Like many outstanding naturalists, John E. (“Jay”) McPherson grew up with a strong interest in the natural world, especially insects. This innate curiosity led him to enroll as a zoology major at San Diego State University in 1959. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he continued on to pursue his interest in insect biology, completing a Master’s thesis on the life history and morphology of a poorly known species of Notonectidae. Shortly thereafter, a teaching assistantship enabled him to pursue a Ph.D. at Michigan State University in East Lansing, where his research involved distinguishing two closely related species of bark beetles. During this period, Jay also worked on various pest species, including the cereal leaf beetle, pine tip beetle, and pine cone beetle.
Henry, Thomas J.
"Dr. J. E. McPherson, Educator and Researcher Extraordinaire: Biographical Sketch and List of Publications,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 45
, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol45/iss2/1