Jessica Gillung

Jessica Gillung
Image by Alex Tran.

Assistant Professor; Director, Lyman Entomological Museum

T: 514-398-7808 | jessica.gillung [at] (Email)|  Centennial Centre, Room 16 | Website@jpgillung


PhD (Entomology), University of California Davis (2018)
MSc (Zoology), University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2011)
BSc (Biological Sciences), Federal University of Parana, Brazil (2009)
Teaching Credentials (Biology), Federal University of Parana, Brazil, (2008)

Short Bio

Dr. Jessica Gillung joined the NRS Department in January 2020. She serves as the Director of the Lyman Entomological Museum, one of the largest insect collections in Canada. Dr. Gillung completed her PhD at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis, studying the evolution and taxonomy of parasitoid flies specialized in spiders. She subsequently worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Danforth Lab at Cornell University, where she focused on the evolution and diversification of aculeate Hymenoptera (stinging wasps, ants and bees). Her research combines field work, morphology, DNA sequence data, bioinformatics, and comparative methods to reconstruct the evolution of insects and elucidate their patterns of diversification, encompassing multiple taxonomic rankings, from species to higher level relationships. This integrative approach also seeks to understand how biotic and abiotic factors have shaped and influenced patterns of insect biodiversity.

Awards and Recognitions

  • International Branch Early Career Professional Award. Entomological Society of America (2021)
  • Snodgrass Memorial Research Award. Entomological Society of America (2019)
  • The Marsh Award for Early Career Entomologist. Royal Entomological Society (2019)
  • Excellence in Early Career Award. Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch (2019)
  • Student Leadership Award. Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch (2018)

Research Interests

Dr. Jessica Gillung is an evolutionary biologist with a specialization in entomology (the study of insects). Her research focuses on biodiversity discovery and cataloging, and the processes that originate and maintain biodiversity in our planet. A major aspect of her work is discovering new species, including insect fossils trapped in amber. She utilizes DNA sequences, morphological features of organisms, and ecological and distributional data to understand how insects evolved and diversified, as well as how they interact with each other and their environment. She also investigates how to best use molecular data to understand the evolution of organisms. Her ultimate research goal is to advance our understanding of biodiversity and unravel the processes that have shaped the natural world.

Current Research

  • Unraveling the diversity, natural history, and diversification of insects.
  • Elucidating the evolutionary origins and patterns of phenotypic and biological diversity among insects using taxonomy, genomics, phylogenetic reconstructions, and comparative analyses.
  • Assessing the accuracy of phylogenetic methods and enhancing reproducibility of analyses. In particular, understanding how to best use genomic sequences to infer evolutionary history and to understand how evolution has shaped biodiversity.


AEBI 212 Evolution and Phylogeny 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVB 313 Phylogeny and Biogeography 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


View a list of current publications
View a list of publications on ResearchGate

Back to top