Conrad Gillett



Conrad Gillet

Conrad Gillett with Dynastes hercules and Megasoma actaeon in Orellana, Ecuador,
August 2007.


I have been studying scarabs and other beetles since childhood when I was brought up in Brazil. My professional entomological work consists of using and developing advanced high-throughput molecular tools for characterizing beetle diversity, evolution, and biology. This work focused on the highly diverse phytophagous superfamily Curculionoidea (weevils, bark and ambroisia beetles). However, my interests in scarabs remains undiminished. My current primary interests lie in the systematics, faunistics, and ecology of the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Dynastinae, although I also have strong interests in Cetoniinae, and Rutelinae, as well as Geotrupidae and Lucanidae. My main ‘expertise’ is in the Palaearctic fauna, especially that of my home continent, Europe (where I have sampled scarabs extensively for more than 25 years), and that of the Arabian Peninsula (where I resided for several years). I also have a very good knowledge of several Neotropical groups.

After I obtained an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences from King’s College (London), I belatedly realised that I could pursue my main entomological passion as a career and completed an M.Sc.  degree in taxonomy and biodiversity at the Imperial College, London, where I focused on the phylogeny of Cerambycidae. I thereafter worked as curator of Coleoptera in the (former) Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London for three years, gaining valuable experience in one of the finest and most comprehensive entomological collections in the world. Concurrently, I also regularly volunteered at the Hope Entomological Collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where I mounted and identified scarabs and re-curated their holdings of Phanaeini. During 2009-2010, I moved to Suriname where I held the position of curator of invertebrates at the National Zoological Collections of Suriname, part of the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, where I undertook fieldwork in Amazonia and developed the collections.

I obtained a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UEA, Norwich), and the Natural History Museum, conducting original biomolecular research on the higher-level relationships within the weevils. This work was supervised by Dr. Brent Emerson and Prof. Alfried Vogler and culminated in my successfully constructing the most densely sampled molecular phylogeny of weevils to date (both in taxon coverage and in sequence data analysed). As a result, in addition to traditional taxonomic methods, I am trained in advanced molecular phylogenetics laboratory techniques and in computational bioinformatics analyses of genomic data obtained through current high-throughput sequencing technologies.

I have since worked in diverse academic positions, including as a lecturer and module organizer in biodiversity and as a senior research assistant in evolutionary biology in the laboratory of Prof. Matt Gage at UEA studying the effects of sexual selection on a Tribolium model system. Since April 2016 I have been working at the University of Florida in Gainesville as a postgraduate research scholar helping to characterize the fascinating and complicated bark ambrosia beetle-fungal-bacterial-host-plant symbiosis using modern molecular methodology.

I have always enjoyed fieldwork and have lived on four continents, undertaking field-research in the South American Atlantic forest, Amazon basin, tropical and temperate Andes, cerrado, caatinga, Guyana shield, Central America, North America, the Caribbean, the Arabian Peninsula, tropical and southern Africa, tropical and temperate Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and across much of the rest of Europe.



Conrad P.D.T. Gillett
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
University of Florida
136 Newins-Ziegler Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410

Email: /


Linard, B., A. Crampton-Platt, C.P.D.T. Gillett, M.J.T.N Timmermans, and A.P. Vogler (2015). Metagenome skimming of insect specimen pools: potential for comparative genomics. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(6): 1474-1489. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv086

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2015). The Dynastinae of the island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Insecta Mundi 0433: 1-9

Gillett, C.P.D.T., A. Crampton-Platt, M.J.T.N Timmermans, B.H. Jordal, B.C. Emerson, and A.P. Vogler (2014). Bulk de novo mitogenome assembly from pooled total DNA elucidates the phylogeny of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea). Molecular Biology and Evolution 31(8): 2223-2237. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msu154

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and R. Preziosi (2010). A new record and locality for the Neotropical scarab beetle Ontherus compressicornis Luederwaldt, 1931 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Lambillionea 110(1): 88-90

Gillett, C.P.D.T., M.P.T. Gillett, J.E.D.T. Gillett and F.Z. Vaz-de-Mello (2010). Diversity and distribution of the scarab beetle tribe Phanaeini in the northern states of the Brazilian Northeast (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Insecta Mundi 0118:1-19

Gillett, C.P.D.T., A. Drumont and Y. Ponchel (2010). The rare rhinoceros beetle Ceratophileurus lemoulti Ohaus, 1911 in French Guiana and Suriname (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidea: Dynastinae: Phileurini). Zookeys 34: 193-198

Noriega, J.A., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Sandoval-Mojica, J.I. Blanco, L.C. Pardo, G. Valencia and A. Santibáñez (2009). New records and distributional range extension for Phanaeus haroldi Kirsch, 1871 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): A consolidation of biological and biogeographic information. Lambillionea 109(4):403-414

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A new country record for Chrysina (Plusiotis) diversa Ohaus, 1912 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae) in Central America. Insecta Mundi 0108: 1-3

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). New records of dynastine scarab beetles in the tribes Oryctini, Agaocephalini and Dynastini from Cayo district, Belize (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Insecta Mundi 0099: 1-9

Gillett, M.P.T and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Confirmation of the occurrence of Temnorhynchus baal Reiche & Saulcy on the island of Naxos, Greece (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Lambillionea 109(2):198-199

Gillett, C.P.D.T, W.D. Edmonds and S. Villamarin (2009). Distribution and biology of the rare scarab beetle Megatharsis buckleyi Waterhouse, 1891 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae: Phanaeini). Insecta Mundi 0080: 1-8

Moravec, J. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Annotated list of specimens of Madagascan Cicindelidae deposited in The Natural History Museum London. Folia Heyrovskyana, series A 16(4): 131-154

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Cleridae of the United Arab Emirates and Northern Oman. Lambillionea 109(1): 89-94

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Dichotomius maya Peraza & Deloya, 2006 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Coprini) in Belize, a new country record for this Central American dung beetle. Insecta Mundi 0064: 1-4

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2008). Bubas bubaloides Janssens, 1938 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in Europe. Lambillionea 108(4): 529-533

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2007). A new record and locality for Megapenthes lugens (Redtenbacher, 1842) (Elateridae) in Southern England: Silwood Park, Berkshire. The Coleopterist 16(3): 146-148

Rejzek, M., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Drumont and M.P.T. Gillett (2005). On the distribution and biology of the Genus Anthracocentrus Quentin & Villiers, 1983 in the Persian Gulf region (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae). Lambillionea 105(3): 353-369

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2002). A winter survey of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi. Tribulus 12(2): 12-19

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (1997). A solitary representative of the flower chafer beetles in the Al Ain region: Stalagmosoma albella (Pallas, 1781) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Tribulus 7(1): 22

Book chapters, newsletter articles etc.
Gillett, C.P.D.T. and Sedláček, A. (2010). Beginner’s Guide: Geotrupidae. Beetle News 2(2): 5- 8

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese Scarabaeological Sojourn - A Year in the Amazon, Part 2: March-May 2009. Scarabs 56: 1-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese Scarabaeological Sojourn - A Year in the Amazon, Part 1: March-May 2009. Scarabs 55: 1-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M. Bunalski. (2009). Beginner’s Guide: Scarabaeidae: Onthophagus. Beetle News 1(2): 7- 11

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Beautiful Scarabs in the Collection of the Natural History Museum, London. Scarabs 46:4-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2009). A very simple and effective trap for necrophagous Scarabaeinae. Scarabs 42: 17-21

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Some unusual scarabs from the collections of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Scarabs 40: 1-5

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A passion for French rose chafers: an exceptional site for Cetoniinae in Ardèche, France. Scarabs 36:1-12

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Anonymous contributions gratefully accepted! Scarabs 35: 4-5

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2008). Collecting in Belize May/June 2006. Scarabs 29: 1-14

Gillett M.P.T. and Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2005). Insects and other arthropods. In: The Emirates: A Natural History. Hellyer P. and Aspinall S. J. [eds], pp 168-194 and 352-356. Trident Press, London.


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