About the site Editor
Gene DeFoliart was a member of the entomology faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 32 years before retiring to emeritus status in 1991. His specialty field was medical and veterinary entomology with research focus the last 25 years on mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses. He twice served as chairman of the Department of Entomology, from 1968 to 1976, and, again, from January 1982 through December 1983.
Before coming to Wisconsin, he spent 8 years on the faculty of the University of Wyoming at Laramie. He received a B.S. degree from Oklahoma State University in 1948 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1951.
Let's switch to first-person. I became interested in insects as high protein food and animal feed when I agreed to participate in A Workshop on Unconventional Sources of Protein held on the University of Wisconsin campus in 1974. A small sideline research program was initiated in 1978, the first objective of which was to determine the value of Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex) as a high-protein source for poultry. I continued to conduct a sideline research program on the nutritional value of insects until my retirement. The nutritional studies were conducted in collaboration with Professor Milton L. Sunde (Department of Poultry Science) and Professor Norlin J. Benevenga (Department of Animal Science), both of whom held joint appointments in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Two Masters degrees and two PhDs were earned by graduate students participating in these studies. Technical papers reporting on the research are listed under Published Research.
In 1988, I initiated a 1-credit course on insects as food, and taught it in alternate years through 1992. Also in 1988, I initiated The Food Insects Newsletter, serving as its editor until the last issue (No. 3) of Volume 8 in 1995, when Dr. Dunkel took over.
Acknowledgments: In the history of the Newsletter and the history of this subject at the University of Wisconsin, many people have been important contributors. Here, I want to thank three people whose help has been indispensable in establishing this site: David Jansen who has handled all the technicalities in acquiring and constructing this site, Laura Herman whose admirable word-processing skills more than compensate for the editor's deficiency in such skills and Cortney Jansen who has scanned the Newsletter and is making ongoing corrections and additions.