|Kevin Cornell Holston
Kevin Holston began his research assistantship on May 4, 1996 and started graduate school in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall of 1996. He has a B.S. degree in biology from theUniversity of Texas, Austin.
Kevin Holston became interested in robberflies (Diptera: Asilidae) after conducting ethological studies in Austin, supervised by Dr. C. Riley Nelson. He then spent several months as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution working on developing a morphologically based classification of Efferia under the direction of Wayne Mathis and F. Christian Thompson.
Mr. Holston is working on the revision of the genus Thereva, which includes species found in several zoogeographical regions. He has participated in the Summer 1996 collecting trip to the Southwestern US, in the Fall 1996 trip to South Africa, and in 1997 trips to Guatemala, Texas, and California. In 2000, he traveled to the Canadian National Collection to look at types of the genusThereva; to Washington state and Michigan to try to collect material for molecular studies in the lab of Brian Wiegmann at North Carolina State University in the spring of 2001; to Spain and Greece in late May/early June; and to Europe starting in August to collect and visit museums. He was awarded a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to conduct Ph.D.-directed research in entomology at the University of Copenhagen between October and December 2000.
Kevin Holston completed the last of the required Entomology courses in December 1998. He is expanding his background in foreign languages, specifically German, which will aid in his survey of taxonomic and systematic literature related to this project.
He has focused considerable attention on nomenclature challenges presented by the genus Thereva, by finding and compiling all species names used in combination with Thereva. He is working closely with F. C. Thompson (PEET consultant) and G. E. Kampmeier (PEET collaborator) to develop the Systematic Database of Thereva Names. Under the guidance of Thompson, Mr. Holston spent a week in January 1998 going through literature to develop and improve the database of Thereva names and their associated references. Data acquisition for this project constituted the major part of a Masters thesis conferred to Kevin Holston in May 1999. Mr. Holston has worked extensively with Kampmeier on the NAMES file of the therevid database system, MANDALA, to improve its ability to handle nomenclatural concerns. The database will be published on CD-ROM in The Diptera Data Dissemination Disk, Vol. 2 of the North American Dipterists Society in 2000. It includes classification and distribution information relevant to each name as well as an extensive datafile of all literature citations.