$s1 MSc.

Conrad and friends in Ecuador, August 2007
  • $s1
  • $s1 department
  • $s1
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

 2009 - present 

PhD Student, Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London.

Oct 2006 - 2009           

Curator of Coleoptera and Hymenoptera, Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London.

Jan 2005 -  Sept 2005             

Harris Engineering, Birmingham – Customer Services / Sales

July 2003 -  December 2004          

Wesleyan Assurance Society, Birmingham – Financial Administrator



Oct 2005 -  Oct 2006  

Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum London

MSc. in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity 

Diploma of Imperial College (DIC)

MSc Thesis project – A Molecular Phylogenetics Analysis of the Longhorn Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Checklist of Beetles of the British Isles - The Coleopterist

1996 - 2000

King’s College, University of London 

BSc (Hons.) in Biomedical Science with Parasitology

Thesis project - Current and past candidates for a Leishmania vaccine



Professional Roles

External collaborations

Invited researcher and student supervisor for the University of Manchester field-course in tropical biology, held annually in Ecuador.

I also collaborate with people in the UK and across the world in the study of scarab dung beetles

Talks and collection tours

I am involved in regular public engagement activities, often giving talks and 'behind the scenes' collection tours to members of the public, students and to scientists at the museum, usually focussing on the scientific and historical value of the collections, but also on my specialist group - the scarab beetles.

Nature Live Talk on 'Rainbow Scarabs' (in 3 parts) 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

All videos are © copyright The Natural History Museum, London

In the collections with a drawer of  beetles

In the collections with a drawer of beetles.

Guest lectures

February 2007

Talk to the British Entomological and Natural History Society on the past, present and future of the Natural History Museum's Coleoptera collections

August 2008

'Latin American Scarab Beetles' - a lecture to University of Manchester undergraduate students during their tropical biology field course.

Grants  and awards

September 2005      

 Imperial College bursary to study for the MSc. Advanced Methods in taxonomy and Biodiversity

May 2006                  

The Natural History Museum bursary to undertake fieldwork in Belize

May 2006                 

British Airways conservation travel award for flights to and from Belize to undertake fieldwork

May 2007                  

The Natural History Museum grant to identify and sort to family undetermined Coleoptera specimens

October 2007           

Scarabaeinae Research Network (ScarabNet) travel grant to attend their 4th annual meeting in Arizona

October 2008

Scarabaeinae Research Network (ScarabNet) travel grant to attend their 5th annual meeting in New York



I have responsibility for curating the Caraboidea, the Symphyta and the Formicidae, which involves the recuration of the collection to modern standards and according to modern classification. I am responsible for preparing and sending specimens on loan to scientists, re-incorporating returned loans and responding to commercial enquiries for the Insect Identification Service. I am also skilled in the mounting, preparation and labeling of insect specimens. My duties include undertaking public outreach for the museum in the form of external and internal talks and tours and I have also taught some of the museum’s  MSc students and supervised short undrergraduate student projects. I contribute to the continuing databasing of the collections using the latest software (KE Emu). I supervise and assist national and international scientific visitors and also take part in actively attracting them which includes collaborating with grant applications. Where possible I undertake research in taxonomic, ecological and biodiversity topics, specializing in the taxonomy and ecology of Scarabaeidae.

A small part of the Coleoptera collections

A small part of the Coleoptera collections.


Special projects

Recuration of the museum's collection of Phanaeini (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae)

The entire Phanaeini collection was re-identified and re-classified according to the latest taxonomic opinions. All specimens are now housed in unit trays with individual determination labels in 32 main collection drawers. A survey of the primary and secondary types was undertaken and curing the course of the project, 18 additional taxa new to the collection were identified.

Completed in February 2008

A drawer of carabid beetles

A collection drawer of carabid ground beetles.



Ongoing curation projects

Recuration of the Western Palaearctic Carabus (Coleoptera: Carabidae: carabinae)

Recuration of the Western Palaearctic Cetoniinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)



Oxysternon pteroderum

Oxysternon pteroderum, a threatened species of dung beetle endemic to the Atlantic rainforest of southeastern Brazil. © The Natural History Museum, London

Taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae)

I am particularly interested at the moment in the diversity and distribution of dung beetles belonging to the exclusively New World tribe Phanaeini - 


Phanaeus haroldi Kirsch

Phanaeus haroldi, a dung beetle found in the Payamino territory, restricted to open, cleared areas. © Phanaeinionline

I am an active member of the Scarabaeinae Research Network - 

 Diversity and ecology of scarab dung beetles in the Payamino territory, Orellana province, Ecuador 2007 - ongoing

I am looking at the biodiversity of the scarab dung beetle fauna of this region, with an emphasis on obtaining more detailed habitat, ecological and distributional data for these species.

This research is a very small part of the much larger Payamino project - a community conservation project in Amazonian Ecuador -  Payamino project

Other interests

I also have general interests in faunistics of European beetles, especially ground beetles, scarabs and longhorns

Student Supervision

I have supervised 7 undergraduate students from the University of Manchester and the Pontificia Universidad Del Ecuador, Quito over the course of 2 field courses in Ecuador. The projects supervised all related to the biodiversity of Coleoptera in the Payamino territory

I have co-supervised an undergraduate student from Imperial College London who studied morphological adaptation in scarab dung beetles

Recent Fieldwork

Ardeche, southern France

Ardeche, southern France. A rich habitat for saproxylic scarab beetles

Belize and Mexico-June/July 2006

Ecuador-July/August 2007

Italy - June 2007

France - June 2008

Ecuador-July/August 2008
Payamino research station, Orellana, Ecuador

Payamino research station on the banks of the river Payamino, Amazonian Ecuador



  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. ( 2008 ) A New Record and Locality for Megapenthes lugens (Redtenbacher, 1842) (Elateridae) in Southern England: Silwood Park, Berkshire The Coleopterist 16(3) : 146-147 .
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. ( 2008 ) Collecting in Belize May/June 2006. Scarabs newsletter, occassional issue 29.        . Scarabs 29
  • Gillett M.P.T. and Gillett C.P.D.T. ( 2005 ) Insects and other arthropods, In: The Emirates: A Natural History . Trident Press, London 168-194 . The Emirates: A Natural History
  • Rejzek, M., Gillett, C.P.D.T., Drumont, A. & Gillett, M.P.T. ( 2005 ) On the distribution and biology of the Genus Anthracocentrus Quentin & Villiers, 1983 in the Persian Gulf region (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae Lambillionea Septembre 2005 Tome I : 353-369 .
  • Gillett, M.P.T. & Gillett, C.P.D.T. ( 2002 ) A winter survey of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi Tribulus 12(2) : 12-19 .
  • Gillett M.P.T. & Gillett, C.P.D.T. ( 1999 ) Insect biodiversity on Merawah Island, Abu Dhabi. A preliminary report to ERWDA (Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, Abu Dhabi) based on a Visit during 27-29 December 1998 .
  • Gillett, M.P.T. & Gillett, C.P.D.T. ( 1997 ) A solitary representative of the flower chafer beetles in the Al Ain region: Stalagmosoma albella (Pallas, 1781) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).. Tribulus 7(1) : 22 .