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Field Research

"Most of the world's mammals were described in Darwin's time. But I can go somewhere today and see things that no one else has seen before or identified, doing all kinds of bizarre things." 

—Dr. Brian Brown, Entomology Curator, pictured here in Argentina, studying bee-killing flies who attack their hosts on palm flowers.

Let Us Bug You!

Check out our permanent Insect Zoo exhibit! We have bugs all year round.
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Entomology Department Staff

Dr. Brian Brown, Curator


Dr. Brian V. Brown, Curator, Head of the Natural History Museum's Entomology Department and Curator of Entomology, has pursued an interest in insects since he was 5, when he created an insect zoo in his backyard in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Brown received both his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Guelph in Ontario, and then earned his doctorate at the University of Alberta. After receiving his PhD, he spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., prior to joining the museum staff in 1993.

Brown's research centers on the systematics, evolution, and natural history of phorid flies, especially the parasitoid species known as "ant-decapitating flies" and "bee-killing flies." He has collected specimens and conducted research in many countries throughout Southeast Asia, North America and Europe, but especially in Central and South America. Through his work he has discovered and described about 500 new species of phorids, and he has investigated their varied lifestyles. He has worked extensisvely on fossil species preserved in amber, especially from the 40-million-year-old Baltic amber of Europe.

Weiping Xie, Collections Manager


Mr. Weiping Xie is the Entomology Department's Collections Manager. He is responsible for care and maintenance of the entomology collection's pinned, alcohol-preserved, and slide-mounted specimens. In addition to managing the physical specimens, he is actively databasing parts of the collection, both for our own management needs and also to make collection information more available to the public.

Mr. Xie, originally from China, studied biology at the Beijing Unviersity before moving to Canada. He completed a master's degree at the University of Manitoba in entomology, studying aquatic beetles. In addition to his entomological skills, he also has a diploma in Applied Information Technology from the Information Technology Institution in Toronto, Ontario. He joined the Natural History Museum in 2002.