About the Institute

3005 SW 56th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32608-5047
Telephone/FAX: 352-377-6458
e-mail: aei[at]aei.cfcoxmail.com

The American Entomological Institute (AEI) is a non-profit research foundation with the purpose of promoting systematic research on insects and other arthropods. Located in Gainesville, Florida, its nucleus is a collection of approximately 1.2 million Hymenoptera. For parasitoid Hymenoptera, the collection is one of the largest in the world. The geographic representation is worldwide. The AEI’s library is one of the most complete sets of taxonomic literature for Hymenoptera in one location.

The collection was assembled through the efforts of Drs. Henry and Marjorie Townes, starting in 1934. The main focus has been the family Ichneumonidae. With about 800,000 specimens from around the world, no ichneumonid collection is more complete or as well curated. It is the ultimate reference for workers studying the systematics of this family. Holdings of Braconidae are significant, consisting of about 176,000 specimens. The remainder of the collection consists of about 19,000 Symphyta, 99,000 "microhymenoptera" and small apocritan families, and 105,000 Aculeata. The type collection numbers 3640 holotypes.

The AEI publishes two prominent journals: Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute and Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. Both focus on arthropod systematics. Memoirs (beginning in 1961) deal with monographic studies or catalogs of 300 printed pages or more; Contributions (beginning in 1964) takes smaller papers (32-250 pages). They are published at irregular intervals.

The death of Dr. Henry Townes in 1990 marked the end of an era for the AEI. His vision and unmatched capabilities will be sorely missed. He believed, however, in the viability of the AEI and left a firm foundation for its maintenance and expansion. It is organized as a non-profit [501(c)(3)] corporation. Policies, budget, and property are governed by a Board of Directors.

Directors and Officers of the American Entomological Institute

Dr. Andrew Bennett, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Dr. Ian Gauld: The Natural History Museum, London
Dr. James Lloyd:University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Dr. Scott Miller: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Dr. Michael Sharkey, University of Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. David Wahl: American Entomological Institute, Gainesville, Florida
Dr. Mary Jane West-Eberhard: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
Dr. Robert Wharton: Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas


Dr. Ian Gauld
9 Sandhills
Spratton, Northants. NN6 8HJ
e-mail: pammitch[at]btinternet.com

Vice-President: Dr. Scott Miller
Secretary: Dr. David Wahl
Treasurer: Dr. James Lloyd
Curator: Dr. David Wahl
American Entomological Institute
3005 SW 56th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32608-5047
Telephone/FAX: 352-377-6458
e-mail: aei[at]aei.cfcoxmail.com
Technician: Dr. Hugo Kons

Mission statement:

The American Entomological Institute was founded by Henry and Marjorie Townes, and embodies their enthusiastic vision of increasing human understanding of the biological diversity of parasitic wasps, an enormous group of crucial importance in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. The primary focus is on maintaining, organizing and augmenting the large and irreplaceable collection of the Institute, and making this collection a focus of research, accessible to a world community of biologists dedicated to the goal of revealing the scope and patterns of diversity in the Hymenoptera.

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