Dr. Richard Lindroth, Vilas Distinguished Achievement and Sorenson Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was elected Fellow in the Entomological Society of America in 2017. He is an international leader in the disciplines of chemical ecology, plant-insect interactions, and global change ecology. He has also provided leadership in university administration, having served as Associate Dean for Research and Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison.
Lindroth was born in Batavia, Illinois, in 1954. As a "free range" kid, his love of biology was nurtured while roaming the fields, forests, and ponds of land that later became home to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He received his B.S. in wildlife biology at Iowa State University (1977) and his Ph.D. in ecology (under Dr. George Batzli) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1984). Lindroth joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology, UW-Madison, as an assistant professor in 1988 and was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and to full professor in 1996. He served as Associate Dean for Research and Associate Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station from 2010 to 2016.
Lindroth's research program has been very broad, addressing the roles of mechanisms that underlie ecological interactions at levels spanning the range from biochemistry to ecosystems. His group has investigated how plant chemistry influences interactions between plants and insect herbivores and consequences thereof for community organization and ecosystem function. A major emphasis of their work has been the effects of global environmental change on plant-insect interactions in forest ecosystems. Lindroth has published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters and mentored 24 graduate students and 20 postdoctoral scientists. His research program has been supported by numerous grants from the NSF, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Energy.