The McGuire Center welcomed several new staff members, visiting researchers and students during the Fall 2021 semester.

Image of Keating Godfrey

R. Keating Godfrey joined the McGuire center as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October. She is working with Akito Kawahara to study the evolution of chemosensory genes in hawk moths (Sphingidae). Keating received her B.S. in biology from the University of Vermont, where she was interested in plant systematics and evolution, but she shifted to focus on insects during her Master’s research on tri-trophic interactions in northern hardwood forests. She conducted her Ph.D. research with Wulfila Gronenberg at the University of Arizona where she compared behavior and brain morphology in odorous ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) and other Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, and bees). Keating is interested in the evolution of sensory systems and neural circuits underlying decision-making and is excited to take a comparative approach to these questions here at the McGuire Center.

Image of Bob Belmont.

Bob Belmont recently retired from Massey Services after a long career in pest control, including establishing his own successful pest control company in Naples which he later sold to Massey. Originally from California, Bob received his B.Sc. from University of California, Davis in 1973 and his M.Sc. from the University of Florida’s Department of Entomology and Nematology in 1979.  Bob donated his extensive research collection of Geometridae (the inchworm family) to the McGuire Center in 2010 and plans to devote his retirement to curating and growing the McGuire Center’s worldwide Geometridae holdings.  In addition to curation, Bob is also working on digitization and databasing geometrids, compiling life history and distributional data, and sorting out and discovering new species hidden in our collections.  He is also involved in Florida Lepidoptera biodiversity surveys and looking forward to participating in museum outreach activities.