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craig m. brabant

Ph.D. Dissertator

and Research Assistant


Ph.D. — Entomology. UW-Madison, (est.) May, 2012.

M.Sc. — Entomology. UW-Madison, May, 2003.

B.Sc. — Entomology and Zoology. UW-Madison, Dec., 1999.

work experience
contact info

Research Interests


My interests lie with the taxonomy and systematics of insects. My relevant coursework to date has included classes on the taxonomy of immature and adult insects, as well as advanced taxonomy courses with emphases on Coleoptera, Diptera, Heteroptera (Hemiptera), and Hymenoptera, respectively. However, my passion is for the taxonomy and systematics of the aculeate wasp family Mutillidae, whose members are commonly called velvet ants. For my master's degree, I completed a faunal survey of velvet ants in Wisconsin which will result in the publication of about 25 new state species records, one new sex association, and the description of the previously unknown female of one species.

I am working on holistic taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis of the the South American genus Tallium André for my doctorate research. Members of this genus have been collected from northern Argentina to Venezuela; there are currently described 36 species.

Ultimately, I will pursue a joint teaching and research appointment at a higher educational institution. I shall continue my research on Mutillidae, ideally on the mutillid fauna of Australia.

Teaching Experience
Department of Zoology, Teaching Assistantships:
2001-2010, Spring semester. Zoology 521: Birds of Southern Wisconsin (lab and discussion).
In this upper-level zoology course, I am responsible for teaching up to 16 students per semester in each of two labs to recognize 230+ birds found in southeastern Wisconsin by sight, and to recognize 130+ by call or song. This course is field-based, with all but three of the weekly labs held off-campus at local birding sites around Madison.
2007-2009, Fall semester. Zoology 152: Introductory Biology (Laboratory)
Biology 151-152 is a two semester introductory sequence for majors in the biological sciences. Biology 152 addresses plant anatomy and physiology, mammalian anatomy and physiology and ecology. In this sequence emphasis is placed on learning, understanding and being able to use key biological concepts and the scientific method. I led two 20-student laboratory sections.
2001-2006, Fall semester. Zoology 430: Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
(Laboratory: lead teaching assistant, 2002 through 2004)
Each semester, I oversaw up to 32 students in each of two sections during laboratory dissection of primarily cats (Felis) and sharks (Squalus) in this upper-level course. As lead teaching assistant, my additional responsibilities included the recruitment and supervision of up to 12 undergraduate teaching assistants and the ordering of all cadavers and supplies for all four sections of the course. In 2003, I was twice a substitute lecturer in the course as well, responsible for presenting over two hours of new material to 100+ students.
Department of Zoology, Associate Lecturer:
  2005, Fall Semester. Zoology 430: Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
    (Course Lecturer; also coordinated four graduate teaching assistants)
    This course examines basic vertebrate anatomical systems with a consideration of variations, using functional, embryological, and evolutionary approaches. I was responsible for lecturing to 128 upper-level students during bi-weekly 75 minute lectures during the semester.
Department of Entomology, Practicum in Teaching Entomology (Entomology 799):
2000, Fall semester. Entomology 302: Introduction to Entomology (laboratory).
I led one three-hour laboratory section per week; my responsibilities included presentation of approximately 1-2 hours of new material per lab, followed by one-on-one interaction with students for the remainder of the period. This introductory course is geared towards students majoring in entomology or other science fields. I was also a substitute lecturer for this course, in Spring, 2001 and Spring, 2003; I presented new material to 50-60 students during these two 50 minute lectures.
Relevant Work Experience

Biologic Environmental Consulting LLC, a Madison-based environmental consulting firm. Visit Biologic's website here.


2002-2008, Summer field season. Employed as a subcontractor from 2002 through 2006.

I am responsible for conducting field surveys of the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) and its obligate host food plant, wild lupine (Lupinus perennis). Surveying and reporting protocols are as outlined in the Wisconsin Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), published by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in March, 1999.
2003, May. Schmidt Park biotic survey, subcontractor.
Biologic Inc. was contracted by Ayres Associates to conduct pre- and post-restoration biotic surveys of a portion of Schmidt Park in Madison scheduled for restoration work adjacent to a pond. My responsibilities included a site visit to conduct an avian point count, and terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate sampling. Invertebrate samples were brought back to the lab, curated, and identified.
  Daniel K. Young, Professor of Entomology and Director of the Insect Research Collection of Wisconsin (IRCW).
2000-present. Database Specialist.
Employed by my advisor under his capacity as director of the IRC, my responsibilities include the verification and databasing of specimens housed in the research collection, presently using Biota© software (but investigating a transition to Specify©. This is part of an ongoing project to catalog selected Wisconsin insect taxa. All mutillid specimens collected in Wisconsin and examined during my master's research have been databased. Current effort is focused on the maintainance of the Hilsenhoff Collection of aquatic insects (part of the IRC), in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources-Bureau of Endangered Resources (DNR-BER).
Service and Outreach
Wisconsin Alumni Association's (WAA) University on the Road program.
  • 2003, April. Chicago, Illinois. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
  • 2003, February. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum.
  • 2002, April. Chicago, Illinois. Shedd Aquarium.
  • 2001, March. Green Bay, Wisconsin. Neville Public Museum.
  • 2000, November. St. Paul, Minnesota. Science Museum of Minnesota.
The On the Road program is a partnership with the UW Foundation and WAA which emphasizes the many ways the university is continuing the tradition of contributing to the lives of citizens of Wisconsin and the nation. Faculty and staff from across the campus bring useful, educational exhibits and displays to Chicago, Minneapolis, and targeted cities across Wisconsin.
UW-Madison Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA):
The EGSA comprises all entomology graduate students as well as undergraduates majoring in entomology here at UW-Madison. The association hosts several departmental functions each year, including the Spring International Dinner, the Fall Picnic, and the EGSA Thanksgiving Dinner. The EGSA provides a student voice for departmental affairs by holding elected seats on all departmental committees.
  • 2004/2005 - President
  • 2003/2004 - President
  • 2002/2003 - Vice-president
  • 2001/2002 - Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2000/2001 - Chair of Finance Committee
Professional Affiliations
  • International Society of Hymenopterists.
  • Entomological Society of America.
  • American Entomological Society.
Contact Information
Craig M. Brabant
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1630 Linden Drive, 445 Russell Labs
Madison, Wisconsin 53706


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+1 (1) 608.262.2078 lab phone
+1 (1) 608.262.3322 dept. fax

Email: brabant[at]

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copyright © 2011 Craig M. Brabant
Updated November 2011.
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