Hellmich Named a Top ARS Scientist for
2002 By Luis
February 12, 2003
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 12The
Agricultural Research Service has named
research entomologist Richard L. Hellmich as Midwest Area Senior Research
Scientist of 2002" for his research involving the effects of Bt corn on
insects. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hellmich, who works for the ARS
Corn Insects and Crops
Genetics Research Unit in Ames, Iowa, will receive a plaque and a cash
award for making outstanding scientific contributions to insect ecology. He
will be honored at a ceremony today at the agencys Henry A. Wallace
Beltsville Agricultural Research
Since joining the Ames unit in 1993, Hellmich has applied his
expertise in insect ecology, behavior and genetics to research for evaluating
possible effects of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic corn on
non-target insects, and for developing strategies for managing European corn
borer resistance to Bt corn.
Hellmich was co-recipient of a 2002 USDA Secretarys Honor
Award for leading a consortium of scientists that investigated the effects of
Bt corn pollen on monarch butterflies. The consortiums research
resulted in five articles that were published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
USA. Hellmich played a significant role in educating the public about the
In addition, he helped lead a regional research committee to
deliver science-based recommendations for managing European corn borer
resistance to Btcorn to the Environmental
Protection Agency. The committee's recommendations were adopted by the EPA
and are widely practiced by corn growers in the United States and Canada.
Previously, Hellmich researched Africanized honey bees in
Venezuela and Guatemala while working with the ARS
Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, based in Baton Rouge, La. He
established a queen-rearing operation in southeast Guatemala's highlands and
developed methods to produce non-Africanized queens. Honeybee queens from this
operation are in high demand throughout Central America, where importing the
insects is not cost-effective.
Hellmich has authored papers on diverse topics including
Africanized bee mating biology, European corn borer ecology, insect resistance
management, and nontarget effects of Bt corn on monarch butterflies.
He is continuing to develop new concepts, methods and
technologies for advancing the use of bio-intensive approaches to integrated
and sustainable agriculture and risk assessment.
Hellmich was born in Cut Bank, Mont., and raised in Greensburg,
Ind. He received a B.A. in zoology from DePauw University in Indiana and M.S.
and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Ohio State University. He also is a
collaborator and assistant professor with Iowa State University's Department of