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Ormerod, Eleanor (Anne)

entomology insects agricultural economic

(1828–1901) British economic entomologist.

Eleanor Ormerod was born at Sedbury Park, her father’s large estate in Gloucestershire, which provided the insects that prompted her interest in entomology and in the infestation of crops. Apart from an elementary education from her mother, a botanical artist, she was self-taught. One brother became an anatomist and surgeon and from him she gained experience of using a microscope. She became an expert on insect infestations.

She got in touch with the Royal Horticultural Society in 1868 and offered to compile a collection of insects injurious or helpful to farmers. The resulting collection was awarded the Flora Medal in 1870. She corresponded with entomologists throughout the world and published on insect pests and their control, often subsidizing and distributing the pamphlets free. In 1881 she published her Manual of Injurious Insects, with Methods of Prevention and Remedy , and in 1898 the Handbook of Insects Injurious to Orchard and Bush Fruits, with Means of Prevention and Remedy . Between 1877 and 1900 she undertook an Annual Report on economic entomology and during the 1880s she became a successful public lecturer. From 1882–92 she was consulting entomologist to the Royal Agricultural Society and in 1898 was recommended for a newly created lectureship in agricultural entomology at Edinburgh University, but women were not yet acceptable. In 1900 Edinburgh University awarded her their first honorary LLD offered to a woman. Eleanor Ormerod was a prime mover in making economic entomology an important specialty within biology and agricultural science.

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