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Rebecca Le Grice 

Curator Natural History

Rebecca Le Grice

Rebecca is an entomologist with research interests spanning the ecology, behaviour and evolution of insects. 

She completed her PhD at The University of Auckland in 2021, focusing on Aotearoa’s coastal Diptera communities and trying to understand how their biogeography, ecology and behaviour responds to a dynamic and highly variable environment. She has investigated how species richness, diversity and community structure vary both geographically and over time and aims to identify what environmental conditions drive variation.

She has a particular interest in kelp flies (Coelopidae) which live on kelp and seaweed washed up on the beach and are highly diverse in Aotearoa. Their reliance on such a temporary and inconsistently available resource makes their ecology, evolution and behaviour particularly interesting to study – for example, they need to act quickly to mate when seaweed washes ashore and exhibit a scramble competition mating system and extreme sexual conflict.

On this theme, the sexual selection of exaggerated male traits is an ongoing focus in her research. She is interested in how size variation and the allometry of these traits are linked to mating behaviour and success especially under ecologically relevant conditions. She has worked with both New Zealand giraffe weevils in the wild and species of endemic kelp flies to investigate this topic.

Since joining Canterbury Museum, she has broadened her areas of research to include studies into the intersection of natural and human history in museums. This is an exciting opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to museum collections and increase collaboration between the human and natural history elements of museum collections which are often interwoven in their histories and stories.

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See Researchgate


Conference Presentations