Dr Richard Harrington
Date of fellowship 2014
Dr Richard Harrington has been interested in insects since the age of 7 when he accidentally caught a butterfly in a crab net and identified it as a large white (Pieris brassicae) from a Brooke Bond tea card he had acquired that morning. He graduated in Zoology and Applied Entomology at Imperial College and then moved next door to the Natural History Museum, London where he did a PhD on sexual morph production in aphids. The day after his PhD grant finished he started work on aphids at Rothamsted Research, the World’s oldest agricultural research station, at Harpenden in Hertfordshire and worked there for almost four decades.
Recently retired, Dr Harrington headed the Rothamsted Insect Survey which runs trap networks providing long-term data on many insects, especially moths and aphids. These data are used in a wide range of fundamental and applied studies and are especially suited to statistical analyses of the impacts of climate change on seasonality, abundance and distribution.
In 2008 he paid £20 for an aphid in amber which was advertised on eBay. It turned out to be an undescribed and extinct species and which named after him, Mindarus harringtoni Heie.
Dr Harrington, is a former Vice-President of the Royal Entomological Society, former editor of several RES publications and he is currently the Special Interest Group Coordinator for the Society.