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Keith Philips, Ph.D. The Ohio State University
Keith Philips, Ph.D. The Ohio State University
- University Distinguished Professor

BIOL 122 Introductory Biology 
BIOL 325 Insect Biodiversity
BIOL 485 Costa Rican Biodiversity
BIOL 501 Advances in Systematics Research
BIOL 675 Coleoptera evolution
BIOL 675 Insect evolution


Entomology; Insect biodiversity (systematics), especially on the Coleoptera (beetles).

I study insect diversity in highly threatened habitats to understand the effect of habitat alteration on particular groups of interest, such as the scarabaeine dung beetles, and to discover new species before they have gone extinct.  Research also centers on the evolution of various groups of beetles.  In particular, I am interested in conducting phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses, revisions of poorly known taxa, and behavioral and ecological studies. For phylogenetic projects, the current emphasis in the lab is the acquisition of molecular sequence data, but morphological data is also gathered in some cases for a total evidence approach to produce the most robust hypotheses of evolution.  The major current and specific research projects in my lab include:

The Ghana Insect Project. 
Insect biodiversity (systematics), especially on the Coleoptera (beetles).
The global diversity of spider beetles.
West African insect biodiversity, especially dung beetle diversity and ecology, and their use in conservation biology.
Evolution of the dung beetles.
Evolution of the bostrichoid beetles.
Evolution of the Water Penny Beetles.


Ph.D. 1997. The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
        Entomology, with emphasis on Coleoptera systematics. Dissertation: Systematics of New World Spider Beetles (advisors: N. Johnson and C. Triplehorn).

M.S. 1990. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
        Entomology, with emphasis on Coleoptera systematics. Thesis: A Revision of the Methiini (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) of the West Indies and circum-Caribbean Area (advisor: M. Ivie).

B.Sc. 1986. Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
        Biology Honours degree.

Recent and Selected Publications

2013.  Hucher, J.B., G. Pereira, Y. Gomy, T.K. Philips, C.E. Alatorre-Bracamontes, M. Vasquez-Bolanosand, J. Mansilla. Archaeoentomological study of a pre-Columbian funerary bundle (mortuary cave of Candelaria, Coahuila, Mexico). In press: Bulletin de la Societe entomologique de France.

2013.  Wood, M.V. and T.K. Philips.  Carinomezium: another new genus of spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae) from Namaqualand, South Africa. In Press: Tijdschrift voor Entomologie. In press.

2012.  Orozco, J. and T.K. Philips.  Pachnoda marginata (Drury) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) developing in bat guano in a West African cave. Coleopterists Bulletin 66: 378-379.

2012.  Mudge, A.D., J. Orozco, T.K. Philips, and P. Antoine.  Cetoniine Diversity of the Upper Guinean Forests and Savannas of Ghana (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae). Terrestrial Arthropod Review 5: 133-174.

2012.  Bell, K.L. and T.K. Philips.  Molecular systematics and evolution of the Ptinidae (Coleoptera: Bostrichoidea) and related families.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 165: 88-108.

2011.  Smiley, M.E. and T.K. Philips. Review of the spider beetle genus Pseudomezium.  African Entomology 19: 572-596.

2011.  Trimboli, S. and T.K. Philips. Description of a new species of Meziomorphum (Coleoptera: Ptinidae)from the Western Cape region of South Africa. Coleopterists Bulletin 65: 109-114.

2011.  Philips, T.K. and G. Mynhardt. Description of Electragnostus intermedius, the first spider beetle from Dominican amber (Coleoptera: Ptinidae), with implications on spider beetle phylogeny.  Entomapeiron Paleoentomology 4:37-51.

2010.   Philips, T.K. and M.E. Smiley. A new species of spider beetle from the Dominican Republic. Florida Entomologist 93: 567-570.

2010.  Krell F.-T. and T.K. Philips. Formicdubius Philips & Scholtz from South Africa, a junior synonym of Haroldius Boucomont, and a survey of the trichomes in the African species (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Onthophagini). Zookeys 34: 41-48.

2010.  Orozco, J. and T.K. Philips. Morphological evidence on the phylogeny of the New World Cetoniini (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 41: 39-54.

2009.  Akotsen-mensah, C. and T.K. Philips. Description of a new genus of spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae) from South Africa. Zootaxa. 2160: 51–67.

2009.  Davis, A.L.V. and T.K. Philips. Regional Fragmentation of Rain Forest in West Africa and Its Effect on Local Dung Beetle Assemblage Structure. Biotropica 41: 215–220.

2009.  Bell, K.L. and T.K. Philips. Six New Species of the Myrmecophile Polyplocotes Westwood (Coleoptera: Ptinidae) from South Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology. 48:15–24.


2006.  Emlen, D.J. and T.K. Philips. Phylogenetic evidence for an association between tunneling behavior and the evolution of horns in dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) (pp. 47-56).  In: M.L. Jameson and B.C. Ratcliffe (editors), Scarabaeoidea in the 21st Century: A Festchrift Honoring Henry F. Howden. Coleopterists Society Monograph, No. 5, 219 pp.

2005.  Davis, A.L.V. and T.K. Philips Effect of Deforestation on a Southwest Ghana Dung Beetle Assemblage (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) at the Periphery of Ankasa Conservation Area. Environmental Entomology 34: 1081-1088.

2005. Ocampo, F.C. and T.K. Philips. Food relocation and nesting behavior of the Argentinian dung beetle genus Eucranium Brullé and comparison with the southwest African Scarabaeus (Pachysoma) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Revista de la Sociedad Entomologica Argentina 64: 53-59.

2004. Philips, T.K., R. Pretorius, and C.H. Scholtz. A phylogenetic analysis of the dung beetles: (Scarabaeinae: Scarabaeidae): Unrolling an evolutionary history.  Invertebrate Systematics 18: 1-36.

2002. Davis, A.L.V., C.H. Scholtz and T.K. Philips. Historical biogeography of scarabaeine dung beetles.  Journal of Biogeography 29: 1-41.

2000. Philips, T.K. A Phylogenetic analysis of the New World Ptininae (Coleoptera: Bostrichoidea). Systematic Entomology. 25: 1-29.

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 Last Modified 4/29/22