Juanita Forrester
Ph.D. Student
Hometown: Canton, Georgia

Dept. of Entomology
413 Biological Sciences Bldg.
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602 USA
Tel: (706) 542-6187
Fax: (706) 542-2279
Email: juanita.forrester(at)gmail.com


Research Interests:

When early Catholic farmers prayed for deliverance from aphids and other injurious pests, they were convinced that the colorful, dappled insects that saved their crops were sent directly from the heavens. They believed these beetles to be sacred, and referred to them as “beetles of our lady,” thinking that the red was symbolic of the Virgin Mary's red cloak and that the black spots were representative of her sorrows. Coccinellid systematics has advanced significantly since those times, but classification of lady beetles is still problematic.

The tribe Noviini is comprised of approximately 80 species divided among three genera and is currently included in the subfamily Coccidulinae. The noviines are of particular interest because of their extensive use as biological control agents. Unfortunately, the taxonomic problems in the tribe mirror that of the family: no consensus as to the monophyly of the tribe, no consensus as to the generic relationships within the tribe, and poorly defined genera and species.

The goals of my research are:

  • to revise the tribe Noviini
  • to provide a classification of noviine genera based on a cladistic analysis of adult morphological characters
  • to provide an electronic key to the world Noviini

In so doing, I hope to shed some light on this dark corner of coccinellid systematics.


B.S. 1999 Reinhardt College, Waleska, GA.
Major: Biology
Advisor: G. William Wolfe, Ph.D., Entomology.

M.S. 2003 University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Major: Entomology
Advisor: Joseph V. McHugh, Ph.D., Systematics.

Ph.D., In progress University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Major: Entomology
Advisor: Joseph V. McHugh, Ph.D., Systematics.



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