American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
208. Plant Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Tibor Jermy
 Institution:  Plant Protection Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
 Year Elected:  1990
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  208. Plant Sciences
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1917
 Death Date:  September 23, 2014
Tibor Jermy was distinguished for his work in ecology, especially insect-plant relationships. He was the foremost proponent of the sequential theory of the evolution of insect-plant relationships, emphasizing the asymmetry of the relationship. He postulated that the explosive evolution of the plant kingdom provided the diverse biochemical basis for the radiation of phytophagous insects without significant evolutionary feedback from the insects to the plants. He proposed that the evolution of host specialization is an autonomous process initiated by random heritable changes in the insects' host recognition trait. In the 1950s Dr. Jermy conducted pioneering work on the functioning of ecosystems, and through his fluency in Hungarian, English, German and Russian, he helped unlock a storehouse of literature that had previously been unknown to Western scientists. Born in 1917, Dr. Jermy had a Ph.D. from the University of Budapest. He began his career as an agricultural entomologist at the Plant Protection Institute of the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, where he focused on the biology and control of pest insects. He went on to direct the Institute from 1969-79 and became Director Emeritus in 1979. Dr. Jermy had also served as a Ford Foundation fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and as visiting scientist at the Agricultural University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and the USDA Agricultural Research Laboratory in Yakima, WA. Among other learned societies he was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1976) and an Honorary Member of the British Ecological Society (1992). He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1990. His many awards include the Golden Medal of Wrok (1977), the Hungarian State Prize (1983) and the Golden Medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Tibor Jermy died September 23, 2014, at the age of 97, in Budapest, Hungary.
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