Society logo

North American Dipterists Society

Society logo
North American Dipterists Society

Fly School

Fly School returns!

Fly School III

Fly School III will be held in the beautiful Soltis Center in Costa Rica from 1-12 August 2024. Students from around the world will be instructed on how to collect, prepare, and identify flies.

The application period is now open, so put in your Application for Fly School today! Space will be limited. Applications will be open through Sunday, 3 December 2023.

The course has both field and lab components, including collecting techniques, identification, life history & ecology information, and specimen preparation.

The total cost per student is 1460 USD, noting that this does not include travel to/from Costa Rica, or possible hotel stays in San José before/after the course. Following is the fee breakdown per student:

  1. 1060 USD station fees (room + board)
  2. 400 USD tuition


Dalton Amorim Dr. Dalton de Souza Amorim
Dalton is a biology systematist working on the phylogeny, biogeography and taxonomy of different groups of flies—particularly but not exclusively with the Neotropical fauna. He has supervised over 20 MSc and 20 PhD dissertations and taught disciplines as Biological Systematics, Evolution of Metazoans, Phylogenetic Systematics, and Biogeography, besides taking part in teacher training. He is an Associate Researcher of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and Emeritus Professor at the Biology Department of the University of São Paulo, in Ribeirão Preto.

Matt Bertone Dr. Matt Bertone
Matt is a systematist and arthropod diagnostics expert, with a background in and passion for Diptera. He is also an accomplished macro photographer. Matt runs a plant pathology and arthropod diagnostics laboratory (Plant Disease and Insect Clinic) at North Carolina State University in the US.

Brian Brown Dr. Brian V. Brown
Brian is the Curator of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and is the program leader for Fly School. He is a world expert of the family Phoridae, and has worked in tropical countries throughout the New World, as well as in southeast Asia. He was the head editor of the two-volume Manual of Central American Diptera, which is our "bible" for this course. Although he will be retired by the time this course begins, he plans to continue his work in tropical forests.

Jessica Gillung Dr. Jessica Gillung
Jessica is a professor at McGill University and the director of the Lyman Entomological Museum. She is an evolutionary biologist who integrates molecular, morphological, behavioral, and ecological data into a comparative phylogenetic framework to understand the insect Tree of Life. She aims to address key questions in the evolution of insect diversity: (1) What are the relationships within the insect Tree of Life? (2) Why are some lineages more diverse than others? (3) How have host-parasitoid and plant-insect interactions influenced trait and lineage diversification? By using phylogenomics to establish evolutionary hypotheses, her integrative approach seeks to understand how biotic and abiotic factors have shaped and influenced patterns of biodiversity.

David Grimaldi Dr. David Grimaldi
David is at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he is Curator of the Diptera (his real love), Lepidoptera, minor holometabolous orders, and the amber collection. He is also Professor in the museum’s Gilder Graduate School and is affiliated with Columbia University and Cornell University. In his research, species-level work focuses on the Drosophilidae and some other groups of acalyptrates; work on broader aspects of diversity and evolution includes study of fly relationships and the fossil record. He is an author of Evolution of the Insects (Cambridge, 2005), and most recently The Complete Insect (Princeton, 2023).

Jim Hogue Dr. James Hogue
Jim is a lifelong insect collector interested in anything that has to do with the natural world, especially the biology of insects. He is particularly interested in the systematics and natural history of flies (especially crane flies and flower flies), beetles, the roles of insects in human culture, photography of arthropods, and the ecology of running water ecosystems. He grew up in Los Angeles and earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. After that he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology at Utah State University. Jim is currently the Manager of Biological Collections and a part-time lecturer in the Biology Department at California State University, Northridge, where he also teaches courses in Evolution and Entomology.

Erica McAlister Dr. Erica McAlister
Erica McAlister is Principal Curator of Diptera and Siphonaptera at the Natural History Museum, London, UK. She is Curator of Larger Brachycera, Mycetophilidae and Culicidae. As well as working on these groups, she also works on collection methods and development, as well as undertaking fieldwork and training both within the UK and abroad. Erica has published 4 popular science books on Insects (2 speciating in flies) and is a huge advocate of science outreach. She is the Chair of the Dipterists Forum in the UK.

Paula Raile Riccardi Dr. Paula Raile Riccardi
Paula is an evolutionary biologist specializing in the taxonomy and systematics of hyperdiverse and neglected lineages of Schizophora, particularly the Neotropical fauna. She uses collection-based research on species discovery and distribution to uncover evolutionary drivers that influence the diversity dynamics of fly lineages. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany, using genetic markers and 3D images in a large-scale integrative taxonomy and phylogenomics of grass flies (Chloropidae).


Giar-Ann Kung Giar-Ann Kung
Giar-Ann is a Collections Manager in the Entomology Section at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. She has worked on Phoridae and has extensive tropical and temperate field experience. She is the organizer and point of contact for Fly School.

Further announcements and up-to-date information will be provided here, at the Fly School website, in the pages of Fly Times, and through our Dipterists mailing list server. If you have questions, please contact us at


To be added