Dr. James Hagler, ESA Fellows (2023)

James Hagler, Ph.D., research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Arid Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona, was elected as a Fellow in 2023. Hagler pioneered the development of the protein immunomarking procedure for use in arthropod area-wide dispersal research. He is also internationally recognized for his research on arthropod molecular gut content analysis, conservation biological control, cultural control, and insect behavior.

Hagler grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees at New Mexico State University in 1982 and 1985 and his Ph.D. in 1988 at the University of Arizona. He joined the USDA-ARS in 1988 as a postdoctoral research associate, and then as a research entomologist at the Western Cotton Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1996 to 2005. In 2006, the WCRL relocated to the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona, where Hagler worked for the remainder of his career.

Hagler has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications. He has presented several keynote and plenary addresses and numerous invited papers and departmental seminars at professional conferences and academic institutions. Hagler has served as an editor for the Journal of Insect Science and BioControl and as the predator subject editor of Environmental Entomology.

Hagler is known for his role in mentoring the next generation of scientists. He has hosted 56 scientists, post-docs, and students in his laboratory and helped many researchers set up their own immunomarking laboratories. These collaborations produced a better understanding of trophic-level interactions and area-wide movement of arthropods on spatial and temporal scales.

Hagler has received several awards and honors, including the USDA-ARS Research Scientist of the Year Award; USDA-ARS Technology Transfer Award; 2020 USDA-ARS Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity Group Award; ESA Pacific Branch Award for Excellence in IPM; C.W. Woodworth Award from the ESA Pacific Branch; and International Organization for Biological Control Distinguished Scientist Award. 

James and his wife of 41 years, Debbie, have a loving family: Matthew, Diana, Andrew, Johanna, and Amanda. His hobbies include gardening with his grandchildren Emma and Ethan, birding, and playing golf.