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The Verrall Lecture text written in pink to green gradient

The Verrall Lecture is an annual public event organised by the Royal Entomological Society. It is open to all, free to attend and is usually given at the Natural History Museum, London.

The Lecture takes place on the first Wednesday in March to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the Verrall Association of Entomologists, the Verrall Supper, begun in 1887 by G.H. Verrall and now organised by the Entomological Club.

In 2021, RES joined with the Amateur Entomologists’ Society to organise the first Young Verrall lecture, with the same lecturer speaking to a younger audience. This takes place the Saturday following the main Verrall Lecture. 

Verrall Lecturers and affiliations at the time of their lecture:

2025 Professor Iain Couzin (University of Konstanz, Germany, Princeton University, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior) – Talk title TBC. Visit the event page

2024 Professor Rebecca Kilner (University of Cambridge) – Simpson’s question: ​How does behaviour influence evolution? Visit the event page.

2023 Dr Edgar Turner (University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge) – Managing tropical ecosystems for insect biodiversity. Visit the event page.

2022 Prof. Camille Parmesan (CNRS Station for Experimental and Theoretical Ecology (SETE, in Moulis, France)) – Hot off the Press from IPCC: Insects in a Warming World. Lecture given via zoom, recorded & uploaded to our YouTube channel, also available on the 2022 Verrall event page

2021 Dr Erica McAlister (Natural History Museum London) – A Fascination of Flies (lecture given via zoom) – Video Exclusive –  for Royal Entomological Society Members & Fellows

2020 Prof. Charles Godfray (University of Oxford) – Driving Ambition: Can and Should We Use Gene Drive to Knock Out the Major Mosquito Vectors of Malaria?

2019 Prof. Marie Dacke (Lund University, Sweden) – As the crow flies, and the beetle rolls: straight-line orientation from behaviour to neurons

2018 Dr Amoret Whitaker (University of Winchester) – Fabulous fleas

2017 Dr George McGavin (Oxford University Museum/BBC) – Tales from television: an entomologist’s perspective

2016 Max Barclay (NHM) – Collections: the last great frontiers of exploration

2015 Prof. Sue Hartley (University of York) – Sustainable crop protection using natural plant products

2014 Prof. Greg Hurst (University of Liverpool) – The extended genome: the impact of microbial symbionts on insect ecology and evolution

2013 Prof. Mike Siva-Jothy (University of Sheffield) – Beg bugs: an emergent problem and an excellent model

2012 Prof. Ilkka Hanski (University Helsinki) – The Glanville fritillary: ecology meets evolution

2011 Prof. Jane Memmott (University of Bristol) – The conservation and utilisation of entomological interactions

2010 Prof. Chris Thomas (University of York) – Insects and climate change: ecological and evolutionary dynamics at shifting range boundaries

2009 Prof. Bill Hanson (Max Planck Institute) – Fly smell: function and evolution of the Drosophila olfactory system in a natural setting

2008 Prof. Lars Chittka (Queen Mary College) – Can insects learn by example?

2007 Prof. Michael Akam (University of Cambridge) – A tale of heads and hox: innovations in the patterning of insect body plans

2006 Prof. Quentin Wheeler (NHM) – Taxonomic renaissance

2005 Prof. Thomas Miller (California, Riverside) – Transgenic approaches to crop protection

2004 Prof. Wittko Francke (University Hamburg) – Chemical signalling amongst insects: evolutionary aspects and chemical structures

2003 Prof. Alfried Vogler (Imperial/NHM) – Why so many beetles? Insights from evolutionary biology and DNA studies

2002 Richard Vane-Wright (NHM) – Insects, an unnatural history

2001 Prof. Jeremy Thomas (CEH) – Strategies used by hoverflies, butterflies and their parasitoids to infiltrate and exploit ant societies

2000 G.A. Vale (Zimbabwe) – Tsetse flies: how behavioural studies can refine control methods

1999 Dr R.J. Wooton (University of Exeter) – Umbrellas, pop-up books and hindwing folding mechanisms

1998 Dr E. Eastwood (Hertfordshire) – So you want to walk on water?

1997 Dr P.R. Ellis (HRI) – Sources of host-plant resistance to insects

1996 Prof. D.S. Saunders (University of Edinburgh) – Circadian rhythms and photoperiodism in the blow fly Calliphora vicina

1995 Dr N.E. Stork (NHM) – Inventorying the World’s insect fauna

See also