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What's in the collection.... Who's involved with the collection... Course taught by Dr. Marshall... How to contact us...



Dr. Steve Marshall


Professor and Collection Director

For further information about Steve, look here

Contact him at

All loan requests should be directed to him.

  Graduate Students  
Morgan Jackson
Morgan D. Jackson, Ph.D. student, M.Sc. 2011

Morgan has worked in the systematics lab since September 2006 where he developed a digital key for the Ontario Tephritidae and continues his work on a key to the Ontario Stratiomyidae. His MSc focused on the systematics of stilt-legged flies (Diptera: Micropezidae), revising the genus Taeniaptera and explored the relationships of this genus with Poecilotylus using both morphological and molecular data. He in continuing his research on the Micropezidae in his Ph.D, and he continues to assist the lab in assuming the mantle of CJAI technical editor and assisting in developing the teaching collection. In his free time, he enjoys nature photography and road trips, especially when the two are combined!

Contact him at or check out his blog.

Nichelle Lomas, Ph.D. student, M.Sc. 2012

Nichelle joined the lab September 2009 after graduating with an undergrad zoology degree from U of G. She is a student of both Dr. Marshall and Dr. Youbin Zheng undertaking a OMAFRA funded project unusual for the systematics lab as her flies are (hopefully) still living. She worked on an experimental project studying the use of saprophagous fly larvae to convert chicken manure into fertilizer, breeding colonies of several fly species to test their effectiveness as waste converters atto eventually use at an industrial scale. Nichelle’s research is the entomological side of a larger project by Ivan Milin, president of ecospace engineering (

Contact her at


Meredith Miller, M. Sc. Candidate

Meredith joined the lab in 2013 after graduating from her undergrad Bio-Resource Management (Environmental Major) from the U of G in June 2012. She is working with Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae, a genus of fruit flies. Her project, which is funded by OMAFRA, will focus on the creation of a photographic key to the synanthropic drosophilids of Ontario, which will include the Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD), a recent invasive pest.

Contacted her at

Steven M. Paiero, Ph.D. student, Acting Curator, M.Sc. 2003

Steve has been with the collection since 1999 when he started as a work-study student. Following his undergraduate work, he continued on to finish a M.Sc. and then work on a variety of projects in the lab, including various arthropod survey projects (Ontario tallgrass prairie, Rondeau Provincial Park, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Point Pelee National Park, Ontario dune systems, to name a few), and has been the acting curator for the past few years. He has finally decided to go for a Ph.D. in which he will be studying the systematics of Sphaeroceridae. Despite the new fly focus of his research, he maintains an interest in documenting Ontario's insect fauna with an emphasis on the Orthoptera and Hemiptera. Whenever possible, he loves to get out into the field and check out the entomo-life, be it in Canada or the tropics, and continue his repuatation as a collector of material important to both his and others studies!

Contact him at

  Tiffany Yau, M.Sc. student

Tiffany started as a work study student in her 3rd year undergrad and did an undergraduate project with Steve in 2013, utilizing her artistic skills to examine several undescribed genera of Sphaeroceridae, focusing on the morphology of the genitalia. In 2014, she started her graduate studies here revising a genus of Sphaeroceridae (Bromeloecia).

Contact her at

  Past Students Since 1999  
Stephen Luk, M.Sc. 2012

In 2009, Stephen began to work in the lab as a work study student and continued his role in the lab as a USRA in 2010 while he worked on developing a photographic key to the Fireflies (Lampyridae) of Ontario. His has just recently finished up his M.Sc. studying the systematics of the wingless Neotropical Sphaeroceridae in the genus Aptilotella and is considering pursing a PhD. Hopefully we will see him again in the lab soon as he continues to be involved in documenting the Ontario insect fauna.

Andrew Young, M.Sc. 2012

Andrew is working with the Syrphidae (Diptera) of North America, a large group of pollinating flies.  He reviewed the systematics of the large genus Platycheirus with plans on publishing a photographic key to the species.  He is also a collaborator on an upcoming photographic key to the genera of North American Syrphidae.  The aim of both of these keys is to make the identification of these beneficial, and often beautiful, flies more accessible to the public. He is currently continuing his studies on Syrphidae, pursuing a PhD at the University of Carelton, along with getting his M.Sc. work published.

Joel Kits, Ph.D. 2011

Joel successfully defended his thesis on the systematics of a group of Neotropical Sphaeroceridae (Diptera), the tribe Archiborborini. These flies, found mostly in highland and southern temperate areas, include a significant number of undescribed species. Additionally, he also studied the phylogenetics of the group, including reviewing the generic classification and examining the relationship to the Nearctic/Old World Copromyzini. Joel is also interested in the bee flies (Bombyliidae) having completed a key to the species of Eastern Canada, and identified and curated the Guelph collection of bombyliids.


Gil Felipe Gonçalves Miranda, Ph.D. 2011

From Brazil, Gil worked with flower flies (Syrphidae) in his undergraduate years where he started working on a syrphid survey in a park in the state of Paraná. During the survey, syrphid identification was problematic and Gil was determined to solve some of the problems and delved into systematics. His M.Sc. at the Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) on the problematic genus Ocyptamus, where he sorted out the sub-groupings through cladistics, led to his Ph.D. here in Guelph where he revised the tristis species group and a broader cladistic analysis involving it and Ocyptamus.


David Cheung, M.Sc. 2011 (C.B. and P.B. )

Dave worked with us since early 2004 and quickly become an essential part of the systematics lab due to his enthusiasm and prowess in all aspects of technology and photography. He is currently serving as the technical editor for the Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification and was a vice president for the 'Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators' group. His presence in the lab is greatly missed, having moved on to the University of Copenhagen where we are sure his passion and abilities will be greatly appreciated.

For more about Dave visit

Past projects: Digital Guide to Landscape and Nursery Arthropod Pests of Ontario, Mecoptera of Ontario

Adam J. Brunke, M.Sc. 2011

Adam was the rebel coleopterist of the group (this means he precariously studied beetles amongst fly specialists). He is primarily interested in the systematics, faunistics and ecology of Staphylinidae (rove beetles). He completed his masters in 2011, which involved two study areas: studying the rove beetle assemblage of soybean agroecosystems and developing online identification guides to the Staphylinidae of eastern Canada. Adam is currently enrolled in a PhD. program at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), involving a revision of the genus Bolitogyrus (Staphylinidae: Staphylininae) and continues to be involved in various projects on Nearctic Staphylinidae. You can find Adam in such pleasant locations as carrion, dung, decaying fungi and compost!

Matthew D. Bergeron M.Sc. 2009

Matthew finished his Masters work reviewing the world species of Coproica (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae) including a revision of the New World fauna, which are largely unknown. Matthew is also interested in the massive neotropical genus Pterogramma (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae) which he worked on as an undergraduate student.

John Klymko M.Sc. 2009

John studied the Canadian Lonchopteridae (Diptera) as an undergraduate project and went on to study the systematics of the New World Curtonotidae (Diptera) for his Masters here in Guelph.

Philip Careless M.Sc. 2009

Phil completed his M.Sc. studies at Guelph, looking at the biology of a digger wasp (Cerceris fumipennis) that preys on buprestid beetles at its potential use to surveill for Emerald Ash Borer. Since his completion he has continued the research of the potential use of these wasps in "biosurveillence" with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

For more information please visit his website at

Hui Dong Ph.D. 2009

Supervised by Ding Yang and Steve Marshall

Hui spent one year at Guelph working on the Pacific genus Biroina (Sphaeroceridae), beginning in October 2007. Hui's excellent and detailed drawings of fly bits and pieces have graced several recent papers on Oriental Diptera, and we look forward to her future works on Pacific limosinines.

Owen Lonsdale Ph.D, 2007

Owen formally began his PhD work on Clusiidae (Diptera) in 2005, but has been working with these beautiful flies since his M.Sc. project at Guelph on the systematics of the genus Sobarocephala (Clusiidae). He worked in the systematics laboratory for some years, and played a major role in the development of our Point Pelee National Park database along with contributing to our numerous survey projects over the years. Owen is now the Collection Manager at the Canadian National Collection, a position that recognizes his amazing abilities and interests.

Contact him here.

Mehrdad Parchami-Araghi Ph.D, 2005

From Iran  
Completed his Ph. D here at the Univerisity of Guelph with a revision of Spelobia (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae) and Chetogena Rondani (Diptera: Tachinidae


  Former Personnel    
Matthias Buck, Curator 1999-2008

Matthias came to the lab in 1998 for a post-doctorate position and we were able to snag him up as our curator from 1999 until 2008. During his stay with us, his research was primarily focused on Diptera systematics, especially of New World Acalyptratae (Sphaeroceroidea, Carnoidea, Diopsoidea, Nerioidea) but was also extremely passionate about documenting the Ontario aculeate fauna (Crabronidae, Sphecidae, Vespidae, Pompilidae, Mutillidae). Since March 2009 he has been the Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Royal Alberta Museum.

To contact him email or click here.

Adam Jewiss-Gaines ("Debbie") 2008-2012

Adam joined the lab in fall of 2008 through the work-study program. Since completing his undergraduate in the spring of 2008, he worked in the lab to develop the University of Guelph Insect Collection's computer database, through grants from CBIF and CANPOL, along with assisting in general curatorial duties. Completing his work on the Cluster Flies of North America, Adam is now a PhD student at Brock University and is studying the Ceratopogonidae of Ontario.