Research interests


Describe new species and provide new identification keys. 


Create robust phylogenetic trees using cutting edge next generation sequence DNA data.


Understand global radiation patterns using DNA and fossil data.

Latest Publication

A Guide to Public Engagement for Entomological Collections & Natural History Museums on Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the way research and museum collections communicate with the general public by disseminating knowledge and information in real time. It has the power to promote museum and collection events, research, and staff, as well as raise awareness of entomological collections and demonstrate their relevance to the public, industry, policy makers, and potential students of entomology. Here we introduce SCOPE, a new framework for promoting museums and entomological collections using social media. The SCOPE framework streamlines strategy development, content choice, refinement of online engagement, choice of social media platform, and evaluation of social media campaigns using altmetrics. Case studies from the Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, and National Museums Scotland following the SCOPE framework are provided so that other museums, entomological collections, staff, and students can replicate it to develop and maintain their own social media presence. Lessard, Whiffin & Wild (2017): Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 110, Issue 5, 1 September 2017, Pages 467–479. 


Lessard B.D., Whiffin A., & A. Wild. 2017. A guide to public engagement for entomological collections and natural history museums in the age of social media. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 110: 467–479.

Williams K.A., Wallman J.F., Lessard B.D., Kavazos C., Mazungula D.N., & Villet M. 2017. Nocturnal oviposition behavior of blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in the southern hemisphere (South Africa and Australia) and its forensic implications. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology 13:123-134. 

Lessard B.D. 2014. Revision of the austral horse fly tribe Scionini (Diptera: Tabanidae). Austral Entomology 50: 203-239.

Lessard B.D., Cameron S.L., Bayless K.M., Wiegmann B.M., & D.K. Yeates. 2013. The evolution and biogeography of the austral horse fly tribe Scionini (Diptera: Tabanidae) inferred from multiple mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 516-540.  

Lessard B.D. & D.K. Yeates. 2013. New species of the hairy-eyed horse fly subgenera Scaptia (Myioscaptia) Mackerras, 1955 and Scaptia (Scaptia) Walker, 1850 (Diptera: Tabanidae) from Australia. Zootaxa 3680: 118-129.

Lessard B.D. & D.K. Yeates. 2012b. Seven new Australian species of the southern hemisphere horse fly subgenus Scaptia (Pseudoscione) (Diptera: Tabanidae), including descriptions and a revised key. Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 1206-1225.

Lessard B.D. & D.K. Yeates. 2012a. Anzomyia (Diptera: Tabanidae: Pangoniinae: Scionini): a new genus of Australian and New Zealand horse fly, including the description of three new species. Insect Systematics & Evolution 43: 101-116.

Lessard B.D. & D.K. Yeates. 2011. New species of the Australian horse fly subgenus Scaptia (Plinthina) (Diptera: Tabanidae), including species descriptions and a revised key. Australian Journal of Entomology 50: 241-252.

Lessard B.D., Wallman J.F., & M. Dowton. 2009. Incorrect report of cryptic species within Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Invertebrate Systematics 23: 507-514. 

PhD Supervision

Xuankun Li, ANU/CSIRO

Systematic revision of the bee flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) and asiloid flies using morphology and next generation sequencing.  

James Lumbers, ANU/CSIRO

Systematic revision of the Australian bristle fly genus 'Rutilia' (Diptera: Tachinidae) using morphology and next generation sequencing.

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