Faculty & Staff


D.A. Polhemus (photo credit)
Professor James Liebherr has been studying insect diversity from Hawaiian montane rain forests where nearly 100% of all native carabid beetle species are restricted to single volcanoes. Relationships of these species provide clear indications of past speciation events, and distributions provide data on areas essential for preservation of biodiversity. In order to phylogenetically place the Hawaiian radiations, he has revised selected carabid groups from the Society Islands, Vanuatu, Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. For papers on Pacific oceanic island faunas see Pacific Beetles. For historical biogeography of carabid clades that exhibit other patterns see General Biogeographic Patterns. A complete listing of Liebherr's described species is available here.

Associate Curator of Hymenoptera

Professor Bryan Danforth studies bee phylogeny, molecular systematics, and bee diversity. His lab is currently involved in a collaborative effort to database bee collections across North America, including the over 250,000 bee specimens currently in the Cornell University Insect Collection. These data will be made widely available via the Discover Life website. For more information on Danforth lab personnel and activities, please see their lab website.

Collection Manager

Jason Dombroskie is interested in the systematics and evolution of Lepidoptera, specializing in Tortricidae.  His current research focuses on Lepidoptera biodiversity in various New York environments, and the systematics of the tortricid tribe Archipini.  He is also the coordinator and diagnostician for the Insect Diagnostic Lab.

Associate Curator of Lepidoptera

Professor Robert Reed studies the evolutionary and developmental biology of butterflies, with a special focus on wing pattern diversity. The Reed lab employs a diversity of approaches, including field ecology, molecular genetics, and functional genomics, to understand how color pattern variation originates and evolves in natural populations. For more information on the Reed Lab, please visit reedlab.org.

Associate Curator of Invasive Species

Professor Ann Hajek is an insect pathologist who has specialized in microbial control of invasive species and non-target impact of biological-control pathogens on the native biota. She has studied the Gypsy Moth and its associated fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, throughout her career at Cornell. More recently she has developed research programs focused on the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Soybean Aphid, the European Wood Wasp, and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. She has investigated the use of fungi, microspopridia, nematodes, and viruses for biological control. She has also written popular stories for the CUIC website, and promises more in the future. You can learn more about Dr. Hajek's research and lab group at http://blogs.cornell.edu/hajek/.