Nov. 16, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 5

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    Monte Lloyd, Professor Emeritus in Ecology & Evolution dies at 73

    Monte Lloyd, Professor Emeritus in Ecology & Evolution, died in New Orleans, La., on Saturday, Oct. 14. He was 73.

    An expert on periodical cicadas, an insect found only in the eastern part of North America, Lloyd could be relied on to explain the sudden appearance of millions of these insects as they bore their way out of the ground for a once-every-13- to 17-year appearance. His last year was spent working on a comprehensive book on the evolution and ecology of cicadas, according to his wife, JoAnn White Lloyd. “It is 95 percent finished, over 600 pages long. I promised to finish it for him.”

    At the University, teaching was as important to Lloyd as his research. His course on Habitats and Organisms was one of the most popular on campus. “There was not a classroom large enough on campus to hold the capacity audience,” recalled Manfred Ruddat, Associate Professor in Ecology & Evolution. “This course became biological heaven for the serious, committed biology students as well as those who just wanted to test the waters. Students from throughout the University, from geophysics and anthropology, fought with premeds and biologists for a place in front of Monte’s slide projector. His slide show was legendary, and so was the test that followed the slides.”

    He was awarded a 1988 Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

    Born in Omaha, Neb., Lloyd grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, where his father was a bill collector. From an early age, Lloyd was fascinated by nature. A professor at Morningside College, T.C. Stephens, encouraged his interests. After receiving a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Ph.D. from the University and post-doctoral fellowships at Oxford University, Lloyd came back to the University to work with Thomas Park, a pioneer in the field of population ecology.

    Lloyd was the author of more than 40 scientific papers and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was on the board of governors of the Chicago Academy of Science, on the editorial boards of American Midland Naturalist and Physiological Zoology, and the editor of Ecology from 1968 to 1973.

    “In the best University tradition, Monte had boundless energy and enthusiasm. He was tireless in the field, both in pursuit of his beloved cicadas as well as in exploring some of the complex social-economic problems of Central America,” said Hewson Swift, the George Beadle Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Molecular & Cell Biology and Pathology.

    Lloyd became concerned with the destruction of the tropical rain forest and was a passionate advocate for the preservation of habitats.

    From 1967 to 1977, while doing research in Costa Rica, he worked with farmers and government officials on strategies for sustainable agriculture. Lloyd was working with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution in Panama when the Panama Canal was turned over to Panamanian control. He worked with Panamanians on the creation of a national park, Parque National Soberania, around the canal zone, improving the canal by preventing silting while also protecting forest.

    After his retirement to New Orleans in 1992, Lloyd maintained his interest in conservation, serving on the board of an organization dedicated to saving coastal waters. He continued to engage in teaching as well, volunteering his time to teach science and math in some of the poorer schools in the city.

    In addition to his wife, Lloyd is survived by four children, Susan Lloyd Dixon of Wisconsin; Karen Loani-Lloyd of New York; Ian Lloyd of New Mexico; and Dylan Lloyd of Chicago.