MARC A. BRANHAM
Lawrent "Larry" L. Buschman
Larry works with the fireflies of Western North America. He is developing a Field Guide to Western North American Fireflies, available online. Larry also works on the biology and ecology of larval glowing behavior and its potential function(s), in addition to the sexual flash communication of Photuris fireflies and how it affects taxonomy and identification. In the past he has worked on pest management in corn and soybean.
academic profile: Kansas State University, Department of Entomology
Seth M. Bybee
Seth is an evolutionary biologist whose focus is on the phylogenetics and diversification of insects with an emphasis on the evolution of color vision. Although Odonata is his main system, his lab also focuses on fireflies and other beetles, with the common thread being visual system evolution. Seth is also very interested in evolution education, especially among religious populations.
email: seth.bybee[at]gmail.com | laboratory website: Bybee Lab
Stephen T. Deyrup
Steve, or Dr. Steve as his students call him, is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Siena College, a liberal-arts college near Albany, NY. His specialty is figuring out molecular structures using NMR and LC-MS techniques. Steve is especially interested in the chemical defenses of insects including fireflies.
laboratory website: Deyrup Lab
Timothy R. Fallon
Tim is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at MIT. His dissertation research focuses on characterizing accessory metabolism of firefly luciferin. His research involves transcriptomic and genomic sequencing and assembly, recombinant and crude enzymology, and LC-MS. He is a member of the Photinus pyralis firefly genome project, and interested in comparative genomic approaches across bioluminescent organisms generally.
Lynn Frierson Faust, author of Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs, acts as a consultant for firefly studies in state agencies, universities, museums, nature centers and national parks across the US, as well as media film and print outlets including BBC Nature, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and NPR. Lynn has presented in Asia, Europe, Canada and the US on the topic of fireflies, and published numerous scientific papers. She wants others to share her enthusiasm about lightning bugs!
Oliver is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. His dissertation research focuses on the systematics of West Indies firefly genera Robopus and Heterophotinus, and elucidating patterns of their diversity. His research involves molecular and morphological phylogenetics, biogeography, as well as ecological niche modeling. He is also working on a West Indies Firefly Fauna website.
Dr. Lewis is a professor of Biology at Tufts University, with expertise in the courtship and mating behavior of North American fireflies, including mate choice and nuptial gifts. Author of 80+ scientific papers, Lewis also has a TED talk and has written about firefly conservation and evolution for Natural History, CNN, The Guardian, and Scientific American. She has also written a popular book, Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies, unveiling the science behind the spectacle.
email: sara.lewis[at]tufts.edu | twitter: @silent_sparks
Sarah E. Lower
Dr. Lower is an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University. She combines field studies, laboratory experiments, and genome sequencing to investigate evolutionary questions in both fireflies and fruit flies. Her work on North American firefly species focuses on the evolution of flash signal color and visual perception. She is also interested in the role of repetitive DNA in firefly genome evolution and speciation.
email: sesander[at]cornell.edu | website: sesander.wordpress.com
Avalon c.s. Owens
Avalon is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at Tufts University. She has a Masters in Entomology from National Taiwan University, where she studied the effects of artificial light on the flash behavior of urbanized Aquatica ficta. She is currently investigating the impact of light pollution on the fitness of North American firefly species, and specializes in behavioral observations, computer modeling, and electroretinography techniques.
email: avalon.owens[at]tufts.edu | laboratory website: Lewis Lab
Don is retired from the Museum of Science in Boston, where he worked as a science educator for 38 years. He, along with Chris Cratsley, Kristian Demary and Adam South, started the Firefly Watch citizen science project in 2008. As of the end of 2017, Firefly Watch has recruited over 5,000 volunteers to monitor firefly populations in their backyard. Don continues to work with Firefly Watch as the project is transferred to the Mass Audubon Society in the summer of 2018.
Kathrin F. Stanger-Hall