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E. Gorton Linsley  (1910-2000)
Earle Gorton Linsley, Entomology: Berkeley 1910-2000 Professor Emeritus Earle Gorton Linsley (‘Gort’) was born on May 1, 1910 in Oakland, California. He spent his early childhood in the area and early developed an interest in insects that was encouraged by E. C. Van Dyke. Attracted to Cerambycidae (longhorned beetles), Gort was to become one of the world's leading authorities on the systematics of this group. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning the B.S. (1932); M.S. (1933) and Ph.D. (1938) degrees in entomology and in 1939 joined the Berkeley faculty as an Instructor in Entomology and Junior Entomologist in the Experiment Station. Rapidly advancing through the ranks he became Professor and Entomologist in 1953. In l951 he succeeded E. O. Essig as Chair of the Department of Entomology and Parasitology and remained in this position until 1959. The following year he was appointed Dean of the College of Agriculture. He was Associate Director of the Experiment Station until 1972. He retired in 1974. During his career, Gort authored and co-authored more than 400 articles and books, primarily on the Cerambycidae and on solitary bees. He named or co-authored 573 species and subspecies, 132 genera and proposed seven tribes; in the Cerambycidae alone, 458 species and 109 genera. There are over 60 dedicatory names. With E. Mayer and R. L. Usinger, he co-authored the Principles and Methods of Systematic Zoology, a definitive work published in 1953. Yet his primary legacy, which grew out of his Ph.D. thesis, is a nine-volume work, in part with J. A. Chemsak, The Cerambycidae of North America. His research depth and breadth are further evidenced by his collaborative work, with many researchers, on bees and their pollination. These activities are considered classics and models for future efforts. His professional activities, appointments, memberships, and honors were many. Appointments included: Research Associate, California Academy of Sciences; Secretary, American Commission on Entomological Nomenclature; Entomologist; Guggenheim Fellow; Research Professor, Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science; and member of the Galapagos International Scientific Project. Gort was a member of many national societies including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Entomological Society of America (Vice-President, l946, l948; President, l952; Honorary Member, 1977), American Entomolgical Society, Entomological Society of Canada, Ecological Society of America, American Forestry Association, Association for Tropical Biology, American Society of Naturalists, Society of Systematic Zoology (Charter Member), Society for the Study of Evolution (Charter Member), Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, Sociedad Mexicana de Entomologia, Kansas Entomological Society, and the Pacific Coast Entomological Society (Secretary, 1934-38; Editor, President, l938-40; Honored Member, 1969-2000). Honor societies include Sigma Xi, Alpha Zeta, and Gamma Alpha. Honors presented are the Fellows Medal, California Academy of Sciences, the Centennial Medal, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and the Berkeley Citation. Gort married Juanita Murdoch, affectionately known as ‘Peter,’ on August 22, 1935. Peter was a strong supporter of Gort's career and the two went on many collecting trips in quest of beetles and bees. For many years they spent portions of summers at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona on projects of plant pollination, habits of bees and wasps, insect predation, and faunal studies of longhorned beetles. Field trips to Mexico to collect specimens and to gather data were made with numerous colleagues. In addition to his busy academic and professional life, Gort was an avid collector of postage stamps dealing with biological subjects. He and Peter collected and polished rocks and minerals and Kachina dolls. Their home before its destruction in the 1991 Oakland fire was a veritable museum of rock specimens, books, and biological illustrations. They were also tireless gardeners, growing a variety of plants including Cymbidium orchids. Gort was a reserved, almost shy person, and often gave an impression of aloofness, but his generosity, work ethic, sense of humor, and dedication were much appreciated by those who knew him well. He was a respected member of the University community and served with distinction. He was noted for his quiet ability to develop consensus on committees. His contributions to the field of entomology will long be remembered. Gort died in his sleep on March 8, 2000; he is survived by his son, James Murdoch Linsley and daughter, Joan Linsley McFarlane; two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. John A. Chemsak Woodrow W. Middlekauff Edward S. Sylvester

AffiliationU.C. Berkeley (1939-1974 ret. ), (BS 1932, MS 1933, PhD 1938)
Label AbbreviationE.G. Linsley
Other NamesE.G. Linsley

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