Remembering Dr. Kurt Pickett Dr. Pickett had an impressive career as a biologist. He received his undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University in 1996, and his Masters (1998) and Ph.D. (2003) from Ohio State University. He did postdoctoral research at the American Museum of Natural History (New York) from 2004 to 2006 before joining the Department of Biology at the University of Vermont. Dr. Pickett had a passion for the vespids (commonly known as wasps) and he was fascinated by the evolution of social behavior. In the wasps he found the perfect study subjects as there are groups that exhibit solitary behavior, groups that are highly social, and groups that are somewhat social. Dr. Pickett was determined to uncover how this complex behavior that we call sociality came to be. And towards that, he left no stones unturned. In the absence of physical traits, he relied on nest architectural attributes to trace historical behavior. His research combined time-honored data from sources such as morphology with more modern molecular data from genes and proteins, and he conducted revisionary taxonomy, phylogenetic systematics, and ecological investigations into the evolution of social behavior across the wasp family. His empirical work compelled him to consider issues of theory and led him to investigate various methodological and computational issues in phylogenetics. One of his last endeavors was seeking to clarify the history and relationship between the philosophies of the conflicting variants of Bayesian thought with the mathematics of those variants. Dr. Pickett was a big thinker, with big ideas, big plans and an even bigger desire to take on some tough questions. Dr. Pickett was an expertly trained insect taxonomist who knew every external feature of his favorite little creatures like the back of his hand. He collected thousands of specimens from the world over, from field expeditions and museum drawers, which he then studied describing and documenting hundreds of morphological characters and creating new taxonomic keys so the relationships among these organisms could be understood. The ability required to identify, describe and score the different states of these characters is certainly a gift, and one that we should be grateful that people like Dr. Pickett had an abundance of. It is primarily through this type of obsessively detailed and painstaking work that we owe much of our understanding of natural history. In addition to his research, teaching, advising, and service to UVM and the profession, Dr. Pickett was curator of the invertebrate specimens of the Zadock Thompson Natural History collection at UVM. This is the official and only research zoological collection of the State of Vermont and one that, sadly, has been largely under-funded for decades and has survived but only for the will of a few individuals. This unique collection is a valuable resource for scientists like Dr. Pickett who are interested in understanding the diversity of life, and also for those interested in climate change, and by artists and photographers and amateur naturalists. Dr. Pickett had a vision and a plan to restore the elegance of this collection so that it would be available and useful to scientists and students, and enjoyed by the public at large. He had great ideas for educational exhibits and outreach activities. During his time at UVM, Dr. Pickett made quantum improvements in the collection, though much still remains to be done. The Department of Biology is committed to adopting his vision and plan that will one day, soon, restore dignity to this one-of-a-kind collection. Please consider making a donation to support this important mission. Dr. Pickett had a significant impact on his students and colleagues. To honor his memory the Department of Biology established the Kurt Milton Pickett Award to be awarded annually to a student with outstanding academic performance and excellence in research in Biology.