Michael de Courcy Williams

An Irishman but one born and grown up in Malaysia, a hot spot of butterfly diversity, living alongside virgin rainforest in Malaysia gave Michael a lifelong interest in entomology and the diversity and beauty of butterflies. A career in entomology followed across a number of European countries, following interests in both applied and conservation fields.

University education in Ireland gave him a primary degree in Zoology and a PhD in novel approaches to the taxonomy of hoverflies. Subsequently, Michael worked in England on research in biological control of insect pests in protected crops. Now living in NE Greece, with a particular interest in the biogeography and ecology of the forested hills and mountains of the region, Michael’s worked as a senior author of a recent major book on the hoverflies of Greece, including writing about the habitats for hoverflies.

In Greece he has been involved in number of university-led projects, including on the diversity of pollinators in the Aegean islands. Most recently, he has worked as a taxonomist looking at the ecology and molecular sequencing of mosquitoes, biting midges and their interactions with the viruses they harbour and transmit. He has also worked for a number of years as a tour guide for butterfly trips in NE Greece. Trekking the hills and studying the forests of the region has given him an invaluable insight into the diversity and richness of the area, both in terms of natural history and the cultural connections of the landscape.

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