Wendell L. Roelofs


Honorary Degree (1988)
Doctor of Science
Chemistry Building Addition Dedication
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich
College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award (1983)
Indiana University Bloomington
Ph.D., 1964


Wendell L. Roelofs is the Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of insect biochemistry at Cornell University. He is best known for his groundbreaking research in insect chemical communication, which has earned Roelofs four honorary doctorates (including one from Indiana University), the National Medal of Science, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently is is active on committees with National Academy of Sciences and the Entomology Society of America.

He earned his B.S. in chemistry in 1960 from Central College in Pella, IA. Roelofs graduated from Indiana University in 1964 with a doctorate in chemistry. He then became a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then became an assistant professor at Cornel University. Roelofs was the first chemist to join the Cornell entomology department, and he was the first researcher to characterize insect sex pheromone structures, developing microchemical techniques for the isolation and identification of pheromone components. For his work, Roelofs won the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 1982.