M. Lourdes Chamorro

Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Minnesota, MN, USA 2009

B.Sc. in Agriculture with Minor in Entomology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 1998

Research Interests

Taxonomy and systematics of Dryophthorinae, Cossoninae, and other weevils of agricultural importance.

I was born in the U.S.A. but raised in Nicaragua. The enthusiasm, dedication, and passion for the natural world of my Ecology professor, Eric van den Berghe (University of Mobile, Latin American Campus, San Marcos, Carazo, Nicaragua) inspired me to pursue a career in Entomology.

As a senior at The Ohio State University I volunteered at the Ohio Biological Survey sorting and identifying caddisflies (Trichoptera) and became fascinated with insect systematics. My interest took me to the University of Minnesota to work on Neotropical caddisflies (Trichoptera) with Ralph Holzenthal under his National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnership for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET) grant.

During my Ph.D. studies I had the life-changing opportunity to work on canopy beetles with Terry Erwin and beetle morphology with Alexander Konstantinov, sparking my lifelong passion for beetles. I worked as a postdoctoral fellow on leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) systematics and evolution at the Smithsonian Institution, and later buprestid systematics with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL). Three years later I was hired permanently by SEL as a Research Entomologist and the lab’s new “Weevil Guy”.

I love my job. I ­serve as Research Entomologist conducting systematics research of agriculturally important weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea). I have developed a deep fascination for all things weevils. Currently, I am working on several projects, but devote most of my time and energy on Dryophthorine and Cossoninae systematics.

I am Curator-in-charge of the National Curculionoidea Collection (8 families and more than 1.5 million specimens) at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. As the Nation's Weevil Specialist, I provide service identifications of adult and immature weevils from around the world, submitted by federal, state, and foreign research and regulatory agencies. I have led or participated in scientific expeditions to collect insects in: Bolivia, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, France, Hawaii, Japan, French Guiana, Moçambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Southwestern USA, and Taiwan.

I am currently the President of the Entomological Society of Washington (2022), a Member of the Washington Biologists’ Field Club, and Corresponding Member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences. I recently served as Councilor of The Coleopterists Society (2019-2021) and I currently serve as Curculionoidea Subject Editor for The Coleopterists’ Bulletin.

Last updated October 25, 2022