Kellogg, Vernon Lyman

views updated May 18 2018

Kellogg, Vernon Lyman

(b. Emporia, Kansas, 1 December 1867; d. Hartford, Connecticut, 8 August 1937)

entomology, zoology.

Kellogg was the son of a college professor, Lyman Beecher Kellogg, and Abigail Homer kellogg. Although he had shown a considerable interest in the animals of his native Kansas, Kellogg intended to become a journalist when he entered the University of Kansas. At the university he worked on the local newspaper with his close friend and fellow student William Allen White. but the persuasive influence of entomologist Francis Huntington Snow, chancellor of the university, impelled him to follow a scientific career. Kellogg received the B.A. at Kansas in 1889 and the M.A. from the same university in 1892, by which time he was already assistant professor of entomology (1890) and secretary to Snow. he became associate professor in 1893.

In 1894 Kellogg went to Stanford University at the urging of the prominent entomologist John henry Comstock, who spent three months there each year. Kellogg became professor of entomology and head of the department at Stanford in 1895. He took leaves of absence to study at Cornell University, and at Leipzig and Paris. During World war i he served with the Commission for Relief in belgium, headed by his former student Herbert Hoover, and in other relief and peace activities. kellogg resigned his professorship in 1920 to become permanent secretary of the National Research Council.

Under Snow’s leadership, the University of Kansas developed a fine entomological center, and Kellogg was one of its significant contributors. He and Samuel Wendell Willistόn added numerous specimens to the insect collection. Stanford, also, was an active entomological site, where David Starr Jordan’s forceful personality influenced many branches of science. Kellogg accumulated the largest collection of Mallophaga in the United States and published extensively on them. He observed that closely related species of these bird lice on different hosts indicated a close relationship between the hosts. His work on silkworms was a pioneer study in genetics in America. He classified the Dipteran family Blepharoceridae, and he also investigated Lepidoptera scales and the morphology and development of mouth parts in insects. He wrote, alone or with Jordan, about a dozen books on evolution and general biology.


I. Original Works. A list of Kellogg’s most significant publications is presented in McClung’s memorial, cited below. Outstanding entomological contributions are “List of North American Species of Mallophaga,” in Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 22 (1900), 39–100; “Mallophaga,” in Genera insectorum, fasc. 66 (1908), pp. 1–87; “Diptera family Blepharoceridae,” ibid., fasc. 56 (1907), pp. 1–15; and Inheritance in Silkworms, Stanford University Publications, ser. 1 (Stanford, Calif., 1908). His three highly esteemed eds. Of American Insects (New York, 1904; 3rd ed., 1914) were especially valuable in popularizing the field.

Among his other significant books are Darwinism Today (New York, 1907); Evolution and Animal Life (New York, 1907), written with David Starr Jordon; Mind and Heredity (Princeton, N.J., 1923); and Evolution (New York, 1924).

II. Secondary Literature. C. E. McClung presented Kellogg’s personality and accomplishments in “Biographical Memoir of Vernon Lyman Kellogg” in Biographical Memoirs. National Academy of Sciences, 20 (1939), 243–257. A volume entitled Vernon Kellogg, 1867–1937 (Washington, D.C., 1939), C. C. Fisher, ed., which includes excerpts from his writings, tributes from associates, and some biographical material, was published by the Belgian American Education Foundation. Kellogg is included in E. O. Essig, A History of Entomology (New York, 1965), a facs. of the 1931 ed.; in Herbert Osborn, Fragments of Entomological History (Columbus, Ohio, 1937; pt. 2, 1946); and in Arnold Mallis, American Entomologists (New Brunswick, N.J., 1971).

Elizabeth Noble Shor