Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

Tall Poppy Winner Erinn Fagan-Jeffries AIPS

Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

It’s estimated that only a third of Australia’s 200,000 insect species are formally named and described. This is a huge problem for conservation, biosecurity and ecological applications, as despite insects being critical components of all ecosystems, we don’t even know what most of the insects in Australia are yet!

Erinn’s research aims to help document Australia’s insect diversity by giving species scientific names and descriptions so that they are identifiable by researchers and the general public. She currently works mostly on a group of native wasps that are parasitoids of caterpillars.

Dr Fagan-Jeffries currently leads a citizen science project called ‘Insect Investigators’. Her team is working with 50 regional schools around Australia this year to learn more about the insects found at their schools – and maybe even find some new species! She regularly promotes insects and the importance of taxonomy through media interviews and talks to community and school groups about her research.

Erinn was awarded her PhD in 2019 from The University of Adelaide. She is currently an Australian Biological Resources Study Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Adelaide.

Biology, Taxonomy, Biodiversity, Zoology, Systematics, Entomology, Citizen Science, evolutionary biology