Dr Bryan Lessard (a.k.a. Bry the Fly Guy) discovered the curious world of flies as an undergraduate, learning about maggots and their uses in medicine and solving crime. He has discovered more than 150 species new to science and has officially named 30 species from Australia and New Zealand, most famously Plinthina beyonceae, the horse fly with a golden abdomen named after Beyoncé. This Australian species quickly became a bootylicious ambassador for biodiversity and sparked a global conversation about the importance of naming species.
His research takes him to all corners of the world to discover and document new species of insects. His favourite collecting spots include the stunning tropical rainforests of Queensland, Australia, the pristine mountains of Lord Howe Island, and the ancient nothofagus forests of Chile. By collecting fresh specimens, he can analyse their DNA to confirm the identity of new species and see where they sit in the fly tree of life.
Bryan now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, researching the evolution and classification of soldier flies (Stratiomyidae), most famous for the black soldier fly Hermetia illucens that powers compost bins and could become the superfood of the 21st century. He also shares his passion for flies and biodiversity with the world through speaking events, traditional and social media, and television. Bryan was an invited speaker at TEDx Canberra in 2016, presented "Bry the Fly Guy's Top 5" biodiversity countdown on ABC Evenings Radio with Chris Bath, and has made appearances on Gardening Australia, Totally Wild, Scope TV and The Project. Follow Bry the Fly Guy on social media to get a behind-the-scenes look at his scientific adventures!