My primary research interest is in the systematics, comparative ecology, and biogeography of Neotropical bark and ambrosia beetles. In practice I spend most of my efforts on the Mexican fauna. Because of the lack of information for the region I am spending a lot of time in alpha-taxonomy and databasing. I am particularly interested in host plant associations and how different groups have colonized different plant lineages. My main taxonomic collection is housed at Texas A&M University and I continue to add to it. I also work closely with the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (Gainesville) and with the Centro de Entomología y Acarología of the Colegio de Postgraduados (Montecillo, Mexico) where I have long standing relationships.

I was born and raised in southern Florida on the edge of the swamps. Since leaving home I have moved on to higher education and higher ground where I have remained ever since. The relentless fauna of subtropical Florida probably had something to do with my early and enduring interest in insects. As a result of 4H clubs I realized that one could actually get paid to do this and have never looked back. I received a B.S. (1972), M.S. (1976) and Ph.D. (1979) from the University of Florida, all in Entomology.

Over the years I have worked in a variety of academic and industrial settings in the U.S. and Latin America in forest entomology, urban pest management, stored products protection. (Florida, Panama, Mexico, California, Texas). During my career I have also worked on biology and control of cockroaches, termites and stored products pests.


email: thatkinson.austin@gmail.com

website: barkbeetles.info