President of the Michigan Entomological Society Robert Haack (right) presents Mark O’Brien, UMMZ collection manager of insects, with an Honorary Lifetime Membership to the society for 30 years of service. Image courtesy: MES.

Mark O’Brien has been dubbed King of All Bugs. No – just kidding – but he was named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Michigan Entomological Society.

Kudos to O’Brien, collections manager of insects at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, who received the honor for 30 years of service to the MES.

The honor was presented at the 61st annual meeting of MES, held at Rockwell Lake Lodge near Cadillac, Mich. in late June 2015. He will never pay membership dues again and was presented with a plaque.

Honorary Lifetime Membership can be granted to members who have performed long and distinguished service in the field of entomology to the state of Michigan or to the society. “Mark has clearly excelled in both areas,” said Robert Haack, president-elect and newsletter editor of MES and a research entomologist with the Forest Service. 

Haack outlined O’Brien’s major professional accomplishments: he has been the Insect Division collections manager for UMMZ since 1981; he has written numerous scientific papers with a primary focus on Hymenoptera and Odonata; he has coordinated the Michigan Odonata Survey since it began in 1997; and has served on several Michigan Department of Natural Resources committees to review state-listed threatened and endangered insect species. 

O’Brien actively served on the MES Governing Board in several capacities since joining the society in 1981. He was president twice (1985-88 and 2000-03) and planned and hosted the MES Annual Meetings in 1986 and 2001. He was the journal editor of The Great Lakes Entomologist for about 11 years from 1988-1998, and is the MES webmaster, a position he took on in 2001. In addition, O’Brien hosted the MES spring Breaking Diapause gathering twice (in the 1990s and in 2013) and is planning to do so again in 2016. Overall, of O’Brien’s 35 years as an MES member, he served on the MES Governing Board for over 29 years.

Only five honorary MES lifetime members are allowed at a time; O’Brien is the second such honoree. Finally, if anyone figures out who really is the King of All Bugs, please alert the media!

The Honorary Life Member plaque presented to Mark O’Brien from the Michigan Entomological Society. Image courtesy: MES.