Meet the team

Thalles Lavinscky Pereira

Thalles Lavinscky Pereira, he/him/his/ele began his journey in science as a 17-year-old undergraduate student, volunteering on a bat ecology project at his University’s Mastozoology Lab (UESC – Bahia – Brazil). Throughout his undergraduate studies, he also delved into ethnobotany (Project “Nossas Árvores” – UESC), and the ecology of soil invertebrates and ants (CEPLAC-Bahia). This experience later led him to pursue his Master’s research, studying ant guests and parasitoid flies (Phoridae), where he described two new fly species for the first time. He then graduated with a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of São Paulo (Brazil), where his doctoral research focused on taxonomy, cladistics (using morphological data), and co-phylogeny of ant parasitoid flies (Diptera, Phoridae). Following his studies, he spent two and a half years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks – USA. Currently, he is based at the Museum of Comparative Zoology – Harvard University, USA.
Thalles’ current research focuses on the diversity of flies (Diptera), utilizing both morphological and molecular data (barcoding with nanopore sequencing technology). He is strongly interested in natural history collections-based research, taxonomy, citizen science, systematics, and co-phylogeny, specifically with ant parasitoid flies (Apocephalus series: Phoridae: Diptera). While his previous publications and nine new species descriptions were based on neotropical specimens, his new project will focus on Alaskan and Beringian specimens (from +40°C to -40°C!). He will employ Large-scale Integrative Taxonomy to gain a deeper understanding of the diversity and distribution patterns of Phoridae in the Arctic and Subarctic Regions across Alaska, Canada, and Sweden. Throughout his Ph.D. and post-doctoral studies, he had the privilege of working in and visiting numerous invertebrate collections in Brazil (7), the USA (4), and Germany (1). Additionally, he has published over 20 manuscripts, including papers and book chapters, collaborating with researchers worldwide.