–Blog & News-
I have been interested in insects at a very early age. I earned a degree in Agronomic Engineering (2004), and hold Masters (2008) and Doctorate (2012) degrees in Entomology from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, campus Maracay.
My dissertations were focussed on taxonomy and phylogenetics of beetles (Scarabaeidae and Salpingidae) supervised by Luis J. Joly with the invaluable support of Vilma Savini (MIZA), the late Carlos Bordon, and the charismatic staff at MIZA.
In 2010 I began work with Adam Ślipiński as a Visiting Scientist at the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC-CSIRO) in Canberra. Adam’s diligent training and support and the great work environment in ANIC stimulated my research, which leads to close and crucial collaborations with Richard Leschen (Landcare Research, New Zealand) and John Lawrence (CSIRO, Australia).
My entomological research has been facilitated by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), the Australian National Insect Collection-CSIRO, the Museo del Instituto de Zoología Agrícola “Francisco Fernández Yépez” (MIZA). Pre and Postdoctoral studies were funded by Fonacit-Venezuela, an Endeavor Scholarship from Australia and a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship from Germany. Travel grants were sponsored by the Smithsonian Natural History Museum (Washington) and Landcare Research (New Zealand).
-2012 PhD in Entomology. Central University of Venezuela.
-2008 Master of Sciences in Entomology. Central University of Venezuela.
-2004 Agronomic Engineer. Central University of Venezuela.
-Sept 2018 – present. Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO.
-2015 – 2018 Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow. Museum A. Koenig, University of Freiburg.
-2010 – 2015 Visiting Scientist. Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO.
-2004 – 2010 Operational Unit Manager, National Division of Vector Borne Diseases and Novice Fauna, Health Ministry of Venezuela.
Born and raised in Venezuela, a country of great natural beauty and contrasting biodiversity, it is a paradise for those who enjoy and study nature. I traveled extensively around the country as a student chasing insects or exploring caves, as a professional working for the Ministry of Health at the Department of Vector Control of Diseases, and in ordinary life to visit relatives in the Andes or the Llanos.
I enjoy visiting the world’s cultures, landscapes and studying lifeforms, so whenever it is possible I travel to interesting or remote areas to collect insects, for cave exploration, hiking or simply city strolling.
The picture above is of the mountains next to the town of Bocono, my birthplace.