Riegert, Paul William (1923-2002)

Paul Riegert, an entomologist, civil servant, professor and author, was born on December 5, 1923, in Laird, Saskatchewan. Educated at Hamburg School and Laird High School, he entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1941, receiving a BA in Biology in 1944. He went on to post-graduate training at Montana State College, where he obtained an MSc in Entomology in 1948, and at the University of Illinois (1950-54), where he was awarded a PhD in Physiology and Entomology.

In 1944, Riegert started a twenty-four-year career in entomology with Canada Agriculture at the Dominion Entomological Laboratory in Saskatoon. His initial investigations involved the biology and control of red-backed cutworms and wheat stem sawflies. After 1948 he was involved in insect physiological/ ecological research and population surveys, and studied the effects of weather on grasshopper abundance. Considerable emphasis was placed on population dynamics for grasshoppers, including annual surveys of population density and forecast of outbreaks. These surveys, attempting to control grasshopper damage to crops, were of considerable help to farmers.

After joining the University of Regina in 1968, Riegert taught many courses in entomology as well as cell and animal physiology. His research focused on the bioenergetics and nutrition of insects. He published several books documenting the history of entomology and pest control in Canada as well as several local histories, and continued to do so after his retirement. He died on May 9, 2002, in Saskatoon.

Kathleen Gullacher