The Annual Plymouth Linnean Lecture will be given by Dr Erica McAlister, Senior Curator of Diptera, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London.
Flies are much-maligned organisms, often thought of as little more than carriers of organisms that cause disease in humans and other animals. Of the 165,000 described species of fly (of an estimated 5,000,000 species of fly on Earth), this is not actually the case, yet we tend to tar all of them with the same brush as a mere handful that actually do carry disease. Flies are the most morphologically variable of all insects and probably animals as a whole – they are vastly different from larva to adult and between adults of different species. Often, even the sexes of any one species of fly are so absurdly different that this has caused great confusion amongst field biologists! It is these differences that have enabled flies to prosper and to explore Earth, and to become the medics, recyclers and pollinators that have allowed our planet to function properly as a whole. Whilst it is true that some flies are vectors that carry disease, by studying flies across their whole diversity, we as humans can become better medics, better recyclers and can improve our relationship with Earth as a result.
The lecture starts at 18:00 and will be delivered as a Zoom webinar. Please register your place via the above link.