Contact Info 
Office: Gilmore 513
E-mail: cgillett [at] hawaii [dot] edu

University of Hawai'i Insect Museum
Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, Entomology
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, 3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA

Fields of research: Systematics, Evolutionary Biology,
Molecular Biology, Biodiversity, Entomology

My Photo/Video Gallery


My research interests are in the diversity, evolution, and distribution of beetles; the most diverse organisms, whose study continues to illuminate our wider understanding of biology, and received the attention of great luminaries, including Darwin, Wallace, and Bates.

I have a deep knowledge of beetle morphology and diversity, and am trained and experienced in using and developing advanced high-throughput molecular tools for characterizing beetle evolution. In recent years I have focused on the highly diverse phytophagous superfamily Curculionoidea (weevils, bark, and ambrosia beetles). However, I have serious interests in, and considerable knowledge of, several other families, including Carabidae, Scarabaeidae, and Cerambycidae. I have been researching and sampling beetles since childhood, when I was brought up in Brazil, Europe, and the Middle East, and inherited a passion for nature in general, and for beetles in particular.

I have curated insect collections for many years, gaining an enormous amount of experience whilst working as curator of the Coleoptera collection at the Natural History Museum, London, curator of invertebrates at the National Zoological Collections of Suriname, and volunteer at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. In my present position, I am responsible for curating the Coleoptera in the University of Hawai'i Insect Museum.

My university-level teaching experience includes having worked as a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, where I was responsible for the organisation, delivery, and examination of two undergraduate course modules in biology. I have also contributed to the organisation, teaching and project supervision of many ecology and biodiversity field-courses in several countries, including ten field-courses to Ecuador, Swaziland, and Ireland. Beyond this, I worked as an associate tutor for several years, which allowed me to gain experience in the teaching and delivery of many laboratory practicals, seminars, and field classes. Additionally, I have co-supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

I have always enjoyed being out in nature and am a highly experienced field worker, having planned and undertaken hundreds of collecting expeditions, and having lived on five continents. I have sampled insects in the following areas: Atlantic rainforest, Amazon basin, Brazilian cerrado and caatinga, the Guyanan shield, tropical and temperate Andes, Patagonia, Central America, North America, the Hawaiian Islands, the Caribbean, the Arabian Peninsula, tropical and southern Africa, tropical and temperate Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and across southern Europe.

Current Status (July 2017-present)

  • University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow


2015: The Natural History Museum, London / University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
 PhD Biomolecular Sciences – Molecular phylogenetics of Curculionoidea

2006: The Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London, United Kingdom
 MSc Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity – Molecular phylogenetics of Cerambycidae

2000: King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom
 BSc Biomedical Science


Present: Rubinoff laboratory, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

  • Diversity, distribution, ecology, and systematics of the native Hawaiian bark beetles (Scolytinae), Phylogenetics and diversity of Coleoptera

2016-2017: Hulcr lab, University of Florida

  • Molecular characterisation of bacterial endosymbiont community across bark and ambrosia beetle lineages
  • Detection of vertebrate diversity using high-throughput sequencing of insect intestinal contents

2015-2016: Gage laboratory, University of East Anglia

  • Fitness, and survival-through-time of populations exposed to varying levels of sexual selection using the Tribolium flour beetle model system
  • Detection of triploidy in farmed salmon using genetic tools

2010-2014: Emerson / Vogler laboratories, University of East Anglia / The Natural History Museum, London

  • Molecular phylogenetics of the superfamily Curculionoidea using molecular tools


2017-Present: Curator of Coleoptera. University of Hawaii Insect Museum (UHIM)

2009-2010: Curator of Invertebrates. National Zoological Collections of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname (NZCS)

2006-2009: Curator of Coleoptera (Caraboidea) and Hymenoptera (Formicidae). Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London, UK (BMNH)

2007-2009: Volunteer Entomologist (part time). Hope Entomological Collections, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK (OUMNH)


2014: Lecturer in Biodiversity. School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

2010-2016: Associate Tutor. School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

2007-2016: Undergraduate field-courses taught

  • Tropical biology (year 2) – Ecuador (5 courses: 2007-10, 2015), supervised projects, lectured, marked. University of Manchester, UK.
  • Field ecology (year 2) – Ireland (3 courses: 2011-12, 2014), supervised projects, taught seminars, marked. UEA, Norwich, UK.
  • Conservation, ecology and biodiversity in the tropics (year 2) – Swaziland (2 courses: 2015-16) supervised projects, taught seminars, marked. UEA, Norwich, UK.


Journal articles

Gillett, C.P.D.T., I. Pulakkatu-thodi, and D. Rubinoff (2018) Rediscovery of an enigmatic bark beetle endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 72(4): 811-815; DOI: 10.1649/0010-065X-72.4.811

Li, You., Y. Ruan, M. Kasson, E. Stanley, C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Johnson, M. Zhang, and J. Hulcr (2018). 3-D structure of the ambrosia beetle mycangia and prothoracic musculature revealed through micro-CT. Journal of Insect Science 18(5): 1-8; DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/iey096

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and I. Barr (2018). New country records of scarab dung beetles in Swaziland and Zambia (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 72(3):433-438; DOI: 10.1649/0010-065X-72.3.433

Linard, B., A. Crampton-Platt, J. Moriniere, M.J.T.N. Timmermans, C. Andujar, P. Arribas, K. E. Miller, J. Lipecki, E. Favreau, A. Hunter, C. Gómez-Rodríguez, C. Barton, R. Nie, C.P.D.T. Gillett, T. Breeschoten, L. Bocak, and A.P. Vogler (2018). The contribution of mitochondrial metagenomics to large-scale data mining and phylogenetic analysis of Coleoptera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 128: 1-11; DOI:1 0.1016/j.ympev.2018.07.008

Gillett, C.P.D.T., C.H. Lyal, A.P. Vogler, and B.C. Emerson (2018). Statistical evaluation of monophyly in the ‘broad-nosed weevils’ through molecular phylogenetic analysis combining mitogenomic and single-locus sequences (Curculionidae: Entiminae, Cyclominae, and Hyperinae). Diversity 10(2), 21; Commemorative Special Issue "Systematics and Phylogeny of Weevils" DOI: 10.3390/d10020021

Toussaint, E.F.A. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2018). Rekindling Jeannel’s Gondwanan vision? A first glance at the evolution of Carabinae with a focus on Calosoma caterpillar hunter beetles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123(1): 191-207; DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blx128

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and D. Rubinoff (2017). A second adventive species of pinhole-borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 49: 51-57; DOI:

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2017). New observations on three species of eucraniine dung beetles in Mendoza and San Juan Provinces, Argentina (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 71(4): 817-820; DOI: 10.1649/0010-065X-71.4.817

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2017). Records of the tiger beetles Cylindera (Plectographa) apiata apiata (Dejean, 1825) and C. (P.) drakei drakei (Horn, 1892) from Mendoza Province, Argentina (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae). Cicindela 49(2-3): 37-40

Gillett, C.P.D.T., A.J. Johnson, I. Barr, and J. Hulcr (2016). Metagenomic sequencing of dung beetle intestinal contents directly detects and identifies mammalian fauna. bioRxiv; DOI: 10.1101/074849

Young, M.T., L. Steel, D. Foffa, S.L. Brusatte, J.J.N. Kitson, C.P.D.T. Gillett, M.A. Bell, R. Allain, and Y. Lepage (pre-print, 2016). An early origin and diversification of macrophagous metriorhynchid crocodylomorphs, with evidence for multiple instances of parallel evolution. PeerJ; DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.1345v1

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2015). The Dynastinae of the island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Insecta Mundi 0433: 1-9

Linard, B., A. Crampton-Platt, C.P.D.T. Gillett, M.J.T.N Timmermans, and A.P. Vogler (2015). Metagenome skimming of insect specimen pools: potential for comparative genomics. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(6): 1474-1489; DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evv086

Gillett C.P.D.T., A. Crampton-Platt, M.J.T.N Timmermans, B.H. Jordal, B.C. Emerson, and A.P. Vogler (2014). Bulk de novo mitogenome assembly from pooled total DNA elucidates the phylogeny of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea). Molecular Biology and Evolution 31(8): 2223-2237; DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msu154

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and R. Preziosi (2010). A new record and locality for the Neotropical scarab beetle Ontherus compressicornis Luederwaldt, 1931 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Lambillionea 110(1): 88-90

Gillett, C.P.D.T., M.P.T. Gillett, J.E.D.T. Gillett and F.Z. Vaz-de-Mello (2010). Diversity and distribution of the scarab beetle tribe Phanaeini in the northern states of the Brazilian Northeast (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Insecta Mundi 0118:1-19

Gillett, C.P.D.T., A. Drumont and Y. Ponchel (2010). The rare rhinoceros beetle Ceratophileurus lemoulti Ohaus, 1911 in French Guiana and Suriname (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidea: Dynastinae: Phileurini). Zookeys 34: 193-198; DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.34.240

Noriega, J.A., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Sandoval-Mojica, J.I. Blanco, L.C. Pardo, G. Valencia and A. Santibáñez (2009). New records and distributional range extension for Phanaeus haroldi Kirsch, 1871 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): A consolidation of biological and biogeographic information. Lambillionea 109(4):403-414

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A new country record for Chrysina (Plusiotis) diversa Ohaus, 1912 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae) in Central America. Insecta Mundi 0108: 1-3

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). New records of dynastine scarab beetles in the tribes Oryctini, Agaocephalini and Dynastini from Cayo district, Belize (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Insecta Mundi 0099: 1-9

Gillett, M.P.T and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Confirmation of the occurrence of Temnorhynchus baal Reiche & Saulcy on the island of Naxos, Greece (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Lambillionea 109(2):198-199

Gillett, C.P.D.T, W.D. Edmonds and S. Villamarin (2009). Distribution and biology of the rare scarab beetle Megatharsis buckleyi Waterhouse, 1891 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae: Phanaeini). Insecta Mundi 0080: 1-8

Moravec, J. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Annotated list of specimens of Madagascan Cicindelidae deposited in The Natural History Museum London. Folia Heyrovskyana, series A 16(4): 131-154

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Cleridae of the United Arab Emirates and Northern Oman. Lambillionea 109(1): 89-94

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Dichotomius maya Peraza & Deloya, 2006 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Coprini) in Belize, a new country record for this Central American dung beetle. Insecta Mundi 0064: 1-4

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2008). Bubas bubaloides Janssens, 1938 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in Europe. Lambillionea 108(4): 529-533

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2007). A new record and locality for Megapenthes lugens (Redtenbacher, 1842) (Elateridae) in Southern England: Silwood Park, Berkshire. The Coleopterist 16(3): 146-148

Rejzek, M., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Drumont and M.P.T. Gillett (2005). On the distribution and biology of the Genus Anthracocentrus Quentin & Villiers, 1983 in the Persian Gulf region (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae). / Lambillionea 105(3): 353-369

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2002). A winter survey of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi. Tribulus 12(2): 12-19

Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (1997). A solitary representative of the flower chafer beetles in the Al Ain region: Stalagmosoma albella (Pallas, 1781) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Tribulus 7(1): 22

Book chapters, newsletter and magazine articles, book prefaces etc.

Gillett M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2005). Insects and other arthropods. In: The Emirates: A Natural History. Hellyer P. and Aspinall S. J. [eds], pp 168-194 and 352-356. Trident Press, London.

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2011). Preface. In Carvajal L., C. Villamarin, and A. M. Ortega A. Escarabajos del Ecuador: Principales géneros. Serie Entomología, No. 1. Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas. Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador.

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and A. Sedláček (2010). Beginner’s Guide: Geotrupidae. Beetle News 2(2): 5- 8

Gillett, C.P.D.T (2010). Scarabeoid species of the day. Scarabs 60: 8

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese Scarabaeological Sojourn - A Year in the Amazon, Part 2: March-May 2009. Scarabs 56: 1-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese Scarabaeological Sojourn - A Year in the Amazon, Part 1: March-May 2009. Scarabs 55: 1-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M. Bunalski. (2009). Beginner’s Guide: Scarabaeidae: Onthophagus. Beetle News 1(2): 7- 11

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Beautiful Scarabs in the Collection of the Natural History Museum, London. Scarabs 46:4-7

Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2009). A very simple and effective trap for necrophagous Scarabaeinae. Scarabs 42: 17-21

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Some unusual scarabs from the collections of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Scarabs 40: 1-5

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A passion for French rose chafers: an exceptional site for Cetoniinae in Ardèche, France. Scarabs 36:1-12

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Anonymous contributions gratefully accepted! Scarabs 35: 4-5

Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2008). Collecting in Belize May/June 2006. Scarabs 29: 1-14

Sturge, H. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2013) Ask the scientist. Wild World 6:10-11 (interview for NHM children’s magazine)

Sturge, H. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2008). What’s it like to work at the museum? Second Nature 25:19 (interview for NHM children’s magazine)

Publications in the media

Science – ‘Can’t find that rare leopard anywhere? Ask a dung beetle.’

Popular Science – ‘The DNA inside dung beetles' guts could help to identify other animals.’

Grants, bursaries, and awards received

2015  British Ecological Society small research grant 5524/6568, ‘Metagenomic analysis of dung beetle gut contents to measure vertebrate diversity' - £4600

2013  UEA travel grant to attend EMBO course in post genomic phylogenetics, Erice, Italy - £500

2012  NHM travel grant to collect Curculionoidea in China in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences - £10000

2012  UEA travel grant to attend Italian Evolutionary Biology Society (SIBE) workshop on phylogenetic and comparative methods, Modena, Italy - £500

2010  Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) PhD studentship - NHM and UEA.

2009  Lloyd David and Carlye Cannon Wattis Foundation internship program for Zoology grant to undertake fieldwork in Suriname (in association with the Denver Museum of Science and Nature) - $1000

2008  Scarabaeinae Research Network (ScarabNet) travel grant to attend 5th annual meeting in New York, USA - £1000

2007  NHM Student’s Association honorary position of Visiting Scholar Associate.

2007  Scarabaeinae Research Network (ScarabNet) travel grant to attend 4th annual meeting in Arizona, USA - £1000

2007  NHM grant to identify and sort to family undetermined Coleoptera specimens

2006  British Airways conservation travel award to undertake MSc fieldwork in Belize - return flights to Mexico/Belize

2006  Imperial College London bursary to undertake MSc fieldwork in Belize - £1000

2005  Imperial College London bursary to study for the MSc Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity - £1500