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Ángel Luis Viloria Petit

We are delighted to be welcoming Professor ​Ángel L. Viloria to Cambridge to take up the Simón Bolívar Visiting Chair for 2019-20. Ángel L. Viloria (1968-) is a Senior Researcher at the Centre of Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations (IVIC). Professor Viloria received a first degree in Biology from the Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela, and is Doctor of Philosophy (zoology) from a joint program of the University of London (King’s College) and the Natural History Museum, UK. He has pursued investigations on a variety of subjects related to zoology (from oceanic whales to cave dwelling crustaceans), theoretical biogeography, history and philosophy of the biological sciences. However, his main interest is on the systematics of butterflies of Tropical America, especially the Andean browns, members of the subfamily Satyrinae. A former Lecturer and Associate Professor in zoology and entomology of his own Alma Mater, he has also taught biogeography, ecology and forensic entomology in other universities and research institutions of Venezuela. Along his career Ángel Viloria has acted as supervisor of five biology degree theses, twenty-two PhD and MSc theses on ecology and seven postdoctoral individual projects. His zoological exploration and research has rendered the discovery and description of nearly 140 new animal species and subspecies (but also genera) from Tropical America. As a Jinshan Scholar of the Institute of Applied Ecology at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (Fuzhou, China), he has joined in 2016 an international team to study the phylogeographic origins of the micromoth Plutella xylostella, considered one of the few true cosmopolitan agricultural pests. Dr. Viloria is author and co-author of 110+ scientific papers, 210+ popular science articles and 8 books, including the standard reference, Catalogue of the hostplants of the Neotropical butterflies. Most of his discoveries and experiences have also been communicated in a number of lectures and seminars in many countries of Latin America, the USA, China, continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

In the recent past, Ángel Viloria has taken up several major administrative responsabilities: Head of the Organismal Biology Laboratory at IVIC (2002-2013), Deputy Director (2005-2007) and Director of IVIC (2008-2011), and Coordinator of the Venezuelan Antarctic Program (2009-2011). In 2010 he was appointed Principal Member of the High Presidential Commission to protocolize, lead and carry out a series of forensic studies on the remains of the South American Emancipation leader, Simón Bolívar.