Brad Balukjian

Brad Balukjian

Visiting Scholar

My life now isn’t that much different than it was when I was 8 years old. I wander outside with a net chasing insects and putting them in jars. Except now I do it in Tahiti, and I drink a little more coffee than I did in third grade. What do I do with the bugs (and they truly are bugs–remember, a “true bug” is an insect in the sub-order Heteroptera, not  just anything that fits under your shoe)? Since no one has studied them before,  I describe new species that I have discovered and figure out the diagnostic characters for each species. I am working out the systematics of the group to try and discern what has driven speciation in the past, and if there is any incipient speciation going on right now. I combine morphological and molecular data to try and tell this story. Natural history has been my foundation for understanding the evolutionary processes driving this radiation of cute little bugs.



Kari's camera 001_web

Collecting insects!