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Dr. Eugene Gerberg

Dr. Eugene Gerberg, a medical entomologist who 'joined' the University of Florida faculty after retiring from a long career as a public health entomologist, including service in World War II, died on December 19, 2011. Dr. Gerberg was still active in many endeavors until his early 90s, but began to fail in health after he reached 92. I first met him in the early 1990s when I was developing a large, software training program for a major pesticide company that supported the urban pest control industry. He was listed as one of the authors of the program and was a great resource when I had questions about a pest. I remember that the company providing the grant wanted information on the 'cheese skipper' included, and my first response was, "What the hell is that?" As the Internet wasn't there yet, I went to Gene for help. He replied that he thought he had some information on this pest in the warehouse where he ran his entomological supply company. A few days later he handed me a phamplet opened to the 'cheese skipper' pages, held open with a paperclip. After thanking him and later reading the material, I removed the paperclip and opened the phamplet to the front page. It was a USDA publication and the author was Dr. Eugene Gerberg. It was dated 1947, the year I was born. When Dr. James Nation, another 'retired' entomologist in our department, came in, I mentioned Gene's passing to him. Dr. Nation replied that Gene was one of the old breed of entomologists who were not only experts in their specialities, but also knew a little bit about everything else.

I was fortunate to get to know Gene well and was a guest at his house several times. When he came to the department, I either went to his office to chat with him or he came by mine. He had many friends and admirers and will be greatly missed. - Thomas R. Fasulo

The following (slightly edited) information appeared in the Gainesville Sun:

Dr. Gerberg was born June 1, 1919, in Brooklyn, New York. He received both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Dr. Gerberg served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1941 until 1943, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. From 1942 until 1945, he served in the Malaria Control in War Areas unit, a forerunner of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). After the war, Dr. Gerberg transferred to the Army Reserve, retiring as a colonel from the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in 1979. In 1946, he co-founded Insect Control and Research (ICR) in Baltimore, serving as president until he sold the company in 1990. During the Vietnam War, ICR was instrumental in helping combat malaria, which was paralyzing U.S. troops in Vietnam.

From 1972 until his death, Dr. Gerberg was a Research Associate for the Florida Department of Agriculture in Gainesville. He also served as Adjunct Professor with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1986 until 1991, and as Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville from 1991 until his death. Dr. Gerberg served as a consultant to the U.S. Commerce Department trade missions to Nigeria and Pakistan, the U.S. State Department Agency for International Development, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization. He was a Cooperating Scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1954 until his death.

Dr. Gerberg's work and expertise were recognized by the American Mosquito Control Association, the National Pest Management Association, the Entomological Society of America and the Florida Entomological Society. He was the American Registry of Professional Entomologists' Outstanding Medical/Veterinary Entomologist in 1983. He was the author or co-author of many manuals, articles and publications related to the identification, rearing and control of insects. He also co-authored a manual on Florida butterflies.

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  17 Januaryy 2012 tmcooper, tfasulo, rmankin