Plenaries

Four plenary speakers for ICD9 have now been finalised and their plenary titles and biographies are listed below:

Netta Dorchin

Department of Zoology and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel; e-mail: ndorchin@tauex.tau.ac.il

Plenary title: Unmitigated gallers – specialisation leads to diversification in the Cecidomyiidae

netta-dorchinNetta is a faculty member in the Department of Zoology in Tel Aviv University and the chief curator of entomology at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv, Israel. She received her BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from Tel Aviv University, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in the University of Cape Town, South Africa and in Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, USA. She became fascinated with the family Cecidomyiidae as an MSc student and dedicated her graduate studies to research on their taxonomy, life history and evolutionary ecology. Her postdoctoral research in Cape Town focused on gall-inducing wasps as weed biocontrol agents, whereas in Bucknell she focused on the systematics and evolutionary ecology of gall midges on goldenrods. In 2007 she moved to Bonn, Germany, where she was the curator of Diptera and later the head of the Arthropod Department in the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig. She returned to Tel Aviv University in 2011 to take up her current position. In addition to research on cecidomyiids from different parts of the world, she currently supervises studies on a diversity of other insect groups, including fruit flies, gall wasps, bees, parasitic wasps and mayflies. Her main focus remains, however, the taxonomy and evolutionary ecology of phytophagous gall midges, with a special interest in the rich cecidomyiid faunas of arid environments.

Martin Hall

Entomology Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW75BD, United Kingdom; email: M.Hall@nhm.ac.uk

Plenary title: The research-casework continuum in forensic dipterology

Martin was born in Singapore and raised in East Africa until the age of nine, when he settled in UK. He graduated with a Zoology BSc in 1975 from the University of North Wales, Bangor and a PhD in 1978 from Imperial College, London. He was awarded the Thomas Henry Huxley Award of the Zoological Society of London for his thesis on blowfly feeding behaviour. Following seven years studying tsetse in Africa, mainly in the Sudan and Zimbabwe, Martin returned to the UK and joined the Natural History Museum, London in 1989 as a research entomologist, studying forensic and veterinary entomology. Martin is currently Head of the Parasites and Vectors Division in the Department of Life Sciences, focusing his research on fly species that develop as larvae on carrion and/or on live animals, on the latter causing the neglected disease known as myiasis. Martin has been a consultant on myiasis for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (Rome), the International Atomic Energy Agency (Vienna), the Office International des Epizooties (Paris) and the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (Khartoum).  Martin has worked as a forensic entomologist on some 200 criminal cases during the past 25 years. He is author or co-author of more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications, many on the biology of blowflies, the insects of primary evidential importance in forensic entomology. Martin has been a Vice-President of the Royal Entomological Society, London and was the founding President of the European Association for Forensic Entomology (2002–2006). He is on the Editorial Boards of Medical and Veterinary Entomology and Forensic Science International.

Brian Wiegmann

Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695. USA. e-mail: bwiegman@ncsu.edu

Plenary title: Resolving the Fly Tree of Life

Brian is William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Carolina State University. He received a BSc. degree in biology from Loyola University in Maryland in 1985 and MSc. and PhD. degrees in entomology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1989 and 1994. He began work on comparative morphology and phylogenetics of empidoid flies with F.C. Thompson at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History in 1985 and has studied molecular systematics of flies for over 28 years. Wiegmann’s research is focused on higher-level phylogeny of Diptera and the evolution of trophic specialisation in flies. He uses phylogenomics and comparative evolutionary methods to investigate phylogeny and macroevolution in many dipteran clades. His research programme is currently exploring trophic diversity and phylogenetic radiations in blood-feeders (Culicidae and Tabanidae), phytophages (Agromyzidae and Tephritidae) and parasites (Acroceridae, Sarcophagidae and Oestridae). He was a member of the International Council of Dipterology from 1998–2010 and is Associate Editor of Systematic Biology, Insect Systematics and Diversity and Arthrpod Systematics and Diversity. He was Associate Director of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) from 2007–2015 and is currently Associate Director of the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TRIcem).

Brian V. Brown

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 90007, USA; e-mail: melaloncha@gmail.com

Plenary title: Phorid fly diversity – frontiers in species richness, structure and behaviour

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Brian is Curator of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA. A native of Toronto, Canada, Brown undertook his undergraduate and masters studies at the University of Guelph, Canada. During the latter, under the tutelage of Steven A. Marshall, Brown took up the study of the fly family Phoridae. In 1990, he obtained his doctorate at the University of Alberta, Canada, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and University of Maryland. In 1993 he took up his current position in Los Angeles. Brian is author of two books, was lead editor on the Manual of Central American Diptera and has published numerous scientific papers. He has conducted research in many parts the world, but has focused on tropical rainforest ecosystems. There, he studies phorid flies, especially those parasitic species known as ant-decapitating flies and bee-killing flies. He is also interested in fossil phorid flies in amber, integrating them into phylogenetic knowledge based on morphology and molecular characters. He received funding from the National Science Foundation to lead efforts to completely inventory the Diptera fauna of a mid-elevation tropical forest in Costa Rica in Central America.