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The Judging Panel


Dr. Caroline S. Chaboo, University of Kansas, has been studying Peru’s beetle diversity since 2008. Her project, ‘Beetles of Peru,’ presents 100 families and >10,000 species. The international team of experts are currently describing many new species from Peru. Learn more about Chaboo’s work here:


Dr. Daphne G. Fautin, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas, is an authority on sea anemones and was a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. She has described four genera and 34 species of anemones.


Dr. Diana Silva, Curator and Professor, San Marcos University Museum of Natural History, Lima, Peru is an expert of spiders. She has discovered several new genera and species of spiders from the families Ctenidae and Sparassidae and already described one genus and 17 species.


Dr. Michael Darby, is a scientific associate at the Natural History Musuem, London, UK, and now pursues his life-long fascination of beetles with research and art. Within beetles, he specializes on Ptiliidae and he will describe the new beetle species in this competition.


Dr. Quentin D. Wheeler, is president of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York and founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration. His scientific interests include the evolution, natural history, classification of Coleoptera, and the role of taxonomy and natural history collections in the exploration and conservation of biodiversity. He was previously Vice President and Dean, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University; Keeper of Entomology at The Natural History Museum, London; Director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the NSF; and Professor and Chair of Entomology, Cornell University.


Mrs. Amy Meyers is a teacher of Latin for 14 years at Bishop Seabury Academy, a high school in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.  She and her 2015 class of 10 students will act as judges.  She has a Master's degree in Latin and Greek from the University of Kansas


Dr. Paul J. Johnson, South Dakota State University, USA, has studied the click beetles and their relatives throughout the Americas and Polynesia for 35 years. He has described new genera and numerous species among Elateridae, Throscidae, and Byrrhidae, and is describing new species as part of the Peru project.


Dr. Doug Yanega, University of California-Riverside, USA, is an authority on bees and longhorn beetles, and a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.


Dr. Alessandro Catenazzi, Southern Illinois University, is a conservation biologist and herpetologist. He has worked extensively in the Peruvian Andes, where he has described over 20 new species of frogs, lizards, diatoms and solifuges, and is currently investigating the impact of disease on amphibian biodiversity.Learn more about his work here:


Dr. Ai-Ping Liang, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, is studying the taxonomy, morphology, evolution and biogeography of the spittlebugs (Hemiptera: Cercopoidea) and planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) from the Indo-Australian region. He has described many new taxa including new genera and new species of these two phytophagous insect groups. 


Ms. Sara Lopez is a doctoral student at the University National Autonoma, Mexico City, Mexico. She is an entomologist interested in leaf beetles. She is conducting a systematic study of tortoise beetles Cassidinae. She teaches systematics at the University National Autonoma, Mexico City, Mexico. You can read more about Sara’s work here:


Dr. Adrian Forsyth, President and co-founder of ACA, has a Harvard PhD in tropical ecology and 30 years of conservation experience . He has served as the Director of Biodiversity Science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Vice President at Conservation International, and Vice President for Programs at the blue moon fund. He is currently the Executive Director of the Andes Amazon Fund and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. Adrian has supported his fieldwork by serving as a university professor, professional conservationist, and consultant. He is also one of North America’s finest writers on the subject of natural history and has authored nine books.


Dr. Ronald Cave, University of Florida, has been studying Neotropical beetles since 1979. He is collaborating with Dr. Brett Ratcliffe (University of Nebraska) to inventory the dynastine scarab beetles of the Western Hemisphere. He has collaborated with a number of other entomologists to inventory the insect fauna of Honduras and describe new species. Also, he is Managing Editor of the international journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin.


Dr. Michael Schmitt, retired professor of zoology, University of Greifswald, Germany, is an authority on the shining leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae: Criocerinae) and a member of the Zoobank policy working group. He is co-author of “Family-Group Names in Coleoptera (Insecta)” and “Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera vol. 6“. museum/allgemeine-und-systematische-zoologie/personal-staff/prof-dr-michael-schmitt.html



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