The State Entomologist serves as the authoritative spokesperson on matters related to insects or other arthropods of Illinois; provides current information on research and scientific inquiries on invertebrates, generally, and arthropods, specifically, to the public, scientists, industry, and government agencies; and is the primary point of contact for organizations that require transdisciplinary science to address questions related to the ecology, management, or control of invertebrates, including insects.
State Entomologist Christopher Dietrich has more than 30 years of entomological research experience. He has conducted field work in 17 countries and published more than 175 refereed scientific papers. He is broadly interested in insect biodiversity, evolution, classification, and identification and is a world authority on leafhoppers and treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracoidea), which include many important agricultural pests, invasive species, and vectors of plant pathogens. His current research focuses on documenting insect biodiversity, resolving phylogenetic relationships among major hemipteran lineages, and developing new tools and infrastructure for identifying and tracking species. He earned his B.S. in biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and PhD in entomology at North Carolina State University.