Elizabeth Bernays

Photo by Linda Hitchcock

Elizabeth Bernays, Regents’ Professor Emerita in Entomology at the University of Arizona, is an award-winning scientist and essayist.

As a child growing up during the 1940s and 1950s in Australia, Elizabeth fell in love with flowers, butterflies, and beetles. She obtained a BS in zoology and entomology at the University of Queensland, after which she embarked on a year of adventure that took her to Europe. Settling in England, she taught high school for three years while earning a MS, followed by a PhD, in entomology at the University of London. For thirteen years, she worked as a British government scientist researching locust physiology and behavior, and conducting field studies of various pest insects in India, Nigeria, Mali, and Niger.

In 1983, Dr. Bernays emigrated to the United States when she was appointed professor at the University of California Berkeley. There her research on the physiology and behavior of herbivorous insects continued, extending to ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions, with an increasing involvement in collaborative work. In 1989, she relocated to the University of Arizona to head the Department of Entomology, with joint appointments in the Department of Neurobiology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

After retiring, Elizabeth earned a MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona in 2006. She is the author of two previous books for adults and three books for children, all self-published. Her essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals including Driftwood, SNReview, Copper Nickel, Prime Number, Drafthorse, and Conte, as well as in several anthologies. She lives in historic downtown Tucson.

Learn more at ElizabethBernays.com