), Ernest E. Faville (1897-1898), and Thomas J. Headlee (1907-1912). Subsequent heads of Entomology were George A. Dean (1912-1943), Roger C. Smith (1943-1953), Herbert Knutson (1953-1976), Richard J. Sauer (1976-1980), Robert G. Helgesen (1980-1989), C. Michael Smith (1990- 1996), Sonny Ramaswamy (1997-2006), Jim Nechols (interim), Thomas W. Phillips (2007-2012), John Ruberson (2012-2018), and Brian McCornack (2018-present).

The department’s facilities include 22 greenhouses and laboratories that feature bioclimatic chambers and rearing rooms. Field research for the department is conducted at branch experiment stations throughout the state of Kansas. The department also maintains an award-winning Insect Zoo at the K-State gardens.


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