Walker, Thomas J.
Walker, Thomas J.
(Thomas Jefferson Walker)
PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Tennessee, B.A. (zoology, botany), 1953, Ohio State University, M.S. (entomology), 1954, Ph.D. (entomology), 1957.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Florida, Gainesville, assistant professor, 1957–62, associate professor, 1962–68, professor of biology, 1968–2001, professor emeritus, 2001–.
Contributor of chapters to books and to scientific journals.
SIDELIGHTS: Thomas J. Walker spent nearly five decades teaching students at the University of Florida general biology and insect ecology. During his tenure, he helped create a forty-six-acre natural area and outdoor teaching laboratory on campus. Among his many contributions, Walker also organized and chaired the natural area advisory committee, which manages the university's natural area teaching laboratory, and headed a project to electronically publish Florida Entomologist online.
As professor emeritus, Walker continued his research and work in his field. He and Thomas E. Moore created the Singing Insects of North America Web site, an ongoing project that allows users to identify North American grasshoppers, crickets, and cicadas by their sounds. He also coauthored Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States with John L. Capinera. Since the majority of known species can only be identified by close inspection or are found in limited areas, the authors concentrate on approximately one third of the insect order Orthoptera. Of these, grasshoppers are most often observed, while crickets and katydids are more often identifiable by their nighttime songs.
Andrew Harvey wrote in a Times Literary Supplement review that "an introductory section deals with the biology of the group and describes basic study techniques, with emphasis on sound production, an important aspect of the lives of katydids and crickets. It is clear that this is where the major interest of the authors lies." Library Journal contributor Annette Aiello noted the importance of field guides in the environmental movement, writing that "this splendid guide fills a gap in that effort and is recommended to amateurs and professionals alike."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, April 1, 2005, Annette Aiello, review of Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States, p. 120.
Times Literary Supplement, June 10, 2005, Andrew Harvey, review of Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States.
American Scientist Online, http://www.americanscientist.org/ (December 26, 2005), profile of Thomas J. Walker.
Singing Insects of North America Web site, http://buzz.ifas.ufl.edu/ (December 26, 2005).
Thomas J. Walker Home Page, http://tjwalker.ifas.ufl.edu (November 26, 2005).