Derham Giuliani, 1931 - 2010

Derham being honored for his scientific contributions at CEREC research conference, Bishop, CA November 7, 2008. Above.

On September 2, Owens Valley resident and WMRS affiliate Derham Giuliani died at age 79 at his home in Big Pine. 

Born April 4, 1931, Derham affected the lives of hundreds of people who greatly admired his affection for wild creatures as well as his dedication to the scientific study of nature.  A co-founder of the Universal Pantheist Society, Derham was also very interested in spiritual and philosophical aspects of life. 

Derham left us a wonderful scientific legacy in the form of published articles, scientific specimens, field notes and data taken down over a lifetime of field study.  Beginning as a youth in the hills of San Francisco, Derham made a career of collecting butterflies and beetles for scientific collections such as the California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum.  He was also supported by private individuals including butterfly taxonomist and author Dr. John Emmel and Big Pine teacher and scientist Enid Larsen.

Derham was a major contributor to 6 Alpine White Mountain butterfly counts. Here at 13,000' elevation, he is collecting Lupine Blue butterflies for taxonomic studies of the genus Plebejus by John Emmel. Above.

Some researchers honored Derham's contributions to science by naming species after him. For example, Derham discovered a very unusual moth which at first no one could identify. With Derham's help, moth experts Jerry Powell and Douglas Ferguson were finally able to determine its classification and describe a new genus and species, Tescalsia giulianiata (see article). For another example, see the article describing Microedus giulianii a Rove Beetle from the South Fork of Big Pine Creek. Derham's unique long-term study of chipmunks and rodents in the White Mountains has also been acknowledged by researchers and science writers.

Derham carefully transcribed his field notes into digital files which are archived at the WMRS field station. 

If you have information or photos about Derham and his life, and would like to contribute to a compendium about his life, please email John Smiley at jsmiley [at] ucsd [dot] edu or phone WMRS. There is also a special issue of the Pantheist Vision dedicated to Derham and his life. To get a copy please contact them at or write Universal Pantheist Society, P.O. Box 3499, Visalia, CA 93278.

Letters and Tributes to Derham: