Jake H. Lewis
Weevil taxonomy and systematics, Ellescini, natural history and field studies, molecular phylogenetics, adventive species.
My introduction to the natural world began in middle school when I started identifying and learning the vocalizations of birds in New Brunswick, Canada. In high school my interest expanded to insects, and I was very fortunate to work as an entomology collections assistant at the New Brunswick Museum for seven years as I completed my Math/Biology degree at the University of New Brunswick.
During my early undergraduate years, I developed an interest in the Asian insect fauna and Japanese language and made several sojourns to locations in East and Southeast Asia. This included a one year stay in Japan where I amassed a reference collection of various beetles and became more familiar with some of the local fauna. I also completed a four-month internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) where I curated the beetle collections under the direction of Dr. Robert Anderson.
My MSc was funded by the CMN and supervised primarily by Dr. Robert Anderson. For my MSc, I revised the species of Ellescus in North America using morphology and molecular techniques, and also used molecular phylogenetics techniques to answer questions relating to the tribe Ellescini. My study revealed the presence of several new species and synonyms, which we are excited to share with weevil experts and enthusiasts in publication over the coming months.
This spring I will start a permanent position as a field research team lead and collections manager at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in subtropical Japan. I hope to use the opportunity to study the weevil fauna of Japan and Asia more broadly, as well as build on my MSc research.