Ken Haynes, entomology professor in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, recently was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific organization.
Haynes was nominated for his contributions to the fields of entomology and chemical ecology. Throughout his career, Haynes has studied the evolution of chemical communication in moths, particularly the cabbage looper.
“All moths originated from one ancestor, but over time each species has developed a unique combination of chemical signals to communicate with one another for mating,” he said. “I conduct genetic studies on the moth and look for factors that affect the pheromones they produce or respond to.”
Insect pheromones are used to lure moths to traps or to disrupt mating in integrated pest management systems in agriculture.
Another study involving insect pheromones gained Haynes and fellow UK entomologist Ken Yeargan international attention when they discovered a bolas spider releases unique pheromones to attract different species of moths for prey.
He is also studying pheromone signals and behavioral and physiological issues related to bed bug pest management.
Being elected a fellow to this association is one of the highest honors scientists can receive from their peers. Haynes was nominated by Walter Leal of the University of California Davis with support from Thomas Baker of Penn State and Wendell Roelofs of Cornell University.
“It’s nice to receive recognition of my career work with the acknowledgement and respect of the nominators and the selection committee,” Haynes said. “Of course none of the accomplishments being recognized would have been possible without the hard work of my graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, staff and colleagues.
Haynes is only the 16th fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from Kentucky and joins Paul Freytag, UK entomology emeritus professor, as the only UK entomologists to receive this award.