Dr Bryan Lessard

OCE Postdoctoral Fellow - Science

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Biography

Dr Bryan Lessard (a.k.a. Bry the Fly Guy) researches flies, a tough sell to many members of the public, but one that is often rewarding. Dr Lessard was first introduced to the curious world of flies during his undergraduate studies at the University of Wollongong, learning about the behaviour, classification and applications of the winged insects to forensic entomology. With his interest peaked, he enrolled in a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra to continue his research on flies, this time describing over 18 species new to science and using DNA to solve the mystery behind the evolution of gondwanan horse flies. In the hopes of generating buzz in taxonomy, the science of naming and classifying organisms, he described a horse fly with a golden abdomen after the performer Beyoncé, Plinthina beyonceae. This “bootylicious” ambassador for biodiversity became a viral sensation and sparked a global conversation on the importance of flies. Dr Lessard now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National Insect Collection at CSIRO in Canberra. Here he continues to research the evolution and classification of soldier flies, most famous for the black soldier fly Hermetia illucens that powers compost bins and could become the next superfood of the 21st century. Dr Lessard shares his passion for flies and biodiversity with the world through speaking events, social media and the written word. He was an invited speaker at TEDxCanberra in 2016 and now presents a semiregular segment (Bry the Fly Guy’s Top 5) on Evenings with Chris Bath on ABC Radio.

Current Roles

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Revision and classification of the Australian soldier flies

  • Curation Team
    Australian National Insect Collection

  • Science Communicator
    Outreach for the National Research Collections Australia

Academic Qualifications

  • 2013

    PhD
    Australian National University

  • 2008

    Bachelor Biotechnology (Advanced) Hon I
    University of Wollongong

Professional Experiences

  • 2010-present

    Invited Lecturer
    Australian National University

  • 2016

    Science Inquiry Workshop
    CSIRO Discovery

  • 2017

    STEMx Science Inquiry Workshop
    CSIRO Education

Achievements and Awards

  • 2016

    TEDx Talk
    TEDx Canberra

  • 2016

    Winner - Council of Heads of Australian Entomological Collections Speaker Prize
    Australian Entomological Society

  • 2011

    Winner - Presidential Prize for Best Presentation
    Entomological Society of America

Other highlights

  • 2016-present

    Co-leader of the Australian Geographic Scientific Expedition to Lord Howe Island

Grants

  • 2016-2019

    Australian Biological Resources Study APA Top Up Scholarship for "Revision of the Australian bristle fly genus 'Rutilia' Robineau-Desvoidy, 1930 (Diptera: Tachinidae)"

  • 2010-2011

    Australian Biological Resources Study Bush Blitz Capacity-Building Grant for the "Taxonomy, systematics and biodiversity of Australian horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae)"

  • 2008-2008

    Australian Biological Resources Study Honours Research Grant for "Investigating the taxonomic status of the forensically important blowfly 'Chrysomyia rufifacies' (Diptera: Calliphoridae)"

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2016-present

    Goterra

  • 2015-2016

    Frogwatch ACT

Publications

We have publications by Dr Bryan Lessard
For more publications, please see Google Scholar: daCoU10AAAAJ Researcher ID: B-1626-2015