2014-2015 Awardee

Dr. Terry L. Erwin   2014-15 Visiting Systematist

Dr. Terry L. Erwin
Curator of Coleoptera
Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Terry Erwin was the 2014-15 UAIC Visiting Arthropod Systematist.  As such, he worked in the UA Insect Collection and conducted fieldwork in the Sonoran Desert Region for several months during the summer of 2015.

Dr. Erwin has been Curator of Coleoptera at the National Museum of Natural History for 44 years.  His research and teaching career runs deep, and includes broad experiences in the New World Tropics where he has taught scores of field courses over the years, from small group training experiences to large OTS classes in Peru and Costa Rica.  He has long been an advocate for training Latin American students, although he currently also supervises students from Australia and the U.S.  Adding up the years Terry has spent in rainforests of the world, he has lived 16 years in that environment.

He is a world-renown tropical biologist and carabidologist, and a direct academic descendent of three of the greatest carabid workers of the 20thCentury: George Ball, Philip Darlington, and Carl Lindroth.  In addition to being a highly-productive systematist, many ecologists and conservation scientists know Terry as a biodiversity sleuth, and the “father of canopy research.”  Terry founded the technique of fogging the tropical forest canopy to recover its elusive fauna; his work shifted our biodiversity paradigms and led to new estimates of undescribed arthropods that were ten-fold existing estimations.

As part of his visit he presented a research talk in the GIDP in Entomology and Insect Science Seminar Series on November 13, 2014.