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PhD students' & Master students'

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PhD students' & Master students'

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PhD students' & Master students'

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Board of Directors

 

Dr. Donald R. Davis

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Dr. Davis is one of the more well-known Lepidopterists world-wide, with an excellent track record of outstanding achievements. Davis’ research has focused on the phylogeny of the more primitive groups of Lepidoptera. He has published important references on many of these, in particular the families Adelidae, Carposinidae, Eriocottidae, Eriocraniidae, Gracillariidae, Neopseustidae, Ochsenheimeriidae, Opostegidae, Paleosetidae, Prodoxidae, Prototheoridae, Psychidae, and Tineidae, as well as on the new families Acanthopteroctetidae, Andesianidae, and Palaephatidae. Much of his research emphasizes the biology of his subjects and their immature stages. In recent years he has concentrated on the biology and biodiversity of plant-mining and cave-dwelling moths and is currently involved in major works on the Adelidae, Epipyropidae, Gracillariidae, Nepticulidae, and Tineidae. Dr. Davis is also responsible for a large number of newly discovered taxa: species, genera, and families. His works in the field of global biodiversity has already solved many problems in this difficult and complex area of biological science, and his planned future projects will certainly continue to do so. Since 2005 he has been a collaborator on the Lepidoptera ATOL project (www.leptree.net). Davis's various activities have involved him in fieldwork over much of the United States as well as 40 other countries and has resulted in the addition of nearly one million insect specimens to the National Museum (Washington, D. C.). In 1977 he was awarded the Jordan Medal by the Lepidopterists' Society for his work on yucca moths and their allies. Davis has served as curator of Lepidoptera at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., also as president of the Entomological Society of Washington (1977), the Lepidopterists' Society (1985), and the Biological Society of Washington (1985–1986).

Dr. M. Alma Solis

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Dr. Solis, a research scientist and former research leader of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory (Agriculture Research Service, USDA), is one of the world’s leading authority on the Pyraloidea, or snout moths. She is curator of the Pyraloidea, Pterophoridae, Thyrididae, and Hyblaeidae at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. She has published over 90 research papers and book chapters on the higher-level classification of Pyraloidea and species level identities of economically important pyraloids. Pyraloid immatures are agricultural pests, stored product pests, invasive species, aquatic plant feeders, or are used for the control of noxious weeds. She has been invited to teach workshops on Pyraloidea in the United States, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico. She has had a collaborative project with D. Janzen and W. Hallwachs in Costa Rica over the last 30 years to document Neotropical pyraloid diversity using morphology, larval habits, and DNA barcoding.She was funded by CONABIO with M. Balcazar to conduct Lepidopteran research in the Tarahumara Region, Mexico. She was a collaborator in the NSF-fundedTree of Life (AToL) project of Lepidoptera at the University of Maryland. In 1999 she was an Associate Dean at The University of Texas at Brownsville and in 2003 was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Solis has been elected as Vice President of the Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Section in the Entomological Society of America and has been President of the Entomological Society of Washington and the Washington Biologists‘ Field Club. She has conducted research and photographed almost all New World pyraloid type specimens in major museums throughout Europe and North America. She has conducted fieldwork in the United States with a current project at Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico, and internationally in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, and the Philippines.

Dr. Marc E. Epstein

California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento, CA, U.S.A.

Dr. Epstein, a senior insect biosystematist at the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento, U.S.A., is a world-wide recognized entomologist and leading authority on Zygaenoidea. Much of his research emphasizes the identification of Lepidoptera immatures and adults of potential economic importance; research on Lepidoptera, including Limacodidae and other families of economic concern. Recently Epstein completed a biography of systematist Harrison G. Dyar (1866-1929) for Oxford University Press and is putting the finishing touches on a guide to Costa Rican Limacodidae with Dan Janzen to be published by the Wedge Foundation. Other current or recent projects: Diagnostics of Lobesia botrana; Revision of African and Australian genera of Limacodidae;  Zygaenoidea TWG leader (Lepidoptera ATOL); Ecology of limacodid caterpillars (with John Lill); 25 year comparison of carabid beetles in south-central Minnesota (with Kamal Gandhi); Lepidoptera subject editor, Pan-Pacific Entomology, and many others. From 2006 Dr. Epstein is an Affiliate of the Department of Entomology, U.C. Davis; from 2003 – a Research Associate, Department of Entomology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. His studies have opened up knowledge of biodiversity and biology of many taxonomic groups of Lepidoptera.

Dr. Jean-François Landry

Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Landry is a senior research scientist and curator of Lepidoptera at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, Canada. From 2005–2009 he was adjunct faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph where he co-supervised doctoral students working on the development and application of DNA barcoding in Microlepidoptera systematics. He has been a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution (Department of Entomology) since 2005. He has been section editor (Microlepidoptera) for the international journal Zootaxa since 2005, and a member of the editorial committee of the Chinese journal Entomotaxonomia since 2008. He was a member of the Arthropod Specialist Subcommittee of the national Committee for the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada from 2002–2008, and the CNC representative at the international Major Systematics Entomological Facilities Group from 2005–2008. His research has focused on the systematics of Gelechioidea (especially the Scythrididae, Coleophoridae, and Gelechiidae) and other families of Microlepidoptera with an emphasis on agricultural pests, species issues, and invasive species. He has published over 80 research papers, monographs, and book chapters. He has conducted field work across North America and in Amazonian South America. He has been involved in the development and testing of DNA barcoding since its  beginning, and its integration into the taxonomic mainstream, and has been a major contributor to the development of the DNA barcode library for North American Lepidoptera. He has been a member of the Entomological Society of Canada, Entomological Society of Ontario, Société d’entomologie du Québec, Lepidopterists’ Society, European Society of Entomology, Entomological Society of America, and has been active fostering interest in insects with the youth in the Association des entomologistes amateurs du Québec (for which he received the « Silver Insect » Award).

Assoc. Professor Dr. Dimitri Forero

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.

Assoc. Professor Dr. Forero is a systematic entomologist involved in the investigation of true bugs (Heteroptera). He focuses his research on assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and plant bugs (Miridae), large cosmopolitan families of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). For three years, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Heteroptera Systematics Lab at the Department of Entomology of the University of California, Riverside. He was doing a taxonomic revision for the large reduviid genus Apiomerus (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) and producing phylogenetic hypotheses for the genus and for the genera of the tribe. Previously he participated in a joint program between the American Museum of Natural History and the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, from which he obtained his PhD.In addition to his interest in the families Reduviidae and Miridae, the two more diversified groups within Heteroptera, his research deals with the taxonomy and systematics of Heteroptera as a whole. He is also interested in the theoretical side of phylogenetic reconstruction, the philosophy of science, and how to tackle the immense task of describing and understanding the relationships of the biota in a timely manner before it vanishes. Currently Dr. Forero serves as curator of the Entomological collection at Museo Javeriano de Historia Natural, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá. Dr. Forero is also Associate Professor at the Javeriana. He says: “It is a great opportunity to be in Colombia to do research and being able to train local young biologists.” Dr. Forero has established and trained a working group at his University, proving his abilities as a talented organizer of training courses, lectures and fieldwork. With his passion for Colombian and global biodiversity objectives, he is able to motivate his students to work with great accuracy and achieve excellent results.

Professor Dr. Liliana Katinas

Museo de La Plata, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

Professor Katinas is a world-wide recognized authority on Mutisioideae, one of the basal lineages of the cosmopolitan plant family Asteraceae. Katinas has published more than 100 research papers, book chapters, and books on taxonomy, floristics, evolution, and biogeography of this primitive, America-centered group. She was a member of the research team who discovered the first and the only known to date macrofossil of Asteraceae and associated pollen grains located in southern South America. This discovery, published in the journal Science, allowed shedding light on the place and time of origin of the entire family. She was appointed a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2004 and was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997–1998 and at Universita’ di Siena, Italy, in 1998. She has been a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. since 2014. As a Tinker-Nave Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005–2006, Katinas taught a course on Asteraceae. In 2017, she was an Appointed Professor at the University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius, Lithuania. She is a curator of the vascular plants herbarium at Museum of La Plata and teaches botany and biogeography at the National University of La Plata, Argentina. Katinas was awarded with the Medal to Scientific Merit by the Faculty of Agronomy of the National University of La Plata in 2004; the Acknowledgment to the Scientific Work in Science and Technology by the House of Representatives of the Nation, Argentina, in 2005; the Stebbins Medal for the best publication in systematics and evolution (for the book Historical Biogeography published by Harvard University Press) by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy; and the Gold Medal in Science by the House of Representatives of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, in 2015. She has given invited lectures and courses at the University of Buenos Aires and University of Quilmes in Argentina; the New York Botanical Garden; the Smithsonian Institution; the Missouri Botanical Garden and the University of Missouri in St. Louis; Colorado State University; the Montgomery Botanical Center in Florida, USA; Universidade dos Açores in the Azores Islands; in Valparaíso Chile; in Barcelona, Spain; at Universidad de la República in Uruguay; and at Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.  

Dr. David C. Lees

The Natural History Museum, London

(formerly University of Cambridge) United Kingdom.

Dr. Lees, a Microlepidoptera curator at the Natural History Museum is one of the World's leading authorities on the Lepidoptera of Madagascar; formerly a Research Associate at the Department of Zoology in Cambridge, where he has been focusing on the evolution of the large adaptive radiation of Satyrini (subtribe Mycalesina) in Madagascar, also his (1997) PhD topic from a morphological perspective. He has produced over 75 research papers (around 50 with high impact) and book chapters and has co-edited one book on invasive insects in Europe. He is involved in DNA-based research primarily to uncover phylogenetic origins of the Lepidoptera (including studies of the role of mitogenomics) and also to examine origins of invasive species (notably Cameraria ohridella). His systematic output included a leading role in the recent family level classification of Nieukerken et al. (2011). He also has played a prominent role in analysis of the role of pools of endemic species ranges in producing species diversity patterns, as well as contributions in environmental niche modelling which included Kremen et al. (2008) in Science. His current interests span detailed studies of the Malagasy butterfly fauna in a global context to work on primitive Lepidoptera, including Micropterigidae on which family he is a specialist, to work on leaf-miners including the Neotropical Gracillariidae, and recently, DNA barcoding studies of the Madagascar microlepidopteran fauna.

 

Professor Dr. Sigitas Podėnas

Nature Research Center, Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Professor Dr. Podenas is a world-wide recognized entomologist, one of the world’s leading authority on recent crane flies (Tipuloidea) and other Diptera families (Trichoceridae, Tanyderidae, Ptychopteridae). Besides his interest in recent Diptera he focuses his research onfossil species as well. He has published over 90 publications (including 3 monographs and 2 books) dealing with recent and fossil crane flies (Diptera, Tipulomorpha) and some other Diptera. Over the last 25 years he has had collaborative projects in Mongolia, Switzerland, South Korea and other countries to document diversity of Palaearctic crane flies using morphological, paleontological and DNA barcoding methods. He is responsible for description of about 100 new taxa of fossil Nematocerous Diptera and about 120 extant species. Currently a professor at Vilnius University and head of the Entomology Department of the Nature Research Center, Vilnius, Lithuania; he is also a research associate of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, PA USA. Scientific cooperation: for nearly 20 years with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Oregon State University; University of Michigan; Kansas University; Smithsonian Institution. Scientific visits to the US previously were once or twice a year (for 1-2 months), after completion of Mongolian project in 2011, once in a two years.

Professor Habil. Dr. Jonas Rimantas Stonis,
Executive Director

Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Professor Dr. Stonis has published about 270 publications (including 6 monographs and 6 books) dealing with global biodiversity and taxonomy. He either led or participated in more than 40 research expeditions from South Europe, Central and East Asia to Central and South America (the Andes and Amazon). Professor is responsible for an astonishing number of newly discovered and described species; more than one-third of the world’s currently known species of Nepticuloidea and Tischerioidea have been introduced to science by him. Encompassing a global view of organism groups, and working the continuous development and maintenance of an international network of collaborators, Professor Stonis work has gained international support and respect, including various prestigious scientific awards and nominations: Diploma and Award from the George Soros Foundation, USA (1994); Distinguished Scholar of the Highest Degree from the Lithuanian State Scholarship (1997/98); the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (the Cross of the Knight) for the contribution to education and science (1996); Lithuanian National Science Prize – the nation’s highest honor for achievements in science (2003/4); and Memorial Medal from the President of the Republic of Lithuania (2004). In 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, he was awarded for his science popularization activities by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science; in 2008, he received an Award for Honest and Transparent Studies from the Lithuanian Union of Students and in 2015, a Memorial Medal for Merits to the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences. He also received various nominations, awards and other acknowledgments from the Royal Society of London, the Nordic Consuls, the Professor M. Hering Memorial Research Fund (UK), the Professor P. Sladen Memorial Fund/Linnean Society (London, UK), the Godman Exploration Fund, the EU SYS–Resource Fund, NATO, the Lithuanian State Studies Foundation, the Research Council of Lithuania, the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, the International Science Foundation (USA), etc.