President's Corner: Erica McAlister, Entomology Advocate Extraordinaire
Bob Peterson, Ph.D.
October 9, 2019
For the past several years, ESA and its many devoted members have emphasized science communication. So, for the last two annual meetings our opening plenary speakers have been professional science communicators, not entomologists. But this year it made perfect sense to combine science communication and entomology by inviting Dr. Erica McAlister to give the featured presentation at the opening plenary session of Entomology 2019 in St. Louis.
Erica seamlessly combines her profession as a dipterist and senior curator at the Natural History Museum in London with advocating for entomology, mostly by tirelessly communicating to the public about the amazing world of insects. She is a master of social media, using humor to capture the public’s interest in insects, biology, and science in general. Follow her entertaining Twitter posts at @flygirlNHM.
Erica has appeared on TV, radio, and podcasts, as well giving talks at science festivals, international nature fairs, and wildlife organizations. In 2017, she published the book, The Secret Life of Flies. I waited impatiently for my copy to arrive as it was being published, and after reading it I thought it was not only a worthy successor to Harold Oldroyd’s classic, The Natural History of Flies, but that it was also in the top group of natural history books ever published.
More on Erica can be found on the Entomology 2019 website. I’m looking forward to her presentation at Entomology 2019 and I hope you are too. She is the epitome of an accomplished professional entomologist who is also a passionate science communicator and advocate extraordinaire for our discipline.