Leon Higley

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach
  • Photos

Title Insect Ecologist
Address 306a Biochemistry Hall
1705 North 38th Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-560-6684
FAX 402-486-3901
Cell 402-560-6684
E-mail lhigley1@unl.edu
Vitae Download file
Contact Preference

e-mail or phone

Office Hours

MWF 12-1:30


Educational Background

  • BA - Cornell University, Chemistry (1980)
  • MS - Iowa State University, Entomology (1984)
  • PhD - Iowa State University, Entomology/Crop Physiology (1988)


  • 2007 - Nov – Founder's Memorial Award awarded by Entomological Society of America  The Founders' Memorial Award was established in 1958 to honor the memory of scientists who made outstanding contributions to entomology.The awardee receives $1,000 and an inscribed plaque, as well as gratis registration to the ESA Annual Meeting in the year the award is given. The awardee must deliver the Founders' Memorial Lecture and receive the award at the annual meeting. In 2007 the Founders' Memorial Lecture by Higley honored 19th century entomologists Asa Fitch.
  • 2005 - Dec – C.V. Riley Award awarded by North Central Branch, Entomological Society of America  To provide recognition to members of the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America who have made outstanding contributions to the science of entomology. The nominee must be widely recognized in both the NCB and in the ESA as a major contributor to the science of entomology. A cool thing about receiving this honor, is that as a graduate student I nominated my advisor, Larry Pedigo, for this award when he won, and two of my students nominated me!
  • 2005 - April – College Distinguished Teaching Award for CASNR awarded by University of Nebraska-Lincoln  College Distinguished Teaching Awards are $1,000 awards in recognition of excellence in teaching.
  • 2001-March – USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching, North Central Branch awarded by USDA  The Awards Program is offered annually to honor excellence in teaching by recognizing faculty from a college or university (as defined below) who both practice and promote effective, innovative teaching. Recipients must exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching at the postsecondary level within the food and agricultural sciences. The Awards Program focuses national attention on the role of teaching; fundamental to recruiting and retaining the scientific and professional expertise essential to the future growth and progress of our nation's food and agricultural system.
  • 2000- Dec – Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching awarded by Entomological Society of America  This award, consisting of $500 and an inscribed plaque, is presented annually to the member of the Society deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year. The awardee is presented with the plaque at the ESA Annual Meeting.
  • 1998 - April – Excellence in Graduate Education awarded by Office of Graduate Studies, UN-L  The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education honors faculty members whose dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate mentoring have made a significant contribution to graduate education at UNL.
  • 1998 - April – Senior Faculty Holling Family Award for Teaching Excellence awarded by CASNR  To recognize exceptional teaching.
  • 1996 - Oct – Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards awarded by Iowa State University Alumni Assocaition  The Iowa State University Alumni Association established this award in 1968 to recognize ISU alumni, age 40 and under, who have excelled in their professions and provided service to their communities. Up to three awards are granted annually.

SNR Faculty Area(s)

Professional Organizations


  • Ecology - Insect Ecology
  • Forensic Science - AAGeneral
  • Forensic Science - Human Dimensions
  • Humans and the Environment - Forensic Science
  • Insect Ecology - AAGeneral

Areas of Interest (Keyword)

  • Biodiversity - Grassland Ecosystems
  • Conservation - Human Behavior
  • Ecophysiology - Plants
  • Endangered Species - Wildlife
  • Grassland Ecosystems - Biodiversity
  • Humans and the Environment - Conservation
  • Vegetation - Plant Ecophysiology
  • Wildlife - Endangered Species

Other Areas of Interest

Physiological ecology, Conservation biology, Forensic science, Insect ecology, Plant-Insect Interactions, Insect Pest Management, Ethics in Science

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant Title Improving, Rearing and Reintroduction Procedures for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle in Nebraska
Starting Date 7/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Leon Higley
Carter, David
Ending Date 12/31/2011
Funding Level $25,500.00
Funding Source Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Grant Title Developing Captive Rearing Capacity for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
Starting Date 7/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Leon Higley
Ending Date 6/30/2011
Funding Level $25,961.00
Funding Source Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Grant Title Establishing Blow Fly Development
Starting Date 10/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Leon Higley
Ending Date 9/30/2013
Funding Level $483,323.00
Funding Source US Department of Justice


Graduate Program(s) Master of Science with a Specialization in
  • Environmental Studies
Doctor of Philosophy with a Specialization in
  • Applied Ecology

Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
NRES 862 Conservation Biology X X X n/a

SNR Speakers Bureau

What I can speak about:

1. Murder and Maggots: Inside Stories of Forensic Science 2. The Uniquely Cool Biology of the Endangered Salt Creek Tiger Beetle 3. Scientific Ethics in the Trenches

When I am most available to speak:


What target audiences I am most comfortable speaking to:

  • Middle/High School
  • College
  • OLLI - lifelong learning for adults 50 years and older)
  • General Public