Staff Profile: Delano S. Lewis
Assistant Research Scientist
Delano Lewis received a Bachelor's and a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus; his master's thesis on the conservation of Jamaican herpetofauna looked at radio-tracking the critically endangered Jamaican Iguana, and analyzing the diet of the invasive Small Indian Mongoose. After being accepted to the University of Florida, he revised the taxonomy of the day-flying colorful geometrid moths of the genus Cyllopoda for a second Master's. He then worked on the phylogeny and revision of the Heraclides butterflies with adviser Thomas Emmel for his PhD.
His research currently focuses on conservation, invasive species, phylogeography, radar entomology, and systematics. Systematic and phylogenetic work focuses mainly on the moth tribe Cyllopodini (Geometridae: Sterrhinae) and the citrus swallowtails, the Heraclides (Papilio); he also works extensively on aspects of the ecology of the invasive lime swallowtail Princeps (Papilio) demoleus (Papilionidae: Papilioniini). His collaboration with other researchers in UF's department of Physiology & Functional Genomics at the College of Medicine as well as UF's Entomology & Nematology department has recently led to the discovery that an essential amino acid can be used as a control for the invasive lime swallowtail butterfly. Working with Jaret Daniels, he hopes to assist in exploring the role of various roadside vegetation management practices for enhancing habitat and floral resources for native insect pollinators. Additionally, collaborative efforts with an electrical engineer aim to investigate the possibility of using uniquely identifiable RF tags to track butterflies and moths in the Butterfly Rainforest. He also hopes to begin the process of digitizing the Jamaican Lepidoptera fauna found in major collections around the world, as well as try his hand at Myrmecology, as subject which has intrigued him since childhood.
McGuire Center: Delano Lewis is an Assistant Research Scientist working on Lepidoptera at the McGuire Center. His duties include conducting independent research and publishing his findings in peer-reviewed journals, teaching Insect Conservation through UF's Entomology and Nematology department, seeking funding for his research projects, and assisting the curators and collection manager in the care and organization of the Lepidoptera collection. He and Jaret Daniels also maintain the Insect Conservation laboratory in UF's Entomology and Nematology department.