GEORGE BRITTON VOGT

Photo of George Vogt

George was born on April 10, 1920, in Baltimore, Maryland, and he died on December 12, 1990, in Washington, D.C. Originally George was interested in many groups of insects. He earned his bachelor of science degree in 1941 and his master of science degree in 1949, both from the University of Maryland. While at the University of Maryland, George concentrated on Coleoptera and Hemiptera (especially Scutellericlae). His formal studies were interrupted when he was stationed in Brownsville, Texas, with the U.S. Public Health Service from 1946 to 1947. During those two years, George spent his weekends collecting at a number of sites in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and built an extensive collection of bug and beetle families. While earning his master’s degree at Maryland, and employed by the University as an assistant professor, George had an impressive knowledge of the systematics and biology of most of the Coleoptera occurring in eastern North America.

George began his employment with the Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, in 1949. During the years 1950 to 1952, George was assigned to Burma and worked on mosquito related problems. It was during this time that an impressive collection of Burmese insects was made. In 1956, George explored Spain and southwest Asia looking for potential biological control agents for the chenopod weed Halogeton. Later, he was a member of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory and was stationed at the U.S. National Museum for a number of years. In 1972, he was reassigned to the Southern Weed Science Lab in Stoneville, Mississippi, and led a team that studied the importations and subsequent releases that successfully controlled alligatorweed. George retired from the Weed Lab in 1978 but remained very active in his prime research interests and divided his time between the Weed Lab and the Entomology Lab by maintaining residences in Leland, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C.

George was well known for his diverse entomological research. He conducted the exploration of much of South America from 1960 to 1962, which led to the importation of the natural enemies of alligatorweed. His five trips during that time led to the discovery of three insects, which ultimately were released in the Southeast; two of these were new to science and the most voracious and thus effective control agent was a small moth subsequently named Vogtia. George's studies of leaf-mining Buprestidae, leaf-rolling attelabids and their thief weevils (Pterocolinae) began during his youth and became the focus of much of his personally elected research throughout his various travels and diverse assignments. He initiated a comprehensive rearing program in 1953 and included a small study of leaf-mining Tachygoninae and Hispinae. To date, at least 300 species of neotropical buprestid leaf-miners have been reared and ecologically studied. These groups tie together from the standpoint of their ecologies and phylogenies.

George's publication list was diverse and truly reflects the variety of his career assignments and his personally elected research. He belonged to a number of scientific organizations including the Entomological Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Entomological Society of Washington, Society of Systematic Zoology, the Coleopterists Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he also was listed in American Men of Science.

George was elected to membership in the Washington Biologists' Field Club in 1950.