Dr. Charles L. “Chuck” Bellamy – 12th Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society

Dr. Charles L. ”Chuck” Bellamy

On Thursday of this past week, it was my distinct pleasure and honor to see my colleague and very good friend, Dr. Charles L. “Chuck” Bellamy named an Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society. Honorary Membership is the highest level of distinction given by the Society in recognition of devotion to the Society and dedication to the discipline of coleopterology. Chuck was nominated for this honor by colleagues Andrew Cline and Robert Anderson, and the nomination was approved by President Michael Caterino and the rest of the Society Executive Board by unanimous vote. Chuck is only the 12th Honorary Member of the Society and joins such illustrious names as Ross Arnett, Jr., Patricia Vaurie, Henry and Anne Howden, Charles Triplehorn, Brett Ratcliffe, etc.

Selection criteria for Honorary Membership include sustained, active membership in and service to the Society, advancement of coleopterology nationally and/or internationally, and sustained history of publication in The Coleopterists Bulletin and/or other Society publications. Chuck’s qualifications in these regards are beyond reproach:

  • Nearly 40 years of continuous membership in the Society.
  • Served as President (2003–2004), Councillor (1993–1994), Investment Officer (2010–present), Website Coordinator (2006–2010), Book Review Editor (1993–2002) and Monograph Series Editor (2009–present).
  • Has advised six graduate students from USA, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Brazil and India (despite not holding an academic appointment) and also counselled and mentored numerous other coleopterists (including me) on the study of Buprestidae in particular and Coleoptera systematics in general.
  • Published more than 200 papers on Coleoptera—69 in Society publications (a record)—and numerous books, including the landmark 5-volume, 3,200+ page, World Catalogue of Buprestoidea.

Chuck’s contributions, of course, go well beyond this short list. He has had editorial roles with other entomology journals, including Zootaxa, The Pan-Pacific Entomologist (my favorite journal!), and Folia Heyrovskyana, served as a research associate with the National Museum of Natural History, the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Department of Entomology at the University of California – Davis and ventured onto five continents in search of Buprestoidea—not only collecting the specimens, but describing the new taxa he found as well. Overall, Chuck has described more than 200 new species and over 50 new genera.  Andy Cline and Bob Anderson put it best: “Chuck’s contributions have led to a better understanding of one of the most diverse and speciose groups of beetles in the world.” More importantly, however, Chuck has been universally regarded as an excellent friend and colleague!

Chuck was presented his Honorary Membership at the California Department of Food & Agriculture’s Plant Pest Diagnostics Center in Sacramento prior to a seminar by Dr. Art Evans, entomologist. About 40 colleagues from California and beyond were on hand to see Chuck receive his award. For many people, the award presentation by Andy Cline would have been a tough act to follow, but Art Evans (author of multiple entomology books and field guides) had no problem entertaining the crowd with photos and reminiscences of his journey in the creation of another field guide, the highly anticipated Beetles of Eastern North America. For me it was a special week of meeting new colleagues, reconnecting with old friends, and seeing the most important mentor in my life as a coleopterist receive the highest award our society can bestow. Congratulations, Chuck!

For those of you who were not able to attend the event, I include here a link to a PDF version of Andy’s presentation (many thanks, Andy!):

Chuck Bellamy—Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society

Special appreciation also to Martin Hauser, who graciously contributed these photos he took of the event:

Colleagues, friends and family gather for the presentation.

Chuck is announced as the 12th Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society.

Chuck learns of his award with wife Rose and sister Gail at his side.

Andy Cline presents Chuck his Honorary Membership.

Chuck receives a standing ovation from the audience.

Dr. Art Evans reminisces about earlier days.

Art chats after the seminar with Lynn Kimsey and Rolf Aalbu.

Larry Bezark and Ted MacRae – we must be talking cerambycids!

Art Evans, Chris Borkent, Ted MacRae and Eric Fisher.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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12 Responses to Dr. Charles L. “Chuck” Bellamy – 12th Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society

  1. Dennis Haines says:

    They couldn’t have picked a more deserving entomologist for this honor! Chuck has long been a pillar in Coleopterist community. I just wish his health was better. Our last excursion was up to the top of Table Mountain (Fresno County, CA) to find the elusive Schizopus sallei sallei. He wanted the opportunity to see the habitat and photograph the species. The picture he took of the one specimen we found is on the cover of Gayle’s Catalog of the Buprestoidea of America North of Mexico. Chuck was one of my early mentors, and gave me much encouragement in my effort to add entomologist to my repertoire of plant taxonomist.

    It was great to see the pictures from the seminar and look upon the faces of so many old friends!

    • Hi Dennis – I’d love to see Schizopus sallei (or any species of the genus) myself.

      I’ve always said Gayle Nelson was my greatest mentor, but he’s been gone for quite a while now and Chuck has continued to mentor me in areas far beyond just collecting. He’s a great friend, and it was a real thrill for me to be able to see him honored in this way.

  2. scrapydo says:

    Thank you for sharing this extraordinary occasion. He deserves it.

  3. Carmelo Peter Bonsignore says:

    Thank you for sharing this and thank you Chuck for helping me.
    Congratulations, Chuck!

  4. Nicely done Ted! Certainly one of the good things to come out of all this is that we had a chance to reconnect after all these years! I do hope that we get a chance to get out in the field some day sooner than later!

    • I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, seeing you and so many others after all these years has rekindled my desire to not let the years continue to roll by without making more time for field experiences with others. In the end, it’s the friendships cultivated rather than the bugs collected that matter.

  5. Alan Mudge says:

    It’d be hard to find a more deserving individual. Wish I could have been there. Congratulations Chuck!

  6. This is great to hear Ted. I’ve only come to appreciate Chuck’s work with buprestids over the past two years, but without his contributions (and the rest of the jewel beetle taxonomical community of course) our field guide would not have been possible. He’s created an astonishing body of literature on the family, and I’m glad to see him honoured in this way!

  7. Allen Sundholm says:

    Well done, very well deserved. Chuck has done wonders for Buprestidae taxonomy. He has been a good friend and wise counsel. Allen Sundholm, Sydney, Australia.

  8. Pingback: The Weekly Flypaper » Biodiversity in Focus Blog

  9. Eduard Jendek says:

    Thank you Chuck for everything you did for the world buprestidology

  10. Daniele Baiocchi says:

    Congratulations Chuck!

    You really deserve this honor for all you did in Entomology. Your website, your publications and most of all your precious advices, made my life easier at writing on Anthaxia, and to all involved with taxonomy of Buprestidae!
    A great THANKS from Roma.

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