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Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 24, Special Issue 7 (2017)

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Winter Ecology: Insights from Biology and History A special issue of the Northeastern Naturalist Dedication With the untimely death of Scott R. Smedley, 54, after a short but courageous battle with cancer on 10 October 2017, the world of chemical ecology has lost an ardent advocate, meticulous investigator, and enthusiastic scholar. Scott grew up on Cape Cod where he first demonstrated his interests in the natural Scott Smedley, in 2012, leading his Winter Ecology class down a path through the forest to share his enthusiasm for and curiousity about our natural world with his students. Photograph © Al Ferreira. Northeastern Naturalist CW. Schneider 2017 Vol. 14, Special Issue 7 ii world, including an early insect collection that he donated to a local natural history museum. He attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA, graduating with a B.A. cum laude in 1985. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical ecology from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in 1993, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Cornell Institute for Research in Chemical Ecology. In 1997, Scott joined the faculty as a Professor of Biology at Trinity College, Hartford, CT where he served the last 2 decades. He was a careful and patient teacher/scholar who loved to teach and involve students in the field and laboratory. Scott was tireless and gave much of his time to students. Many of his research students published with him papers investigating the role of novel biochemicals either sequestered or synthesized by insects. Those privileged to have known Scott Smedley will remember the humble person with a dry wit and eagerness to lend a helping hand, a tireless worker and teacher devoted to his wife Melanie and children Drew and Lydia. Colleagues in insect chemical ecology from throughout the world will miss his gentle presence, steady influence, and analytical thinking. They, like his colleagues and students at Trinity, have lost a passionate advocate for insects and their chemical defenses as well as field ecology, season notwithstanding. At the time of his death, Scott was putting the finishing touches on many projects including this special issue of the Northeastern Naturalist with Tom Wickman, a historian colleague at Trinity College. As it is now completed, we dedicate this issue to him and honor his tireless efforts recruiting authors, encouraging young researchers to contribute, editing manuscripts, and, of course, writing a paper with his own undergraduate students for this special issue on Winter Ecology. It is fitting that one of his last efforts was to promote the field of winter ecology that he taught to hundreds of students who were taken into the field in the dead of winter to “experience the beauty and mysteries of winter” as Scott said in the preface, oft ignored in the biology curriculum. Scott devoted his later years to the study of the winter firefly, Ellychnia corrusa, a species potentially embracing winter to evade its summer predators. As a colleague at the College, I speak for all who knew and worked with this gentle and compassionate person, an energetic and engaging colleague and friend—he will be sorely missed by us and generations of Trinity students who benefited from his careful and deliberate guidance in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in the field. Craig W. Schneider Department of Biology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT