Entomology Collections Manager

Wide shot of entomologist Dr. David Furth in a room with dozens of open collection storage drawers with insect specimens.
Dr. David Furth with drawers of various insects in the U.S. National Insect Collection. Courtesy of Chip Clark, 2006-11685 EntomologyColln

Dr. David Furth is the Collections Manager for the Department of Entomology (approximately 35,000,000 specimens) and also conducts taxonomic, biological and diversity research on beetles, especially Flea Beetles. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, he became interested in insects by age 10 and by high school he had a significant local collection. During his undergraduate years at Miami University, he realized that his hobby could be his profession. His Master’s degree at Ohio State University (Stink Bugs of Ohio) and his Cornell University Ph.D. (Flea Beetles of Israel) launched his research career. During his Ph.D. research, where he served as curator of the insect collection at Tel Aviv University, and afterwards at the Peabody Museum of Natural History (Yale University), he found his passion for managing and curating research collections in major museums.

David continued this passion as the Curatorial Associate at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University) and currently at the U.S. National Insect Collection at Smithsonian. His collections management profession and Flea Beetle research has taken him to museums and into the field on all continents except Antarctica. He has taught courses on museum collections management at the Smithsonian, and in Israel and Argentina. Over 25 years ago he created the Youth Incentive Award program of The Coleopterists Society for junior and senior high school students to develop projects about beetles.