Skip Navigation or Skip to Content
Vlad V2

Dr Vladimir Blagoderov

Dr Vladimir Blagoderov
Principal Curator of Invertebrates
Specific responsibility: Head of Invertebrate collections. Curation and development of the collection of marine and terrestrial invertebrates, including insects.
Research interests/expertise: Taxonomy of fungus gnats (Diptera: Sciaroidea); systematics, phylogeny and palaeontology of true flies (Insecta: Diptera); biodiversity informatics.

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 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 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. His 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.

Dr Blagoderov 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 ZootaxaZooKeysBiodiversity Data Journal and the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Microscopical Society.

Mantič, M., Sikora, T., Burdíková, N., Blagoderov, V., Kjærandsen, J., Kurina, O. & Ševčík, J. 2020. Hidden in Plain Sight: Comprehensive Molecular Phylogeny of Keroplatidae and Lygistorrhinidae (Diptera) Reveals Parallel Evolution and Leads to a Revised Family Classification. Insects 11, 348.

Krzemiński, W., Blagoderov, V., Azar, D., Lukashevich, E., Szadziewski, R., Wedmann, S., Nel, A., Collomb, F.-M., Waller, A. & Nicholson, D.B. 2019. True flies (Insecta: Diptera) from the late Eocene insect limestone (Bembridge Marls) of the Isle of Wight, England, UK. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1–60.

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).

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

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 richnessZootaxa 3148: 222–229.

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

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

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.

Blagoderov V.A., Lukashevich E.D., Mostovski M.B. 2002. Order Diptera Linné. The true flies. In: Rasnitsyn AP, Quicke DLJ (Eds) History of Insects. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London: 227–240.

Shcherbakov D.E., Lukashevich E.D., Blagoderov V.A. 1995. Triassic Diptera and initial radiation of the order. Dipterolodical Research 6: 75–115.

For further publications see the National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

Dry Forest 1024X725 (1)


Go out into the field with our Principal Curator of Invertebrates, Vladimir Blagoderov.

Blog posts by Vladimir Blagoderov


New paper sheds light on the evolution and classification of predatory fungus gnats (Diptera: Keroplatidae).

Fascinating fungus gnats


The earliest bolitophilids described from the 46 million year old Kishenehn Formation and Baltic amber.

Ancient mushroom-loving flies


A newly published account of early Cretaceous parasitism in amber.

A 100-million-year-old fly

Find out more

Back to top