Dr. Joel Gibson
Dr. Joel Gibson

Dr. Joel GibsonCurator of Entomology

Why did you want to become a curator?

I love learning about the natural world. I like details and organization and pursuing questions about the animals around me in nature. I always knew that I would work in biology, but did not think it would be in entomology. The first time I looked at insects under a microscope, I was hooked. The beauty and variety of insects makes me want to learn about how and where they live in BC.

How did you become a Entomology curator?

I took as many science courses as I could in high school. I went to university to study wildlife biology. I worked in labs and the insect collection while I was there and decided to pursue a masters’ degree in entomology. I took a break to get a teaching degree and teach high school for a few years. After that I went back to school and earned a PhD in entomology.

What do you do as curator of Entomology?

My job involves meeting with the public and working on the collection. On any given day I might answer an email asking about some unusual insect someone found or I might have an interview with the newspaper or television station about insect stories. I also regularly give behind the scenes tours of the collection to students and adults. When I am not talking about insects with the public, I am identifying, organizing, and data-basing insects in our collection. I organize the data in our collection into scientific papers that answer questions like “how many species of house flies are in BC?” or “are some species of beetles moving farther north as the climate changes?” I also plan a few field trips every year to collect insects in parts of the province that we do not have many insect records from.