Finally met one of my mentors!

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Chuck
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Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by Chuck »

Dr. John Hyatt has, over they years, developed into a friend. He's been a supporter, a mentor, a sounding board, a collaborator. And while the wonders of the internet forums allow us to develop virtual relationships, I had not, over all the years, met John face-to-face.

Part of the problem is that Dr. Hyatt lives, purportedly on purpose, in the middle of nowhere; hours from any respectable center of commerce. It's not like he's a hermit in a cabin, just that my travels never get me within a five hour drive of him.

But the stars aligned! I was on work assignment that was close enough to the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists annual meeting, where I was able to both drop off a bunch of specimens for genetic study, as well as meet Mr. Hyatt! And while I couldn't stay long, it was great to have finally met John.

Image

Above, I with a bunch of specimens that were re-homed, and Dr. Hyatt with a bunch of unidentified micro moths.


Now, I must also say that John is a humble giant of knowledge; a true southern gentleman. For several months (maybe a year?) we've been hoping to cross paths. John knew well that I'd been deeply involved in the study of the Papilio glaucus / Tiger complex, so offered me a specimen of appalachiensis. Every time the topic came up, John made sure to emphasize that it wasn't a bauble-grade specimen.

Of course, I'm not interested in perfect specimens, but a voucher specimen is of great quick reference for morphological comparisons. Particularly because of a frustration that the images of Appy don't always fit the description of the morphological differentiators identified in the original description of the species, but also because I'm having the same problem with the Mid Summer Tiger. Given that this specimen is from the Type location, there should be zero question that it's Appy.

Image


Image


Now as I said John went to some effort to ensure I understood that the specimen he'd set aside for me wasn't perfect. What he'd not said that it was but one of four he's caught. Appy are a hard won capture, and John's low count of specimens in his reference collection reflect that. But what really demonstrates John's friendship is that he was willing to part with one of his very few.

There's still a lot of people on my list that I'd like to meet face-to-face. But I'm glad to have finally taken Dr. Hyatt off that list!
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Jshuey
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by Jshuey »

Didn't realize that you were there (or more clearly - who you were). Wish we had chatted a bit. I was there with 2-ex buckeyes, John Peacock and Dave Iftner who didn't want to do the collections on Saturday morning. So we just came in for the presentations and dinner.

john
Chuck
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by Chuck »

Jshuey wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 4:37 pm Didn't realize that you were there (or more clearly - who you were). Wish we had chatted a bit. I was there with 2-ex buckeyes, John Peacock and Dave Iftner who didn't want to do the collections on Saturday morning. So we just came in for the presentations and dinner.

john
You gotta be kidding. I could have knocked off two?
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adamcotton
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by adamcotton »

I guess this is a good reason why people should wear 'name badges' at events like these.

Adam.
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jhyatt
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by jhyatt »

Chuck is far too generous in making kind comments! But it was indeed a red-letter day to get to meet a member of our clade with whom I'd corresponded for years.
Chuck is very generous with his specimens and his time, and his leadership of a circulating lepidoptera swap box for years enriched the collections and knowledge of a number of us amateur lepidopterists.
One of the papers read at the meeting in KY (delivered by Prof. Julian DuPuis) dealt with DNA genetic analysis of the P. glaucus group, including that mysterious "mid-summer" northern population of glaucus/canadensis appearance. This is a research problem about which Chuck has written at length in this forum, and Dr. DuPuis recognized his contribution to the ongoing effort to understand this species-group.

jh

PS -- Adam, you're right. This is the first time out of maybe 20 KY Leps meetings I've attended that name tags fell off the "to-do" list.
Chuck
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by Chuck »

adamcotton wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 7:01 pm I guess this is a good reason why people should wear 'name badges' at events like these.

Adam.
If you'd asked me last week, I'd have told you that if I saw John Shuey I'd recognize him. So yes, LOL name badges are a good idea.

I asked of Charlie Covell, as I'd not heard anything in years, and it sounds like he's largely incapacitated. Horrible. He was my hero, he wrote THE book when Moths of North America was released. I never dreamed I'd meet a god, but in fact did get to spend a couple weeks with him in Ecuador. It pains me to think that age could have possibly gotten to him.

It sometimes pains me that I'm not out afield overseas- I mean RIGHT NOW it's 9am on Guadalcanal, and all those butterflies are still there, with more waiting to be discovered. But the benefit is after 30 years overseas in the field I can now meet (at least in USA) some of the people I've known for decades. Ultimately, people are very interesting too.

And it was something to meet Julian Dupuis. This guy is so far beyond me concerning genetics I wouldn't think he'd have given me the time of day. I'd been struggling to find a way to get these damned Tigers analyzed, then @eurytides introduced us. If Julian thinks I've helped him that's great, let him keep thinking that!
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nomihoudai
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by nomihoudai »

It's great meeting people in person. In 2014 I think I had attended a seminar at UF Gainesville where Charlie Covell was present. In any case the seminar was started by Thomas Emmel who I met and talked to. They dedicated a research room at Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, FL to Thomas Emmel after he had died. I have also visited that place. I remember a meeting for collectors hosted by Chuck, I would have attended but I wasn't in the US any more by that time.
Lepidoptera distribution maps: lepimap.click
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wollastoni
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by wollastoni »

I had the pleasure to meet several Insectnet members in Frankfurt Insect Fair last week, always a pleasure to chat about entomology.
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Re: Finally met one of my mentors!

Post by ColoradEO »

Would have been fun to meet those that were there! Eric
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