Dr Erica McAlister

Dr Erica McAlister

Senior Curator, Diptera (including Siphonaptera)

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Insects Division
Phone: 0207942 6986
Diptera blog

Insects, Diptera

Duncan Sivell, Erica McAlister, Nigel Wyatt

Summary

I am the Senior Curator for Diptera and Siphonaptera. I manage the lower Brachycera, Mycetophilidae and Culicidae collections in Diptera, and the Siphonaptera collection. My specific interests lie within Diptera especially Culicidae, Asilidae, and Mycetophilidae. I have carried out many research projects with mosquitoes including contract work for the MoD in Tajikistan alongside Dr Ralph Harbach where we were involved in the training of mosquito identification and malaria incrimination over a three year project. I am also involved in UK Mosquito projects which have included incriminating for viruses and are currently undertaking on an historic DNA recovery project with Dr Mara Lawniczak, from the Sanger Wellcome Institue . I am involved in an ongoing Asilidae taxonomy research project and am currently working on a large revision of Australian species with an external Collaborator. I have been working with Operation Wallacea since 2015 out in Dominica, teaching entomology and studying the invertebrate, specifically Dipteran fauna of the Island. As well as my profession commitments I am very much involved in Public engagement both within the museum and externally and in 2019 I gave the opening plenary lecture at the Entomological Society of America's Annual Conference. Within the Museum, I have participated in Nature Lives, Nigh Safaris, and both childrens and Adult dinosnores. Externally I have presented two Radio 4 series on Insects (Who's the Pest https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r6hzzand Metamorphosishttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000sql2) as well as appearing in many others (Radio 3, 4 and BBCLondon) including the Life Scientific, Nature Table and the Infinite Monkey Cage. I have present talks to Natural History Societies, giving talks for Cafe Scientific, Pub Science, a Summer Lecture for the Royal Society, and also Ratio (Bulgaria). As well as these I have participated in Ugly Animals, Science Showoff and Museum Showoff. I published an award winning popular science book titled ‘The Secret life of Flies’ in 2017 and published a follow up 'The Inside Out of Flies' in 2020

Qualifications

Degrees

Bsc, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, 1992 - 2006

PhD, University of Surrey Roehampton, United Kingdom, 1997 - 2001

Employment history

Academic

Visiting Lecturer, Harper Adams University, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2012 - 2017

Visiting Lecturer, Imperial College, United Kingdom, 2007 - 2011

Visiting Lecturer, University of Bristol, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2006 - 2012

Visiting Lecturer, St Mary’s University, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2006

Visiting Lecturer, University of Surrey Roehampton, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2006

Grants

Identification, Bionomics and Phylogeny of Albuginosus Mosquitoes
Role: Principal investigator
Funding: John Spedan Lewis Trust
Total value £5,000 (to Museum £5,000)
Dates: 2013 - 2013

Committees

Member, DipteristsForum,

Publications

McAlister E (2020) The Inside Out of Flies. Firefly Books : 248.

McAlister E (2017) The Secret Life of Flies. Firefly Books : 248.

RODRIGUES PAULAFERNANDAMOTTA, MCALISTER ERICA, LAMAS CARLOSJEINICKER (null) Review of Marmasoma White with lectotype designation of M. sumptuosum White and an identification key to the Australasian/Oceanian genera of
Ecliminae (Diptera, Bombyliidae). Zootaxa, 4232 (2) : 185 - 185. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4232.2.3

lavigne R, McAlister E (2015) A new species of 'Stichopogon' (Insecta: Diptera: Asilidae: Stichopogoninae) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with brief notes on its behaviour. South Australian Naturalist, The, 89 (1) : 37 - 45.

McAlister E (null) The Use and Usefulness of Unique Specimen Identifiers from a Museums perspective. 8th International Congress of Dipterology, 108 8 - 10 8 8

Cook S, Chung BY-W, Bass D, Moureau G, Tang S, McAlister E, Culverwell CL, Glücksman E, Wang H, Brown TDK, Gould EA, Harbach RE, de Lamballerie X, Firth AE (null) Novel Virus Discovery and Genome Reconstruction from Field RNA Samples Reveals Highly Divergent Viruses in Dipteran Hosts. PLoS ONE, 8 (11) : e80720 - e80720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080720

Habirov Z, Manilova E, Kadamov D, Komilova S, McALISTER E, HARBACH RE (2013) Incrimination of Anopheles superpictus and An. hyrcanus as vectors of Plasmodium vivax in Tajikistan. Medical and Veterinary Entomology,

TOWNSON HAROLD, DYER NAOMI, MCALISTER ERICA, SATOTO TRIBASKOROT, BANGS MICHAELJ, HARBACH RALPHE (2013) Systematics ofAnopheles barbirostrisvan der Wulp and a sibling species of the Barbirostris Complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in eastern Java, Indonesia. Systematic Entomology, 38 (1) : 180 - 191. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2012.00653.x

Habirov Z, Kadamov D, Iskandarov F, Komilova S, Cook S, McAlister E, Harbach RE (2012) Malaria and theAnophelesmosquitoes of Tajikistan. Journal of Vector Ecology, 37 (2) : 419 - 427. doi: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2012.00246.x

Lavigne R, McAlister E (2012) A second new species of Asilidae (Insecta: Diptera) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with notes on its behavior.. The South Australian Naturalist, 86 (1) : 22 - 30.

McAlister E, Broad G (null) When it all goes wrong – the development of an entomological salvage plan. Joint Conference SPNHC & NatSCA 26th Annual Meeting Sustainable Museums - Sustainable Collections, 215 5 - 21 5 539 - 40.

Zarowiecki M, Walton C, Torres E, McAlister E, Htun PT, Sumrandee C, Sochanta T, Dinh TH, Ng LC, Linton Y-M (2011) Pleistocene genetic connectivity in a widespread, open-habitat-adapted mosquito in the Indo-Oriental region. Journal of Biogeography, 38 (7) : 1422 - 1432. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02477.x

Amorim DDS, Oliveira SS, Mcalister E (2011) The identity of Paratrizygia conformis Tonnoir (Diptera, Mycetophilidae), with comments on its systematic position. ZOOTAXA, 47 - 52.

Lavigne R, McAlister E (2011) A new species of Cerdistus (Insecta: Diptera: Asilidae) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with notes on its behaviour. The South Australian Naturalist, 85 (2) : 76 - 84.

McAlister E (null) Biodiversity, Collections and The Natural History Museum - An Interactive Approach. SPNHC 25th Anniversary celebration; Biodiversity 1020 and beyond, Science and Collections., 315 5 - 31 5 585 - 86.

COOK SHELLEY, LIEN NGOGIANG, MCALISTER ERICA, HARBACH RALPHE (null) Bothaella manhi, a new species of tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae) from the Cuc Phuong National Park of Vietnam based on morphology and DNA sequence. Zootaxa, 2661 (1) : 33 - 33. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.2661.1.2

McALISTER E (2009) The organisation and distribution of electronic data at the Natural History Museum, London. NatSCA News, 17 : 34 - 36.

Wardlaw JC, Webb NR, McAlister E, Murcott J (2000) Observations on the life cycle of Medina collaris (Fallén) (Dipt., Tachinidae).. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 136 (1628-31) : 21 - 29.

Bardgett RD, McAlister E (1999) The measurement of soil fungal:bacterial biomass ratios as an indicator of ecosystem self-regulation in temperate meadow grasslands. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 29 (3) : 282 - 290. doi: 10.1007/s003740050554

Introduction

Summary

I am the Senior Curator for Diptera and Siphonaptera. I manage the lower Brachycera, Mycetophilidae and Culicidae collections in Diptera, and the Siphonaptera collection. My specific interests lie within Diptera especially Culicidae, Asilidae, and Mycetophilidae. I have carried out many research projects with mosquitoes including contract work for the MoD in Tajikistan alongside Dr Ralph Harbach where we were involved in the training of mosquito identification and malaria incrimination over a three year project. I am also involved in UK Mosquito projects which have included incriminating for viruses and are currently undertaking on an historic DNA recovery project with Dr Mara Lawniczak, from the Sanger Wellcome Institue . I am involved in an ongoing Asilidae taxonomy research project and am currently working on a large revision of Australian species with an external Collaborator. I have been working with Operation Wallacea since 2015 out in Dominica, teaching entomology and studying the invertebrate, specifically Dipteran fauna of the Island. As well as my profession commitments I am very much involved in Public engagement both within the museum and externally and in 2019 I gave the opening plenary lecture at the Entomological Society of America's Annual Conference. Within the Museum, I have participated in Nature Lives, Nigh Safaris, and both childrens and Adult dinosnores. Externally I have presented two Radio 4 series on Insects (Who's the Pest https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r6hzzand Metamorphosishttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000sql2) as well as appearing in many others (Radio 3, 4 and BBCLondon) including the Life Scientific, Nature Table and the Infinite Monkey Cage. I have present talks to Natural History Societies, giving talks for Cafe Scientific, Pub Science, a Summer Lecture for the Royal Society, and also Ratio (Bulgaria). As well as these I have participated in Ugly Animals, Science Showoff and Museum Showoff. I published an award winning popular science book titled ‘The Secret life of Flies’ in 2017 and published a follow up 'The Inside Out of Flies' in 2020

Qualifications

Degrees

Bsc, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, 1992 - 2006

PhD, University of Surrey Roehampton, United Kingdom, 1997 - 2001

Employment history

Academic

Visiting Lecturer, Harper Adams University, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2012 - 2017

Visiting Lecturer, Imperial College, United Kingdom, 2007 - 2011

Visiting Lecturer, University of Bristol, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2006 - 2012

Visiting Lecturer, St Mary’s University, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2006

Visiting Lecturer, University of Surrey Roehampton, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2006

Projects

Grants

Identification, Bionomics and Phylogeny of Albuginosus Mosquitoes
Role: Principal investigator
Funding: John Spedan Lewis Trust
Total value £5,000 (to Museum £5,000)
Dates: 2013 - 2013

Professional activities

Committees

Member, DipteristsForum,

Publications

Publications

McAlister E (2020) The Inside Out of Flies. Firefly Books : 248.

McAlister E (2017) The Secret Life of Flies. Firefly Books : 248.

RODRIGUES PAULAFERNANDAMOTTA, MCALISTER ERICA, LAMAS CARLOSJEINICKER (null) Review of Marmasoma White with lectotype designation of M. sumptuosum White and an identification key to the Australasian/Oceanian genera of
Ecliminae (Diptera, Bombyliidae). Zootaxa, 4232 (2) : 185 - 185. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4232.2.3

lavigne R, McAlister E (2015) A new species of 'Stichopogon' (Insecta: Diptera: Asilidae: Stichopogoninae) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with brief notes on its behaviour. South Australian Naturalist, The, 89 (1) : 37 - 45.

McAlister E (null) The Use and Usefulness of Unique Specimen Identifiers from a Museums perspective. 8th International Congress of Dipterology, 108 8 - 10 8 8

Cook S, Chung BY-W, Bass D, Moureau G, Tang S, McAlister E, Culverwell CL, Glücksman E, Wang H, Brown TDK, Gould EA, Harbach RE, de Lamballerie X, Firth AE (null) Novel Virus Discovery and Genome Reconstruction from Field RNA Samples Reveals Highly Divergent Viruses in Dipteran Hosts. PLoS ONE, 8 (11) : e80720 - e80720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080720

Habirov Z, Manilova E, Kadamov D, Komilova S, McALISTER E, HARBACH RE (2013) Incrimination of Anopheles superpictus and An. hyrcanus as vectors of Plasmodium vivax in Tajikistan. Medical and Veterinary Entomology,

TOWNSON HAROLD, DYER NAOMI, MCALISTER ERICA, SATOTO TRIBASKOROT, BANGS MICHAELJ, HARBACH RALPHE (2013) Systematics ofAnopheles barbirostrisvan der Wulp and a sibling species of the Barbirostris Complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in eastern Java, Indonesia. Systematic Entomology, 38 (1) : 180 - 191. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2012.00653.x

Habirov Z, Kadamov D, Iskandarov F, Komilova S, Cook S, McAlister E, Harbach RE (2012) Malaria and theAnophelesmosquitoes of Tajikistan. Journal of Vector Ecology, 37 (2) : 419 - 427. doi: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2012.00246.x

Lavigne R, McAlister E (2012) A second new species of Asilidae (Insecta: Diptera) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with notes on its behavior.. The South Australian Naturalist, 86 (1) : 22 - 30.

McAlister E, Broad G (null) When it all goes wrong – the development of an entomological salvage plan. Joint Conference SPNHC & NatSCA 26th Annual Meeting Sustainable Museums - Sustainable Collections, 215 5 - 21 5 539 - 40.

Zarowiecki M, Walton C, Torres E, McAlister E, Htun PT, Sumrandee C, Sochanta T, Dinh TH, Ng LC, Linton Y-M (2011) Pleistocene genetic connectivity in a widespread, open-habitat-adapted mosquito in the Indo-Oriental region. Journal of Biogeography, 38 (7) : 1422 - 1432. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02477.x

Amorim DDS, Oliveira SS, Mcalister E (2011) The identity of Paratrizygia conformis Tonnoir (Diptera, Mycetophilidae), with comments on its systematic position. ZOOTAXA, 47 - 52.

Lavigne R, McAlister E (2011) A new species of Cerdistus (Insecta: Diptera: Asilidae) from Monarto Zoological Park, South Australia, with notes on its behaviour. The South Australian Naturalist, 85 (2) : 76 - 84.

McAlister E (null) Biodiversity, Collections and The Natural History Museum - An Interactive Approach. SPNHC 25th Anniversary celebration; Biodiversity 1020 and beyond, Science and Collections., 315 5 - 31 5 585 - 86.

COOK SHELLEY, LIEN NGOGIANG, MCALISTER ERICA, HARBACH RALPHE (null) Bothaella manhi, a new species of tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae) from the Cuc Phuong National Park of Vietnam based on morphology and DNA sequence. Zootaxa, 2661 (1) : 33 - 33. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.2661.1.2

McALISTER E (2009) The organisation and distribution of electronic data at the Natural History Museum, London. NatSCA News, 17 : 34 - 36.

Wardlaw JC, Webb NR, McAlister E, Murcott J (2000) Observations on the life cycle of Medina collaris (Fallén) (Dipt., Tachinidae).. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 136 (1628-31) : 21 - 29.

Bardgett RD, McAlister E (1999) The measurement of soil fungal:bacterial biomass ratios as an indicator of ecosystem self-regulation in temperate meadow grasslands. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 29 (3) : 282 - 290. doi: 10.1007/s003740050554