Year of Honorary Fellowship, 2001
Dr Peter Price is Regents’ Professor Emeritus at Northern Arizona University and author of the classic textbook Insect Ecology. He was born and raised in Carshalton Beeches in Surrey, England where boyhood activities included Boy Scouts and natural history where he developed a preference for plants. He was conscripted to National Service in the Royal Air Force for 2 years at 18, and trained in radar, working as a technician in an operational station in Germany. He then spent 4 years at the University College of North Wales, studying forestry and specializing in forest entomology.
His honours thesis was on the coexistence of two bark beetles on ash trees in North Wales. A move to the University of New Brunswick provided an opportunity to study forest entomology for an M.Sc. degree, with a thesis on bark beetles on spruces. Employment as a research officer in the Canadian Forest Service followed, based in Quebec City, working on sawfly and parasitoid interactions. This research formed his doctoral dissertation at Cornell University, in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate program, with an emphasis on the coexistence of parasitoids on the Swaine jack pine sawfly.
Next came assistant and associate professor positions in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, where research developed into the study of three-trophic-level interactions between plants, insect herbivores, and natural enemies. In 1979 he began as a research ecologist at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, and in 1980 moved to Northern Arizona University, retiring in 2002. His teaching concentrated on insect ecology, entomology and biological evolution.
He has published over 200 research papers with the most cited paper being Price et al 1980. Interactions among three trophic levels, cited over 1250 times.