McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity (MGCL) houses the Lepidoptera researchers and collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), a college-level unit of the University of Florida. The collections are some of the most comprehensive in the world, and McGuire Center staff and students conduct research into diverse aspects of Lepidoptera biology, including systematics, evolution, ecology, biogeography, conservation, genetics, physiology, and biochemistry, among others.

The FLMNH is not a degree-conferring department of the university, so our students are admitted to and pursue graduate programs through University of Florida departments where our staff and faculty have courtesy appointments. Depending on the supervisor’s affiliation, possible departments include Entomology and NematologyWildlife Ecology and Conservation, and Biology, among others. The McGuire Center provides office space for students, access to our collections and facilities, and the opportunity to interact more closely with our active group of students and researchers working on Lepidoptera. Prospective students should begin by contacting a potential supervisor to discuss options for their graduate program.

McGuire Center faculty and staff

Name (currently able to serve as graduate committee supervisor)  Home department  Affiliated department for student supervision  Main research interests  Main taxonomic expertise  Main field program  Email address/webpage
Dr. Charlie Covell FLMNH Entomology & Nematolory Systematics, faunistics Geometridae + other macrolepidoptera Neotropics, Nearctic
Dr. Jaret Daniels * FLMNH Entomology & Nematology, Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Conservation, ecology Butterflies USA; webpage
Dr. Thomas Emmel * FLMNH Biology, Entomology & Nematology, Center for Latin American Studies Chromosome evolution, ecology, conservation Butterflies worldwide
Dr. James Hayden FDACS Division of Plant Industry Not yet established Systematics Moths USA
Dr. John Heppner * FLMNH Entomology & Nematology Systematics Microlepidoptera Peru, Taiwan
Dr. Akito Kawahara * FLMNH Entomology & Nematology, Biology Systematics, evolution, behavior, genomics Various groups Worldwide; webpage
Dr. Jackie Miller * FLMNH Entomology & Nematology, Biology, Center for Latin American Studies Systematics, biogeography Castniidae, Satyrinae Caribbean, Honduras
Dr. Andrei Sourakov * FLMNH Entomology & Nematology Systematics, immature stage ecology Satyrinae, moths Florida, Argentina; CV
Dr. Andrew Warren FLMNH Not yet established Systematics, biogeography Hesperiidae USA, Mexico; webpage
Dr. Keith Willmott *  FLMNH  Entomology & Nematology Systematics, biogeography, conservation Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae Neotropics, especially Ecuador; webpage


Application and admission information:
Application procedure to UF’s Office of Admissions
Additional information for international students
Department of Entomology and Nematology: Application procedures
Department of Biology: Application proceduresGraduate program
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation: Graduate program

Funding opportunities

Note that deadlines, stipend totals etc are subject to change, check with source webpages or individual contacts for current details.

Source Eligibility Duration of funding Notes Application deadline (for Fall admission) Departments where available
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident alien (Green Card holder); student is a graduating senior, has completed a B.S./B.A. degree, or is in their 1st year or the first semester of their 2nd year in graduate school; typically high GPA (>3.7) and GRE scores needed 3 years stipend, plus support for tuition/health insurance November for Fall of following year (check here for date) Any
Department of Biology Teaching Assistantships All students 2 (MA) to 5 (PhD, already with MA) or 6 (PhD without MA) years 0.33 to 0.5 time assistantships for 9 months, stipend + tuition waiver + health insurance c. 15-Dec Biology
McKnight Doctoral Fellowships Applicants must be African American or Hispanic, U.S. citizens, and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 3 years stipend, some tuition support (remainder apparently waived by UF) 15-Jan Any
UF Graduate School Fellowships PhD candidates only; fluent English speaker; excellent students (GPA>3.5, GRE>1200, strong research and publication record, strong letter of support from prospective chair) Up to 4 years Departments awarded a certain number each year – varies; teaching assistance required (up to 4 semesters in EntNem) Announced January, deadline late January (may vary, check with Departmental graduate coordinator) Entomology & Nematology, + see other individual departments for availability
McGuire Research Assistantships All students Varies A limited number available each year, students should already have a research area in mind, and/or be able to demonstrate a keen interest in Lepidoptera research; contact Andrei Sourakov ( or your prospective supervisor for details December 1 each year Any
Tropical Conservation and Development Program Fellowships and Assistantships Students must complete the TCD 12-15 credit TCD interdisciplinary concentration; home department must be affiliated with TCD; preference for students focusing on biodiversity conservation; most recipients are from Latin American and Caribbean nations 1 year Includes stipend + tuition/fees; usually matched by 2nd yr support from student’s home department early Spring Entomology & Nematology; Biology (Zoology, Botany); Wildlife Ecology & Conservation; SNRE (complete list here)
CALS Dean’s Matching Assistantships Chair or co-chair must be affiliated with Entomology & Nematology Department; faculty must have matching funds confirmed from grant or contract (not state) sources; student must be fluent in English; PhD student preferred; faculty can receive only one match per year; strong letter of support from prospective chair 2 (MA) to 4 (PhD) years Departments awarded a certain number each year – varies; stipend for half the year and fee waiver while stipend in force; students must complete 2 (MA) to 4 (PhD) semesters as teaching assistants February, contact Departmental Graduate Coordinator to confirm date Entomology and Nematology
Entomology & Nematology Teaching Assistantships (Gahan, Steinmetz and Departmental TAs) Fluent English speakers 6 (MA) or 9 (PhD) semesters Includes stipend and tuition waiver; teaching assistance requirement assigned by Graduate Coordinator Check with Departmental Graduate Coordinator Entomology & Nematology
Grant-funded Research Assistantships  Varies  Varies McGuire faculty and staff, and those of other departments, may have grant-funded RAs available at any time  Varies Wherever available
Entomology Department NATL assistantship  – Varies  Varies Entomology and Nematology
Entomology Department Outreach Teaching Assistantship  – Varies  Varies Entomology and Nematology
Fulbright Scholarships Non-US citizens Varies by country Varies by country Varies by country  Any