The 62nd New Zealand Entomological Society Conference in 2013 has an exciting and diverse range of speakers confirmed, including:

Philippe Grandcolas (Keynote speaker: Biodiversity & Systematics)

Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

An expert in using cockroaches as models to understand the evolution of presocial behaviour, Philippe will talk about phylogenetic patterns and evolutionary processes. Studying the interrelationships between social behaviour, resource use (habitat) and anti-predator behavior leads to the conclusion that presocial behavior—though often complicated and integrated—has reversed and that putative exaptations are manifold.

Dave Wheeler (Keynote speaker: Genomics)

Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University.

An expert in insect genomics and bioinformatics, Dave will talk about the biology and evolutionary genetics of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. As a post-doc at University of Rochester and Kansas State University, Dave has been involved in developing the flesh fly (Sarcophaga bullata) as a non-model system for drug discovery and biocontrol and determining the diversity and function of wasp venom proteins using molecular and evolutionary biology.

Pip Gerard (Keynote speaker: Biocontrol)

AgReseach, Ruakura Research Centre

An expert in biological control agents, Pip’s main research interests are improving the control of pasture pests through natural enemies and plant defences. Since 2001, Pip has led the major pastoral industry-funded clover root weevil biocontrol programme which has seen the release of a successful biocontrol agent for this invasive pest.

David Walter

The Royal Alberta Museum & The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dave Walter has been working on the ecology and systematics of mites and other small and seemingly insignificant creatures for the last 35 years in the United States, Australia and Canada. Noteworthy projects have included studying the role of soil microarthropods in foodwebs in the Shortgrass Prairie of Colorado, biological control agents of citrus nematode pests in Florida, mite-leave domatia interactions, mites as components of rainforest canopy biodiversity, the systematics of the Mesostigmata and the development of computer interactive keys to aid quarantine.