Featured Researcher

Michael Bernal

Research interests

I am what I like to refer to as an accidental entomologist. I enrolled in an Environmental Science Bachelor’s program at Broward College thinking I would enjoy a career in the outdoors. To my surprise there were two classes I needed to take on entomology, from there I was hooked. I am currently a laboratory technician with the United States Department of Agriculture. I am also enrolled part time at the University of Florida for a Master’s degree in Entomology. When discussing ideas for a thesis with my special committee member (Dr. John Leavengood), I kept coming back to weevils simply because I thought they were a fascinating group. My advisor suggested Entiminae, which up until that point I had very little experience with. After some cursory research and conversations with other taxonomists we settled on the Entiminae of Florida. 

My goal is to create a comprehensive source covering entimines found in Florida. The information will include known environments, pestiferous nature, host plants, descriptions and a key to the members of the subfamily found in the state of Florida. For now, I am performing ongoing collecting to find fresh specimens and am also visiting various major museums for data on the group. I am early in my degree (third semester) and hope to learn as much as possible in the time I have. My goal is to become an identifier for USDA APHIS while also seeing where my research takes me in the coming years. 

Last updated October 12, 2023