The Harold E. and Leona M. Rice Professorship in Systematic Entomology
Enthusiasm for insects is not limited to professional entomologists. Harold Rice, a Springfield filbert grower, was an amateur entomologist for more than 50 years. He found species of butterflies never seen before in Oregon and rediscovered others thought extinct; some subspecies were even named after him.
But the main work for Harold and his wife Leona was their filbert orchards, for which Oregon State University provided ongoing consultation through its Extension services. In 1995, the couple expressed appreciation by donating 16 acres of their land to the OSU Foundation, the sale of which established the Harold E. and Leona M. Rice Professorship in Systematic Entomology. (The Department of Entomology is a joint department of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Science.)
The Rice gift is intended to promote science through research and teaching activities by an entomologist educated in Systematic Entomology (systematics is the study of the evolution and classification of animals and plants). Funds from the gift endow a professorship which enhances the curation of the OSU entomology collection; with more than 2.5 million insects, it is the largest insect collection in the Northwest.
"I've been interested in entomology since I started collecting butterflies when I was a kid,” Harold Rice said. "I've always wished I could do something like this for the field of entomology." Leona Rice passed away in 2005, followed by Harold in 2010.
In fall 2009 David Maddison became the holder of the Harold and Leona Rice Professor of Systematic Entomology and director of the Oregon State Arthropod Collection. An internationally recognized entomologist, Maddison has made major contributions to the field of systematics, evolutionary biology, and beetle taxonomy.
He and his twin brother Wayne Maddison wrote and developed both the MacClade software program and Mesquite modular system, which revolutionized the way evolutionary biologists examine morphological and molecular evolution on evolutionary trees. David Maddison also was instrumental in creating the Tree of Life website, a collaborative effort among biologists to provide an electronic, annotated phylogeny of all living things. His research has focused on the evolution of beetles and developing methods of phylogenetic analysis, with a concentration on the evolution of adult and larval structure, and chromosomes, of ground beetles (family Carabidae).
Previously a professor at the University of Arizona, Maddison earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, master's from the University of Alberta, and doctorate in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University.
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