Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell

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Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell (1866–1948)

Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell (1866–1948) was an American zoologist, born at Norwood, England, and brother of Sydney Cockerell. He was educated at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, and then studied botany in the field in Colorado in 1887–90. Subsequently he became a taxonomist and published numerous papers on the Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, and Mollusca, as well as publications on paleontology and evolution.

Professional life[edit]

Between 1891 and 1901 Cockerell was curator of the public museum of Kingston, Jamaica, professor of entomology of the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1900–03 he was instructor in biology at the New Mexico Normal University; in 1903–04 curator of the Colorado College Museum; and in 1904 he became lecturer on entomology and in 1906 professor of systematic zoology, at the University of Colorado, where he worked with Junius Henderson in establishing the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. During World War II he operated the Desert Museum in Palm Springs, California.[1]

Publications[edit]

Cockerell was author of more than 2,200 articles in scientific publications, especially on the Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, and Mollusca, and on paleontology and various phases of evolution, plus some 1700 additional authored works, including treatises on social reform and education. He was one of the most prolific taxonomists in history, publishing descriptions of over 9,000 species and genera of insects alone, some 6,400 of which were bees, and some 1,000 mollusks, arachnids, fungi, mammals, fish and plants.[2] This includes descriptions of numerous fossil taxa, such as the landmark study, Some Fossil Insects from Florissant, Colorado (1913).

Honors[edit]

A dorm in the Engineering Quad at the University of Colorado at Boulder is named in his honor.

Taxa[edit]

Taxa named by Cockerell include:

Name Year Unit Location Notes Images

Anthidium exhumatum

1906

Florissant Formation

 USA

A mason bee

Anthidium scudderi

1906

Florissant Formation

 USA

A mason bee

Archimyrmex rostratus

1923

Green River Formation

 USA

A myrmeciine ant

Elisolimax

1893

Extant

a land snail genus

Dinopanorpa megarche

1924

Khutsin Formation

 Russia

A scorpion fly

Hydriomena? protrita

1922

Florissant Formation

 USA

A Butterfly

Protostephanus ashmeadi

1906

Florissant Formation

A crown wasp

Palaeovespa

1906

Baltic amber & Florissant Formation, Colorado

 Europe
 USA

an Eocene wasp genus

Tortrix? destructus

1917

Florissant Formation

 USA

a moth

Tortrix? florissantana

1907

Florissant Formation

 USA

A moth

Personal life[edit]

Cockerell with his wife Wilmatte Porter Cockerell, 1935

Cockerell was born in Norwood, Greater London and died in San Diego, California.

He married Annie Penn in 1891 (she died in 1893) and Williamette A. Porter in 1900. In 1901, he named the ultramarine blue chromodorid Mexichromis porterae in her honor. Before and after their marriage in 1900, they frequently went on collecting expeditions together and assembled a large private library of natural history films, which they showed to schoolchildren and public audiences to promote the cause of environmental conservation.

After his death he was buried in Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado.[3]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Moore, F., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 

  1. ^ Young, Patricia Mastick (1983). Desert Dream Fulfilled: The History of the Palm Springs Desert Museum. Palm Springs, California: Palm Springs Desert Museum, Inc. pp. 24–25. LCCN 83080384. OCLC 19266381.  LCC QH541.5.D4 Y68 1983
  2. ^ "?". [dead link]
  3. ^ Theodore D. A. Cockerell at Find a Grave

External links[edit]