Vladimir Blagoderov is Principal Curator of Invertebrates.

Dr Blagoderov studied zoology at the St-Petersburg State University and got his PhD from the Palaeontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences working on taxonomy, geological history, and phylogeny of Mesozoic fungus gnats (Insecta: Diptera, Mycetophilidae). After completing several postdoctoral projects in the American Museum of Natural History, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and the Iowa State University he moved to the Natural History Museum, London in 2006. He is currently in charge of the  largest collection at National Museums Scotland, which includes about 6,000,000 specimens of marine and terrestrial invertebrates and insects.

He is fascinated by the incredible diversity of flies, their natural history and evolution. A group of his particular interest is fungus gnats (Diptera: Sciaroidea). They have fascinating biology (although larvae of most species are associated with fungi, some can be predacious, herbivorous, or even parasitic) and a very long geological history, which make them a perfect subject for the study of evolution. Vladimir’s projects include studying the diversity of fungus gnats in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and UK; describing new species of flies from Mesozoic ambers; and resolving phylogeny of Sciaroidea. He is also active in a new field of biodiversity informatics. The way taxonomists work describing and classifying new taxa has not changed much in 250 years, since the time of Linnaeus. He works with colleagues all around the world in order to bring together all taxonomic data accumulated and to create tools and methods which help scientists to describe recent and fossil biodiversity faster and understand its dynamics better.

He is an associate editor of Zootaxa, ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal and Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Microscopical Society.

Ten selected publications

  1. Hudson L.N., Blagoderov V., Heaton A., Holtzhausen P., Livermore L., Price B.W., van der Walt S., Smith V.S. 2015. Inselect: Automating the Digitization of Natural History Collections. PloS one 10 (11). doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143402.
  2. Lambkin C.L., Sinclair B.J., Pape T., Courtney G.W., Skevington J.H., Meier R., Yeates D.K., Blagoderov V.A., Wiegmann B.M. 2013. The phylogenetic relationships among infraorders and superfamilies of Diptera based on morphological evidence. Systematic Entomology 38: 164–179. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2012.00652.x
  3. Pape T., Blagoderov V.A., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
  4. Wiegmann B.M., Trautwein M.D., Winkler I.S., Barr N.B., Kim J.-W., Lambkin C., Bertone M.A., Cassel B.K., Bayless K.M., Heimberg A.M., Wheeler B.M., Peterson K.J., Pape T., Sinclair B.J., Skevington J.H., Blagoderov V., Caravas J., Kutty S.N., Schmidt-Ott U., Kampmeier G.E., Thompson F.C., Grimaldi D.A., Beckenbach A.T., Courtney G.W., Friedrich M., Meier R., Yeates D.K. 2011. Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108: 5690–5695. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012675108
  5. Blagoderov V.A., Brake I., Georgiev T., Penev L., Roberts D., Rycroft S., Scott B., Agosti D., Catapano T., Smith V. 2010. Streamlining taxonomic publication: a working example with Scratchpads and ZooKeys. ZooKeys 50: 17–28. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.50.539
  6. Blagoderov V.A., Grimaldi D.A., Fraser N.C. 2007. How Time Flies for Flies: Diverse Diptera from the Triassic of Virginia and Early Radiation of the Order. American Museum Novitates 3572: 1–40.
  7. Blagoderov V.A., Grimaldi D. 2004. Fossil Sciaroidea (Diptera) in Cretaceous ambers, exclusive of Cecidomyiidae, Sciaridae, and Keroplatidae. American Museum Novitates 3433: 1–76.
  8. Blagoderov V.A., Lukashevich E.D., Mostovski M.B. 2002. 2.2.1.3.4.4. Order Diptera Linné. The true flies. In: Rasnitsyn AP, Quicke DLJ (Eds) History of Insects. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London: 227–240.
  9. Zherikhin V.V., Mostovski M.B., Vrsansky P., Blagoderov V.A., Lukashevich E.D. 1999. The unique Lower Cretaceous locality Baissa and other contemporaneous fossil insect sites in north and west Transbaikalia. In: Vrsansky P (Ed), Proceedings of the First Palaeoentomological Conference Moscow 1998. AMBA Projects International, Bratislava: 185–191.
  10. Shcherbakov D.E., Lukashevich E.D., Blagoderov V.A. 1995. Triassic Diptera and initial radiation of the order. Dipterolodical Research 6: 75–115.
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