Derek S. Sikes
University of Alaska Museum, 1962 Yukon Dr.
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Derek Sikes was born in San Diego, California in 1969 but raised in Rhode Island. He obtained a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1991, where he had taken his first entomology course from Deborah Letourneau and completed a senior thesis on the natural history of Nicrophorus nigrita (Coleoptera: Silphidae). A 10-week tropical biology course taught by John Longino in Costa Rica in 1990 was highly influencial in propelling him towards a career in systematic entomology. In 1994, he completed a MSc degree under the mentorship of Michael Ivie at Montana State University, where he focused on carrion beetle ecology and megafaunal carcasses in Yellowstone National Park. He received his PhD in systematic entomology, with a focus on burying beetles (Silphidae: Nicrophorinae), from the University of Connecticut in 2003 under the mentorship of Carl Schaefer. He is currently the Curator of Insects at the University of Alaska Museum and Professor of Entomology in the Biology and Wildlife Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A major focus of his efforts since starting his work for the University of Alaska Museum in 2006 has been to improve, enlarge, and digitize the insect collection to make it a valuable resource for biodiversity research.
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