Nellie M. Payne

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Nellie M. Payne
Born (1900-12-11)December 11, 1900
Cheyenne Wells, Colorado
Died July 19, 1990(1990-07-19) (aged 89)
Nationality American
Alma mater Kansas State Agricultural College,
University of Minnesota
Awards National Research Council Fellow,
Fellow of the Entomological Society of America
Scientific career
Fields entomologist
Institutions Lindenwood College,
American Cyanamid

Nellie M. Payne (December 11, 1900 – July 19, 1990) was an American entomologist and agricultural chemist. Her research on insect responses to low temperature had practical agricultural and environmental applications.

Early life and education[edit]

Emily Maria de Cottrell Payne was born in 1900, in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, daughter of James E. Payne Sr. and Mary Emmeline Cottrell Payne. Her father was superintendent of an agricultural station.[1] She had two brothers, Amos and James.[2] She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural chemistry and entomology from the Kansas State Agricultural College, her parents' alma mater, and a Ph.D. in 1925 from the University of Minnesota.[3] Her doctoral research in invertebrate zoology concerned the effects of low temperatures on insects.[4]


During her graduate studies, Nellie M. Payne taught briefly at Lindenwood College in Missouri.[5] As a young scholar she spent several years as an editor and staff member at Biological Abstracts. She was named a National Research Council Fellow in 1925, to work in the zoology department at the University of Pennsylvania.[6] From 1933 to 1937 Payne taught entomology at the University of Minnesota,[7] while spending summers as a researcher at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.[8] Payne left academia in 1937, to be a researcher for American Cyanamid; in 1942 she shared a patent on an insecticide with fellow researcher Walter Ericks.[9] She received a patent on another insecticide in 1949, as sole inventor.[10] In 1957, she accepted a position with Velsicol Chemical Corporation, and stayed with them until her retirement in 1971.[11]

In 1921, Payne was elected to membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1940 she was named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America.[12] She was also an active member of the New York Academy of Sciences.[13]

Payne's work on cold hardiness in insects continues to be cited as a foundation for later research.[14][15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Nellie M. Payne died at home in Chicago in 1990, age 89.[17]


  1. ^ Annual Catalogue of the Officers, Students, and Graduates of the Kansas State Agricultural College (Kansas State University):73.
  2. ^ "Out of Town Notes" Alma Enterprise (December 11, 1914): 1. via open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "Nellie Maria de Cottrell Payne" in Marilyn Ogilvie and Joy Harvey, eds., The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives From Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century (Routledge 2003): 993. ISBN 9781135963439
  4. ^ Nellie Maria de Cottrell Payne, "Freezing and Survival of Insects at Low Temperature" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1925).
  5. ^ "News of the State" Columbia Evening Missourian (September 9, 1921): 6. via open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ Nellie M. Payne, "Cold Hardiness in the Japanese Beetle, Popilia Japonica Newman" Biological Bulletin 55(3)(September 1928): 163-179.
  7. ^ Nellie M. C. Payne, General Physiology of Insects: Outlines of Lectures (University of Minnesota 1933).
  8. ^ Nellie M. Payne, "Measures of Insect Cold Hardiness" Biological Bulletin 52(6)(June 1927): 449-457.
  9. ^ U. S. Patent No. 2289541, granted on July 14, 1942, to Walter Ericks and Nellie M. C. Payne.
  10. ^ U. S. Patent No. 2469340, granted on May 3, 1949, to Nellie M. C. Payne.
  11. ^ "Nellie M. Payne, ESA Fellow (1940)" Entomological Society of America.
  12. ^ "Nellie M. Payne, ESA Fellow (1940)" Entomological Society of America.
  13. ^ "Nellie M. Payne, ESA Fellow (1940)" Entomological Society of America.
  14. ^ Lauritz Sømme, Invertebrates in Hot and Cold Arid Environments (Springer Science and Business Media 2012): 174. ISBN 9783642795831
  15. ^ M. S. Mani, Ecology and Biogeography of High Altitude Insects (Springer Science and Business Media 2013): 441. ISBN 9789401713399
  16. ^ "Insect Cold Hardiness" in S. R. Leather, K. F. A. Walters, and J. S. Bale, The Ecology of Insect Overwintering (Cambridge University Press 1995): 120. ISBN 9780521556705
  17. ^ "Nellie M. Decottrell Payne" Chicago Tribune (July 22, 1990).