In Memoriam: Dr. Paul De Luca – Entomologist, Naturalist, Friend
It is with deep sadness that we mark the passing of Dr. Paul De Luca – a cherished friend of The Bahamas, The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, and The Bahamas National Trust. Dr. De Luca first arrived in The Bahamas in 2000 when he began teaching at the then-College of the Bahamas. It was during this time he fell in love with the islands. He returned to the University of the Bahamas after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, where he studied treehopper communication behaviour. Dr. De Luca loved teaching and sharing his knowledge about insects with students and colleagues alike.
Dr. De Luca was intimately involved in the development of the Levy Preserve from its inception in 2009. He visited regularly, assisting with the advancement of the Science and Conservation Program. He was generous with his time and expertise, leading entomology components of the Levy Preserve’s Summer Natural History Internship and serving as a mentor for many young Bahamian naturalists. Dr. De Luca also conducted inventories of insects at the Levy Preserve, documenting more than 330 invertebrate species. His work led to the recent discovery of a new species of katydid, called Erechthes levyii. Dr. De Luca’s latest project was a review of the insects of The Bahamas to develop a list of insects unique to the islands, which will help inform future conservation efforts in the country. This work will be published posthumously as his last contribution to science.
Dr. De Luca loved The Bahamas and was most in his element when outside wandering and looking for bugs. His intellect, counsel, and passion for nature and biology will be missed by all who knew him. The BNT extends sincere condolences to his wife Dr. Kristen Brochu, his family, friends, colleagues, and students.