Entomology conducts research, research training and graduate education on the world's insects–their global diversity, evolution, geography, genomic, morphology, conservation, ecology and behavior. These studies are grounded in research collections of almost 5 million specimens and their associated data. Major research areas in Entomology are chrysomelid beetles, water beetles, bees, and fossil insects.
The Entomology collections at the KU Biodiversity Institute are estimated to contain over 4.8 million pinned and labeled specimens plus approximately 87,000 specimens mounted on slides and nearly 40,000 vials containing varying numbers of specimens.
The leaf beetle family Chrysomelidae is one of the largest animal families known, with more than 40,000 described species. Entomologist Caroline Chaboo conducts fundamental systematic research with a variety of data - morphology, molecules, behavior - to understand their evolutionary relationships. From maternal care of eggs to recycling fecal material to unique relationships with host plants, this beetle family (leaf beetles) has provided a rich source of evolutionary research.
Find staff and students in the Entomology Division.
Current research focuses on phylogenetic systematics and evolution among insects. Areas of study include fossil insects by Michael Engel, aquatic insects by Andrew Short and the study of Chrysomelidae (leaf beatles) by Caroline Chaboo.
Entomologist Andrew Short has been featured by National Geographic for his research in Guyana and Suriname. Short uses aquatic insects to study patterns of freshwater biodiversity in South America. National Geographic followed his work in Guyana and Suriname in October via the Explorers Blog.