Lucas Camargos, Ph.D. Candidate



Ralph Holzenthal


Goiânia, GO, Brazil.

Research Topic

My research focus is descriptive and revisionary taxonomy, as well as phylogenetic systematics of Neotropical caddisflies (Trichoptera). We are still very ignorant about the true insect diversity worldwide, especially in the tropics. However, identifying species alone is not as comprehensive as organizing them according to their evolutionary history. Spending days collecting bugs on tropical streams, an even longer time looking at specimens under a microscope, writing down character matrix and even analyzing some DNA are some of the things I do. 

Previous Education

B.S. Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil.

M.S. Entomology, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil.

Why Insects?

I have always loved animals, and almost all animals described on earth are insects, or Arthropods at least. The diversity and complexity of their morphology, behavior and life strategies delight my sense of wonder and curiosity. Extracting data of those amazing animals to uncover mysteries of the tree of life is an astonishing opportunity to me. 

Why University of Minnesota?

One of the greatest researchers of caddisflies in the world is a professor at UMN, a reason good enough to move to any other city, let alone a nice place like the Twin Cities. I am also really happy about the way UMN give us support in every way possible.


I want to continue doing research on Phylogeny and Taxonomy of caddisflies and other aquatic insects in the neotropics and worldwide. I want to improve my knowledge on the most recent molecular techniques on phylogenetics and evolution, as well as other areas related to natural history, such as insect behavior and ecology. Being a professor at a University is my main career goal, and I think UMN can give me the support to reach my objective in a near future.

Favorite Insect

The obvious choice is a caddisfly, like the larvae of Barypenthus concolor Burmeister. But I also like social insects in general, small orders like zorapterans and stoneflies, beetles and even some aquatic caterpillars. I guess it is impossible for me to choose just one. At least I can say which one is my least favorite: any species of Culicidae.

Other interests/hobbies

I like reading, biking, swimming on a nice stream, playing soccer, drinking the outstanding variety of good Minnesotan beer, and watching science fiction movies. Playing RPG and reading comic books add a little nerdiness to it all. I also run a podcast on science popularization, dealing with a large variety of subjects, with a loyal fan base of more than 20.000 listeners. If you understand Portuguese language, check it out

Coffee or tea?

I would normally go for coffee, but I have to stick with caffeine free tea because of health issues.