Steinmetz Hall
1881 Natural Area Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 273-3920

Thomas J. Walker (Tom)
Professor Emeritus


  • B.A., University of Tennessee (Zoology and Botany), 1953
  • M.S., Ohio State University (Entomology), 1954
  • Ph.D., Ohio State University (Entomology), 1957

Relevant Employment History

  • Assistant Professor (1957-1962), University of Florida
  • Associate Professor (1962-1968), University of Florida
  • Professor (1968-2001), University of Florida
  • Professor Emeritus (2001-present), University of Florida

Current Research Interests

  • Systematics and acoustic behavior of katydids and crickets
  • Migratory behavior of butterflies
  • Toll-free access to journal articles

Selected Accomplishments

  • In 2005, became Administrative Assistant for the Natural Area Advisory Committee and oversaw noteworthy improvements to NATL.
  • Initiated and developed Singing Insects of North America, a web site that enables almost anyone to identify species of North American crickets, katydids, and cicadas.
  • Taught numerous courses including general education biology (17 yrs), systematics (4 yrs), insect ecology (41 yrs), and information techniques in research (31 yrs).
  • Coordinated a successful proposal to designate 46 acres [now 60 acres] in the SW corner of the University of Florida campus as a natural area and outdoor teaching laboratory.
  • Organized and chaired the Natural Area Advisory Committee, which manages the University of Florida's Natural Area Teaching Laboratory.
  • Led UF's mole cricket project during its initial years (1979-1985). During this period the origins, ecology, and behavior of Florida's three pest species were clarified, and the initial steps taken in what became their successful biological control by the introduction of natural enemies from temperate South America (Walker 1984).
  • Headed the faculty planning committee for the Entomology and Nematology Building (1986-1990).
  • Editor of Florida Entomologist (1964-1966).
  • Web Master of Florida Entomologist (1994-date).
  • Led the development, production, and installation of 56 computerized environmental chambers ("Florida Reach-Ins") (1987-1991) as described by Walker et al. 1993.
  • Developed and improved acoustical traps for agriculturally important insects (Walker 1988, 1996).
  • Showed that butterflies migrate into and out of peninsular Florida each fall and spring by the tens of millions (Walker 1991).
  • Developed economical, effective, portable traps for monitoring butterfly migration (Walker and Whitesell 1993, 1994).
  • Established that fall migrating cloudless sulfur butterflies fly different compass directions appropriate to reaching peninusular Florida.
  • Analyzed the acoustical template of larvipositing Ormia ochracea. (Walker 1993).
  • Completed a database of the nearly 9,000 tape recordings of insect sounds in the Walker Tape Library. Most of the recordings have now been digitized and posted online by Cornell's Macauley Library of Natural Sounds.
  • Headed a project to electronically publish Florida Entomologist on the Internet in parallel with its traditional version.
  • Initiated and continued to edit the University of Florida Book of Insect Records.
  • Successfully urged the Entomological Society of America to offer its authors, at a fair price, unlimited, immediate free Web access to their articles.
  • Headed a project that made the 1917 to March 1994 issues of Florida Entomologist publicly accessible on the Web. The cost of scanning, indexing, and optical character reading the 20,000 pages was less than $12,000.
  • Discovered that the pulse rates in the calling songs of Gryllus rubens and G. texensis were influenced by temperature during development.
  • Elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1964.