Senior Curator of Entomology
Area: Natural History, Biodiversity
Exhibitions & Galleries: Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity
B.Sc., Queen’s University, 1974
M.Sc., University of Utah, 1978
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1983
Christopher Darling is a Senior Curator of Entomology in the Department of Natural History at the ROM.
Chris conducts collection-based research on the systematics and biology of parasitic Hymenoptera. He is a world authority on the taxonomy of the Perilampidae, a small family of wasps that occurs on all continents except Antarctica. His research is based on comparative morphology and taxonomic revisions and has as its goal a comprehensive understanding of the diversity and evolutionary relationships of these wasps. He is also interested in the historical biogeography and the evolution of host associations in parasitic Hymenoptera; that is, where they are found and why, as well as what they are doing. This has resulted in extensive field work throughout Southeast Asia, including India, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. He is currently coordinating the field work activities in Gunung Mulu National Park for the Platygastroidea Planetary Biotic Inventory Project which is funded by NSF (USA). Chris also conducts fieldwork in Ontario and has studied the interaction of bluebirds and blowflies, goldenrods and their gallmakers, and a variety of wood-infesting beetles and their natural enemies.
Chris is actively involved in the growth and curation of the ROM’s insect collection and in the Museum’s public programs and exhibitions. He is a strong advocate of the importance of natural history and conducts research on insect-plant interactions in the tropics. He is enthusiastic about promoting the fascinating world of insects—and their importance in human affairs—to a variety of audiences. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Entomologists’ Association and is a member of the Entomological Society of Ontario and the Entomological Society of Canada. Chris is also a professor in the Department of Zoology, University of Toronto and teaches undergraduate courses in entomology and conservation biology, supervises undergraduate and graduate students, and teaches field courses in the New World and Old World tropics.