• Curator Andrew E.Z. Short and collaborators have published the first comprehensive combined analysis of relationships for the aquatic beetle family Hydrophilidae. The study has provided the most robust estimate of relationships for this diverse group of beetles, and laid the foundations for understanding ecological transitions between terrestrial and aquatic life. The work appears in Systematic Entomology.
• Curator Caroline S. Chaboo and her students are investigating the interrelationships among leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) using both molecular and morphological methods, as well as conducting detailed investigations into larval morphology and life history.
• Curator Emeritus George W. Byers continues his studies on the systematics of the scorpionflies (Mecoptera), recently publishing two new species of the genus Panorpa from Mexico (the work appeared in Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society). Thanks to the lifetime efforts of Prof. Byers, KU Entomology is home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of the order Mecoptera, inclusive of the largest collection of types in any one institution.
• Curator Emeritus Charles D. Michener continues his studies on bee biology and systematics. His book, Bees of the World (2007, Johns Hopkins University Press), remains the definitive source of information on the subject.
• Curator Michael S. Engel studies the lives of insects from a paleontological perspective. By looking into the deep past we hope to gather a stronger understanding of our present diversity, and what challenges it may face as we move forward into an era of human-induced climate change. His book, Evolution of the Insects (2005, Cambridge University Press), unifies for the first time the fossil record of insects with the ecology, biology, and systematics of the millions of living species.