Kyhl Austin Curator

Joined: Aug 11, 2016 Last Active: Jan 20, 2022 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since July 2021

I am originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. I graduated from Davidson College in 2018 with a B.S. in biology and from Cornell University in 2020 with an M.S. in entomology where my thesis focused on the Archipini (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) of the Caribbean.

I am now a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where I am focusing on developing molecular tools to identify imported tortricids of agricultural importance as well as working on the taxonomy and systematics of native Hawaiian tortricids.

My focus is Lepidoptera, especially the economically important family Tortricidae, but I would like to become a more well-rounded naturalist. Besides moths, I am also interested in the native flowering plants of Hawaiʻi, especially those which are hosts for the tortricids I am studying.

More broadly, I am fascinated by speciation, island biogeography, functional morphology, and insect-host plant specialization/evolution. Conservation of rare and threatened species (especially overlooked ones!) is what motivates me.

I wish I had more time to explore other areas of natural history...in another life maybe I'd be a geologist?

I also enjoy rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, watching sports, hiking, and pretty much all kinds of music.

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=62o--dkAAAAJ&hl=en

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