- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
"This is a prestigious honor and well deserved," said Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology who earlier welcomed them to the department as visiting professors, scientists and associates. "Drs. Catherine and Maurice Tauber represent one of the most successful collaborations in the history of entomology-both personally and scientifically."
The couple met in graduate school in the 1960s at UC Berkeley, where they received their doctorates in entomology. Maurice Tauber served as a professor and chair of the Cornell University Department of Entomology. He continues to serve as a graduate school professor. Catherine Tauber served as a senior research associate. At Cornell, they conducted research in the areas of insect seasonality, evolutionary biology and speciation, biological control, and systematics.
"The Taubers have had impressive research careers and have continued pursuing their research interests even after retirement,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. “Having them in Davis has been fabulous for us. They've been great contributors to the Bohart Museum and can always be counted on to provide their expertise and experience.”
The Taubers have had a long association with the California Academy of Sciences, and returned to California from Cornell in 2000 to continue their research. Although "officially" retired, they continue their research on the comparative biology and systematics of New World lacewings, which are in the insect order Neuroptera or net-winged insects, which includes lacewings, mantid flies and antlions.
Last November the Taubers were honored at the Entomological Society of America's 56th annual meeting held in Reno. A four-hour seminar, titled "Metamorphisis Through Merger: Celebrating the Diverse Entomological Accomplishments of Maurice and Catherine Tauber," included tributes by a host of scientists throughout the country, including UC Davis entomology professor Les Ehler, now retired. Drawing on their work, Ehler discussed "Manipulating Lacewings in Agriculture: Past Problems and Future Directions."
The California Academy of Sciences, headquartered in Golden Gate Park, is an international center for scientific education and research. It conducts research in 11 scientific fields: anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, comparative genomics, entomology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy and ornithology.
Its roster includes more than 300 Fellows, including three UC Davis Department of Entomology professors: integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom; ant specialist Phil Ward; and native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, an emeritus professor who continues his research on native pollinators at his office in the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.