Melissa Willrich Siebert Elected as Next Vice President-Elect of Entomological Society of America

Annapolis, MD; August 30, 2023—Melissa Willrich Siebert, Ph.D., development leader for insecticides at Corteva Agriscience, has been elected by members of the Entomological Society of America as the organization's next Vice President-Elect.

She will begin her term as VP-Elect at the conclusion of Entomology 2023, November 5-8, in National Harbor, Maryland. She will then serve as ESA Vice President beginning in November 2024, President beginning in November 2025, and Past President beginning in November 2026.

ESA members also elected three other entomologists to begin or continue positions on the ESA Governing Board:

  • Mary Gardiner, Ph.D., Ohio State University, North Central Branch Representative (newly elected)
  • Richard Mankin, Ph.D., USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology Section Representative (re-elected)
  • Andrew Short, Ph.D., University of Florida, Systematics, Evolution, & Biodiversity Section Representative (re-elected)

Siebert's election means she will vacate her current position as the ESA Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) Section representative to the Governing Board. The P-IE Section Governing Council leadership has appointed Rob Morrison, Ph.D., of the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, to serve as the P-IE Section representative to the Governing Board for the remaining one year on Siebert's term, ending in November 2024.

ESA members also voted on several other volunteer positions within the Society and ESA Sections and Branches, as well as Honorary Members:

For more information on the entomologists elected to the ESA Governing Board, see below:

ESA Vice President-Elect

Melissa Willrich Siebert Melissa Willrich Siebert
Corteva Agriscience

Bio: Melissa Willrich Siebert, Ph.D., is development leader for insecticides at Corteva Agriscience. She earned degrees from Texas A&M University (B.S.) and Louisiana State University (M.S. and Ph.D.) in entomology. Since 2004, Melissa has provided leadership for the development of insecticide and trait technologies, including Isoclast, spinosyns, pyraxalt, Widestrike cotton, and SmartStax corn. Her impacts have ranged from serving as an independent biology research contributor, leading teams as a project manager toward product launches, and leading a global team of project managers and discovery biologists to organizational design to meet scientific and operational excellence. Melissa received the ESA P-IE Section Recognition Award in Entomology in 2020 and has been an ESA member for 24 years.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Melissa is a consistent volunteer leader. She served as 2017 P-IE President, guiding the influential "Science Policy Field Tour on Pollinator Health" and catalyzing four more tours. She previously served as chair, ESA Publications Council; subject editor, Journal Integrated Pest Management; P-IE secretary; and president, Mississippi Entomolgical Association. As Governing Board Representative, she served the Ethics & Rules Committee, modernizing and advancing Society policy; served on a team to clarify and simplify the Fellows nomination process; chaired the Leadership Development Committee, a notable impact being webinars executed to increase volunteer leaders; and currently serves on the Awards & Honors Committee. Melissa has served as associate editor, Journal of Cotton Science. She currently chairs a global IRAC working group.

Candidate statement: As a volunteer leader, I have recognized the power of ESA members in shaping the strategy and overall success our Society enjoys today—core strengths exemplified in meeting execution, publications, members, science policy. Furthermore, I believe ESA has a key role, as an organizational platform and through its talented membership, for addressing entomology-related issues and grand challenges in science. As such, I am passionate about our Society continually assessing and responding to member needs as our science changes, ensuring that we have a strong culture of inclusiveness where all current and future member talents are welcomed and embraced, and invigorating a strong opportunity for volunteer leadership.

ESA Vice President-Elect Statement: If elected, I am committed to ESA's mission of serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and related disciplines. A strong ESA platform, for its scientists and the science, is needed to solve the numerous global challenges that intersect with entomology: vector-borne diseases, food security, climate change, and biodiversity. To be well-positioned for the future, ESA must maintain publications, meetings, and membership as key areas of focus. I am in support of routinely assessing these core strengths to ensure member needs are met and that they are adapted to meet contemporary trends, with fiscal stewardship fully considered. To fully support these core strengths, ESA should continue to explore new innovative approaches to generating revenue, including continued participation in federal-funded programming and growing ESA certification programs. Programming and activities that will increase retention of our student and ECP membership and underrepresented groups within the field of entomology needs to be a priority. An adjacent core strength of ESA is our influence in Science Policy and Grand Challenges. I am passionate about the active role our members can take in these initiatives, using the platform of ESA to influence key issues on which our membership are leading experts. I am excited as well about the opportunity, if elected, to shape and execute upon ESA's new Strategic Plan, with focuses on maximizing knowledge sharing increasing awareness and visibility of entomology—all key features that will enable a strong ESA for the next decade.

North Central Branch Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Mary GardinerMary Gardiner
Ohio State University

Bio: Dr. Mary M. Gardiner received her Ph.D. in entomology from Michigan State University in 2008. She is a professor in the Department of Entomology at Ohio State University and co-director of the environmental science graduate program. Her research program focuses on the ecology and conservation value of urban greenspace, with a focus on vacant land. Mary is also a state specialist in extension whose programming focuses on managing urban habitats to support insect conservation. Toward this aim, she released a book titled Good Garden Bugs: Everything You Need to Know about Beneficial Predatory Insects in 2015. Mary currently advises five Ph.D. students and one M.S. student. She teaches graduate courses in presentation skills and grant writing.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: ESA North Central Branch past president (2022-2023), president (2021-2022), president-elect (2020-2021), and local arrangements chair (2016). Environmental Entomology subject editor (2013-2015) and associate editor (2010-2013).

Candidate statement: Membership in the Entomological Society of America has facilitated many of my career successes. Our organization provided me with opportunities to network and land job opportunities, build research and extension collaborations, present and publish, and be supported by so many mentors and friends. In prior service to the North Central Branch, I organized workshops and symposia to provide graduate students and early career professionals with skills to advance their speaking and writing skills, expand their research toolbox, and build their professional network. If elected to this new role, I aim to work with the Governing Board to identify unmet professional development needs of current and future members and seek ways for ESA support their growth in all aspects of our scientific discipline.

Physiology, Biochemistry, & Toxicology Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Richard MankinRichard Mankin
USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology

Bio: Richard Mankin is a research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology. His research focusing on detection and management of hidden infestations of insects in stored products, soil, and trees has led to 126 peer-reviewed articles and patents on insect physiology, behavior, and pest management. He has served as PBT representative to Editorial Board for the Journal of Economic Entomology (2001-2005) and Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2008-2012) and on the Books and Media Reviews Editorial Board (2009-2012). He has served as a subject editor for PLOS ONE (since 2015), Insects (since 2020), and Florida Entomologist (since 2020) and as a reviewer of 50 or more manuscripts yearly over the last decade.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: Richard Mankin has served as PBT representative to the ESA Governing Board since 2020 and is a member on the Finance Committee. The Board supports efforts to maintain high-quality journals and Annual Meetings, ensure sound risk-management policies, and organize future ESA innovations. Richard served PBT previously in roles as Section treasurer and president and has supported student activities, educational outreach, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives during 45 years as an ESA member. He has presented in Acoustical Society of America and AAAS symposia and has served as president and webmaster of the Florida Entomological Society and president of the Foundation for Science and Disability.

Candidate statement: It's been an honor serving as on the Governing Board during a challenging pandemic in which ESA continued Annual Meetings and supported scientific achievement. The Board has supported early career entomologists and now is considering a new section for Formal and Informal Teaching for members primarily involved in teaching activities. If re-elected, I plan to cooperate with other ESA members, the PBT Section, and the Governing Board to continue progress in DEI initiatives and address potential changes in the fiscal climate, changes in patterns of publication and manuscript reviews, and positive and negative effects of artificial intelligence on ESA activities, as well as potential effects of global climate change and decreasing insect biodiversity on agriculture.

Systematics, Evolution, & Biodiversity Section Representative to the ESA Governing Board

Andrew ShortAndrew Short
University of Florida

Bio: Dr. Short is professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. Dr. Short received his Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University in 2007, subsequently joining the faculty at the University of Kansas as a curator of entomology until moving to UF in 2023. His research centers on the taxonomy and evolutionary biology of aquatic beetles, as well as the biogeography of South America. He has published more than 120 papers in this field and participated in more than 40 expeditions to survey aquatic insects across the Neotropical region. He has taught a variety of courses in entomology and biodiversity monitoring.

Past ESA activity or other volunteer service: An active member of ESA for more than 25 years, Dr. Short is finishing his first term on the Governing Board as the SysEB representative, where he currently also serves on the Board's Executive Committee. He has previously served as president of SysEB, chair of the SysEB Awards Committee, co-coordinator of the LGBTQ+ mixer at the Annual Meeting, Board liaison to the Early Career Professionals Committee, and at-large member of the ESA Publications Council. Dr. Short also serves on the Taxonomic Certification Committee for the Society for Freshwater Science. He has previously served on the board of directors for the Natural Science Collections Alliance and the Coleopterists Society.

Candidate statement: I have found my first term on the Governing Board representing SysEB to be extremely rewarding and productive. Should I have the privilege serve a second term, I would continue to focus on (1) Providing the board with perspectives and expertise from the fields of Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity. With growing concerns about global insect declines, it is critical that our Society continue to engage on the science and policy around biodiversity; (2) Working to ensure that ESA and entomology more broadly are welcoming to all and representative of our modern society. Our Society has made great progress in creating a culture of belonging, and I am committed to continuing that progress; and (3) Helping the Society navigate a dynamic fiscal climate. ESA is financially healthy, and continued vigilance will ensure this remains true moving forward.


CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki,, 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Society stands ready as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit