The 63rd New Zealand Entomological Society Conference in 2014 has an exciting and diverse range of speakers confirmed, including:

Melodie McGeoch

School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Melodie is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University where her research group focuses on the ecology and conservation of populations and communities. Melodie completed both her undergraduate degree and PhD in Entomology in South Africa. During her PhD Melodie worked on the community ecology of an Acacia-fungus-insect interaction, and subsequently completed a postdoc at Sheffield University. Before moving to Monash she has held academic positions at Pretoria and Stellenbosch Universities, as well as spending four years as head of the Cape Research Centre for South African National Parks. Melodie’s research interests extend from quantifying and modelling the abundance and distribution of species to global change impacts on protected areas. Her research groups use plant and animal populations and communities to examine the dynamics of biological invasions and the response of communities to changing environments.

Marie Herberstein

School of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Marie (Mariella) is Departmental Head and Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. Marie did her undergraduate degree at Sydney University and her Honours at the University of New South Wales before moving back to her home country of Austria. Marie completed her PhD on niche partitioning in web building spiders at the University of Vienna in 1995 and was subsequently awarded the Schroedinger Fellowship which she undertook at the University of Melbourne. She began her lectureship at Macquarie in 2001. Marie researches the behavioural ecology of invertebrates including spiders and insects within an evolutionary framework. She is particularly interested in establishing spiders as model species in behavioural and evolutionary research, as well as researching deceptive signals in spiders and orchids and the mating behaviour and sexual selection in spiders and insects. Mariella has recently published an excellent book entitled “Spider Behaviour Flexibility and Versatility” in which she emphasises spiders as model systems.

Uwe Kaulfuss

Department of Geology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Uwe is a Post Doctoral Fellow and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Geology at the University of Otago. Uwe completed his Masters in Geology at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and then worked as a Geologist at the Natural History Museum Mainz/Federal State Collection of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. During this time Uwe was the leader of excavations in the oilshales of Eckfeld Maar in the Eifel Mountains, an Eocene maar with rich fossil flora and fauna including diverse vertebrates and insects. More recently Uwe completed his PhD at the University of Otago working on the geology and paleontology of Foulden Maar in Otago. Uwe’s current research interests encompass the volcanology of maar-diatreme volcanoes and the sedimentology, paleontology and taphonomy of maar lakes. Recently he has also been involved in a project looking at the occurrence and depositional setting of New Zealand amber and the biodiversity of fossils they preserve.

Robert Hoare

New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand.

Robert is an Invertebrate Systematist and Head Curator of the New Zealand Arthropod Collection at Landcare Research. Robert specialises in the taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of Lepidoptera. Dr Robert did his undergraduate degree with Honours at the University of Exeter before completing his PhD in Insect Systematics from the Australian National University in 1998. Robert recently developed an online guide to the larger moths of New Zealand, which can be accessed by anyone interested in identifying specimens found around the country. Dr Robert is also an incredible poet and will entertain us with one of these at the conference dinner.