Gary Simmons Memorial Lecturer

Gary SimmonsDr. Gary Simmons was a forest entomologist and biostatistician in the Department of Entomology. He earned his BS and MS from Michigan Tech and his PhD from the University of Michigan. He was an assistant professor in Entomology at the University of Maine for four years before joining the MSU Department of Entomology in 1976. Gary always placed students first among his priorities at work and was the major professor of 13 M.S. and 6 Ph.D. candidates.

When Gary passed away at the age of 47 in January 1991, the Department established the Gary Simmons Distinguished Lecturer Series as a memorial, with a special fund to cover all expenses for a speaker to be selected by the students in the Department. Every year, members of the MSU Graduate and Undergraduate Entomological Student Society (GUESS) nominate, invite and host the distinguished speaker.

Simmons past speakers

  • 2019 – Dr. Rick Karban, University of California, Davis
Entomology seminar
Rick Karban, 2019 Gary Simmon Memorial Lecturer, gives his presentation to Entomology students and faculty.
  • 2018 – Phil Torres, TechKnow TV show host
  • 2017 – Dr. Justin Schmidt, Southwest Biological Institute
Entomology seminar
Entomologist Justin Schmidt and students at the 2017 Gary Simmons Memorial Lecture.
  • 2016 – Dr. Bobbi Peckarsky, University of Wisconsin
  • 2015 – Dr. Fred Poston, Michigan State University


Fred Poston and students
MSU CANR Dean Fred Poston and students at the 2015 Gary Simmons Memorial Lecture.
  • 2014 – Dr. Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Rutgers University
  • 2013 – Dr. Claire Kremen, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2012 – Dr. Jeffrey Wells, Florida International University
  • 2011 – Dr. Steve Yanoviak, University of Arkansas            
  • 2010 – Dr. Walter Tschinkel, Florida State University
  • 2009 – Dr. Jessica Hellmann, University of Notre Dame
  • 2008 – Dr. Cameron Currie, University of Wisconsin
  • 2007 – Dr. George Weiblin, University of Minnesota
  • 2006 – Dr. Carol Anelli, Washington State University
  • 2005 – Dr. Gail Langellotto, Fordham University
  • 2004 – Dr. Peter B. McEvoy, Oregon State University
  • 2003 – Dr. Walter Leal, University of California, Riverside
  • 2002 – Dr. James T. Costa, Western Carolina University
  • 2001 – Dr. Jens Roland, University of Alberta
  • 2000 – Dr. Scott Shaw, University of Wyoming
  • 1999 – Dr. Jan Volney, Canadian Forest Service
  • 1998 – Dr. Brian a. Croft, Oregon State University
  • 1996 – Dr. Elizabeth A. Bernays, University of Arizona
  • 1995 – Dr. May r. Berenbaum, University of Illinois
  • 1994 – Dr. Tim D. Schowalter, Oregon State University
  • 1993 – Dr. Terry L. Erwin, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
  • 1992 – Dr. Jack C. Schultz, Penn State University