deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asiloid Flies
deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Sample of Asiloid Flies

Williston Diptera Research Fund

The S.W. Williston Diptera Research Fund is a Smithsonian Institution administered endowment fund established for the increase and diffusion of knowledge about Diptera. Samuel Wendell Williston was a distinguished biologist, who made significant contributions to paleontology, entomology, medicine and education (Aldrich 1918, Aldrich 1919, Shor 1971, Beckemeyer 2009). He was the first native dipterist in the U.S., the first to produce generic monographs of Nearctic Diptera, the first to curate and study the Diptera of the United States National Museum (USNM), and the first to make a contribution to that collection (his types of Nearctic Syrphidae). In his own words, "The happiest hours of my life were those spent on the Diptera." (Shor 1971, p. 163). Thus, this man and his achievements epitomize what this fund was established to support.

To this day, the Williston Fund has supported the travel of graduate students and dipterists to the International Congresses of Dipterology and to the USNM for collections-based research as well as field work. About US$ 6,000 are available from the endowment annually. Submission deadline is November 30th. (Note: every awardee will need to comply with the rules of the Smithsonian Institution regarding travel and reimbursements, which require several forms to be filled out prior to any travel.)

The requirements for support are minimal: contact Torsten Dikow as a representative of the Williston Fund committee with a synopsis of what you need to increase and diffuse knowledge about Diptera.

  1. summarize your research goals into a short proposal in PDF format (1–2 pages maximum)
  2. itemize your budget in the proposal PDF (anticipated transportation costs, per diem costs for lodging and food, and any other items) 

Please consider donating to this endowment fund to support the increase and diffusion of knowledge about Diptera and particularly the research and travel of a new generation of dipterists.

S.W. Williston Diptera Research Fund committee

The Williston Fund is administered by a committee of at least three members, two of whom (the majority) must be systematists actively working on Diptera, and one who must be a scientist affiliated with, but not necessarily employed by, the Smithsonian Institution (for example, a dipterist of the United States Department of Agriculture Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL)). The current committee consists of: Allen Norrbom, Gary Hevel, and Torsten Dikow.