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Acta zoológica mexicana

versão On-line ISSN 2448-8445versão impressa ISSN 0065-1737

Acta Zool. Mex  no.79 Xalapa Abr. 2000


In Memoriam


Preston E. Hunter (1927 - 1998)


W. T. Atyeo



University of Georgia Athens, Georgia, U.S.A.


Preston E. Hunter, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia, passed away unexpectedly on September 22, 1998 while participating in his favorite sport -golf.

Born on November 4, 1 927 on a farm near Tonganoxie, Kansas, he received his college degrees from the University of Kansas, B.A. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1956. During his KU tenure he served as a fencing instructor and as a graduate research assistent for Dr. Robert Sokal. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the genetics of house flies.

After graduating, Dr. Hunter became a Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota, a position held from 1 956-1 959. He then moved to the University of Georgia where he remained from 1959 until his retirement in 1988. Dr. Hunter was Head of the Department of Entomology from 1974-1 986. Of note was his influence in recruiting an outstanding senior faculty which made Entomology a world-class Department.

Dr. Hunter was the major advisor for 13 masters and 1 6 doctoral students. Research for so many students covered diverse fields of entomology in which he necessarily became familiar. Personally, Dr. Hunter was very active in his investigations of mites and their associated insect hosts. Of special interest was the Mesostigmata of betsie beetles (Insecta, Passalidae). He field collected these beetles in the USA, Trinidad, Mexico and Guatemala. Collecting in the later country was rather unique- breaking an arm in the mountains, having a local doctor set it with aspirin for the pain killer - on a kitchen table covered by a blanket. Eventually the arm had to be rebroken and set properly!! Some collecting expeditions end with a good story and considerable pain.

Regardless of the problems of field collecting, approximately 100 publications were produced. Research was supported by many organizations, including the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture and various commercial companies.

Dr. Hunter served with distinction on many committees of the University of Georgia and numerous professional organizations at the local, national and international levels. He was President of the Georgia Entomological Society in 1968, Phi Kappa Phi in 1970 and the Acarological Society of America in 1977. He was an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Acarology for many years.

Non - academics activities included serving in World War II, and being involved with the Boy Scouts of America and the Athens battered children program.

Preston Hunter will be sorely missed by his many friends -he was a prince among men.


Nota del editor: El pasado 22 de septiembre de 1998 falleció el profesor Preston E. Hunter, eminente acarólogo con quien mantuvimos correspondencia durante años a partir de 1968, dado su gran interés por los ácaros asociados con los coleópteros de la familia Passalidae, y que conocimos personalmente hasta 1986 cuando nos visitó en el Instituto de Ecología, A.C., otorgándonos la oportunidad de intercambiar ideas y colectar ácaros en Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz. En homenaje postumo, publicamos el obituario preparado por su colega y amigo, Dr. W.T. Atyeo de la Universidad de Georgia, aparecido en el volumen 25(1) del International Journal of Acarology, de marzo pasado.

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