Dr George Beccaloni

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Curator, Orthopteroidea and Wallace Collection

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Insects
Contact: email
Phone: 020 7942 5361
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Specialisms

biodiversity informatics, curation of insect collections, digitisation, life and work of Alfred Russel Wallace, taxonomy and systematics of cockroaches

Summary

I am the curator of the NHM's collections of Blattodea (cockroaches and termites), Mantodea (praying mantids), Mantophasmatodea, Dermaptera (earwigs), Grylloblattodea (ice crawlers), Phasmida (stick insects), Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and bush crickets) and the historic A. R. Wallace Insect Collection - a grand total of about 790,000 specimens both dry pinned and in spirit. My curatorial work is diverse and includes recurating the collection, answering enquiries, hosting visitors, doing identifications, participating in public engagement events etc. I am especially interested in the taxonomy and systematics of cockroaches and am the creator and editor of the Cockroach Species File, a comprehensive online synonymic catalogue of world cockroaches (http://cockroach.speciesfile.org). Another of my interests is the life and work of the neglected co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. In 1999 I set up the A.R. Wallace Memorial Fund (http://wallacefund.info/) and in 2002 I played a key role in helping the NHM library acquire the world's largest and most important collection of Wallace’s manuscripts, books and insect specimens from his grandsons (6000 items). In order to make these and all of Wallace's other manuscripts in institutions worldwide available to scholars I set up the Wallace Correspondence Project (http://wallaceletters.info). Work on this project began in October 2010 and so far I have secured grants totalling £620,932 to fund it (up until February 2018). I am the project's director and currently spend 1 day per week managing the small team and working on the project’s Wallace Letters Online manuscript archive (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/wallacelettersonline). I am also interested in Charles Darwin and in 2006 I initiated the NHM library's project to acquire the largest collection of Darwin-related publications ever assembled (3,500 items). At £985,000, the Kohler Darwin Collection is the most costly purchase of any collection in the Museum's 125-year history. In the past I done work on the evolution of mimicry in butterflies, macroecological patterns in butterfly-hostplant relationships, and novel methods to quantify the diet breadths of phytophagous insects. I also created LepIndex: a uniquely comprehensive online synonymic catalogue of the living and fossil butterflies and moths of the world (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/lepindex/). LepIndex is the largest single contributor of names to the Catalogue of Life.

Qualifications

Degrees

PhD, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom, 1991 - 1995

BSc (Hon's) [1st class], Imperial College, London, United Kingdom, 1988 - 1991

Employment history

Academic

Curator of orthopteroid insects, Natural History Museum, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2003 - ongoing

Research Assistant [4 month NHM funded position to continue work on the VIADOCS project], Natural History Museum, Entomology, United Kingdom, 2003 - 2003

Research Assistant [2 year position funded by BBSRC/EPSRC Bioinformatics Initiative. Work on VIADOCS (Versatile Interactive Archive Document Conversion System) project and the Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex) (with M. J. Scoble and G. S. Robinson (NHM)) and the University of Essex], Natural History Museum, Entomology, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2002

Research Entomologist [5 year fixed term appointment. Work on novel methods of quantifying the diet breadths of phytophagous insects; research on macroecological patterns in hostplant utilisation by butterflies; and construction of databases containing butterfly hostplant records.], Natural History Museum, United Kingdom, 1996 - 2000

Publications

Costa JT, Beccaloni GW (2014) Deepening the darkness? Alfred Russel Wallace in the Malay Archipelago. Current Biology, 24 (2)

Beccaloni GW (2013) Forward. , Preston T, The Letter from Ternate.. TimPress.

Beccaloni G, Eggleton P (2013) Order Blattodea. Zootaxa, 3703 (1): 46 - 48.

Bohn H, Beccaloni G, Dorow WHO, Pfeifer MA (2013) Another species of European Ectobiinae travelling north - the new genus Planuncus and its relatives (Insecta: Blattodea: Ectobiinae). Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, 71 (3): 139 - 168.

BECCALONI GW, EGGLETON P (2011) Order Blattodea Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1882. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (ed.). Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa, 3148 : 199 - 200.

BECCALONI GW (2010) The Natural History Museum, London’s orthopteroid collection database is now online. Metaleptea, 30 : 2 - 4.

BECCALONI GW. , (2010) Big Bugs Life-size. The Natural History Museum.. London.

Smith CH, Williams J, Stephens J, BECCALONI G (2010) Alfred Russel Wallace notes 2: the spelling “Russel”, and Wallace’s date of birth. Archives of Natural History, 37 (2): 351 - 354. doi: 10.3366/anh.2010.0017

Beccaloni G, Holloway J, Kitching IJ, Sattler K, Scoble MJ, Tuck K, Vane-Wright RI (2009) A tribute to Dr Gaden S. Robinson (1949-2009). Systematics and Biodiversity, 7 : 351 - 354.

BECCALONI G (2009) Happy 150th birthday natural selection. Panorama: The Journal of the Thurrock Local History Society, 47 : 5 - 10.

Edwards FL, BECCALONI GW. , (2009) Alfred Russel Wallace: The Forgotten Evolutionist 1823 - 1913. Ikonolux. U.K..

BECCALONI GW, SMITH VS (2008) Celebrations for Darwin downplay Wallace's role. Nature (London), 451 (7182): 1050 - 1050. doi: 10.1038/4511050d

BECCALONI G (2008) Wallace's annotated copy of the Darwin-Wallace paper on natural selection. , , Chapter 4: Natural selection and beyond: The intellectual legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace., pp. 91 - 101. Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K. xxv + 482 pp.

BECCALONI G (2008) Chapter 1: Homes sweet homes: A biographical tour of Wallace's many places of residence. , Smith CH, Beccaloni G, Natural selection and beyond: The intellectual legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace., pp. 7 - 43. Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K. xxv + 482 pp.

BECCALONI GW, Viloria AL, Hall SK, ROBINSON GS. , Milenio MT (2008) Catalogue of the Hostplants of the Neotropical Butterflies/ Catálogo de las Plantas Huésped de las Mariposas Neotropicales. Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa (SEA)/Red Iberoamericana de Biogeografía y Entomología Sistemática (RIBES)/Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo (CYTED)/Natural History Museum, London, U.K. (NHM)/Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Venezuela (IVIC). Zaragoza, Spain.

Smith CH, BECCALONI G. , (2008) Natural selection and beyond: The intellectual legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K.

Ünal M, BECCALONI GW (2008) Lectotype designation for the type species of Colossopus, C. grandidieri Saussure, 1899 (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Conocephalinae). Phasmid Studies, 17 : 34 - 35.

Inward D, Beccaloni G, Eggleton P (2007) Death of an order: a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study confirms that termites are eusocial cockroaches. Biology Letters, 3 (3): 331 - 335. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0102

BECCALONI GW (2007) The Blattodea Species File Online (BSF) database: A new Web resource for everyone interested in cockroaches. Cockroach Studies, 2 : 4 - 10.

BECCALONI GW, Fritzsche I (2007) BCG meetings - Invitation for 2007. Cockroach Studies, 2

EGGLETON P, BECCALONI G, Inward D (2007) Invited reply: Responses to Lo et al. Biology Letters, 3 (5)doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0367

POLASZEK A, Agosti D, Alonso-Zarazaga M, BECCALONI G, Place Bjørn PD, Bouchet P, Brothers DJ, Earl of Cranbrook , Evenhuis N, Godfray HCJ, Johnson NF, KRELL F, Lipscomb D, LYAL CHC, Mace G, Mawatari S, Miller SE, Minelli A, Morris S, Ng PKL, Patterson DJ, Pyle RL, Robinson N, Rogo L, TAVERNE J, THOMPSON. FC, Tol. J. , WHELLER QD, Wilson EO (2005) A universal register for animal names. Nature, 437 (7058)doi: 10.1038/437477a

BECCALONI G (2004) The other evolutionist. Nature (London), 431

Schulz S, BECCALONI G, Brown KS, Boppré M, Freitas AVL, Ockenfels P, Trigo JR (2004) Semiochemicals derived form pyrrolizidine alkaloids in male ithomiine butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Ithomiinae). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 32 (8): 699 - 713. doi: 10.1016/j.bse.2003.12.004

BECCALONI GW, SCOBLE MJ, ROBINSON GS, Downton AC, Lucas SM (2003) Computerising unit-level data in natural history card archives. , Scoble MJ, ENHSIN The European Natural History Specimen Information Network., pp. 165 - 176. The Natural History Museum. London.

Viloria AL, Pyrcz TW, Wojtusiak J, Ferrer-Paris JR, BECCALONI GW, SATTLER K, LEES DC (2003) A brachypterous butterfly?. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B - Biologicial Sciences, 270 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0015

Robinson GS, Ackery PR, Kitching IJ, Beccaloni GW, Hernández LM (2002) Hostplants of the moth and butterfly caterpillars of America north of Mexico. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 69 : 1 - 824.

Robinson GS, Ackery PR, Kitching IJ, Beccaloni GW, Hernández LM. , (2001) Hostplants of the moth and butterfly caterpillars of the Oriental Region. The Natural History Museum & Southdene Sdn Bhd. London & Kuala Lumpur. 744

Beccaloni GW, Symons FB (2000) Variation of butterfly diet breadth in relation to host-plant predictability: results from two faunas. Oikos, 90 (1): 50 - 66. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.900106.x

Symons FB, Beccaloni GW (1999) Phylogenetic indices for measuring the diet breadths of phytophagous insects. Oecologia, 119 (3): 427 - 434. doi: 10.1007/s004420050804

Schulz S, Beccaloni G, Nishida R, Roisin Y, Vane-Wright RI, McNeil JN (1998) 2,5-dialkyltetrahydrofurans, common components of the cuticular lipids of lepidoptera. ZEITSCHRIFT FUR NATURFORSCHUNG C-A JOURNAL OF BIOSCIENCES, 53 : 107 - 116.

Beccaloni GW (1997) Vertical stratification of ithomiine butterfly (Nymphalidae: Ithomiinae) mimicry complexes: the relationship between adult flight height and larval host-plant height. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 62 (3): 313 - 341. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1997.tb01629.x

Beccaloni GW, Gaston KJ (1995) Predicting the species richness of neotropical forest butterflies: Ithomiinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) as indicators. Biological Conservation, 71 (1): 77 - 86. doi: 10.1016/0006-3207(94)00023-J

Beccaloni GW (1993) A new species of Extatosoma Gray (Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae) from Papua New Guinea, with remarks on the species in the genus. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 136 (2): 113 - 123.

BECCALONI GW (1991) Balta notulata (Stål) is a domiciliary cockroach in Papua New Guinea. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 5 (4): 507 - 509. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.1991.tb00580.x

Beccaloni GW (1991) Some traditional methods of cockroach control used in Papua New Guinea. Antenna, 15 : 80 - 81.

Highlighted publications

BECCALONI GW, Viloria AL, Hall SK, ROBINSON GS. , Milenio MT (2008) Catalogue of the Hostplants of the Neotropical Butterflies/ Catálogo de las Plantas Huésped de las Mariposas Neotropicales. Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa (SEA)/Red Iberoamericana de Biogeografía y Entomología Sistemática (RIBES)/Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo (CYTED)/Natural History Museum, London, U.K. (NHM)/Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Venezuela (IVIC). Zaragoza, Spain.

Smith CH, BECCALONI G. , (2008) Natural selection and beyond: The intellectual legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K.

Inward D, Beccaloni G, Eggleton P (2007) Death of an order: a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study confirms that termites are eusocial cockroaches. Biology Letters, 3 (3): 331 - 335. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0102