This article is an autobiography or has been extensively edited by the subject or by someone connected to the subject. (August 2021)
Akito Y. Kawahara
New York City, United States
|Education||Cornell University, B.S.|
Smithsonian Institution & University of Maryland, M.S. and Ph.D.
all in Entomology
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Known for||Entomology, Evolution|
|Institutions||University of Florida|
|Doctoral advisor||Charles Mitter|
Jerome C. Regier
Kawahara is a Professor and Curator at the University of Florida and lead researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. He was named Director of the McGuire Center in August 2023. He also holds the position of Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History.
Kawahara received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 2002 and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland with Dr. Charles Mitter through the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History in 2010. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa before starting his position at the University of Florida.
Kawahara's research interests are insect evolution, predator-prey interactions, and genetics. He has published over 175 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and has received many national and international awards. Among his largest contributions are papers on the evolution of butterflies and moths. He also conducts research on ultrasound production and hearing in moths and echolocation in bats, which he works on with Dr. Jesse Barber. He has also published numerous papers on the importance of insects as models for nature education, including a highly popular article on the action items that every individual can do to help global insect declines.
Awards and recognition
He has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Nature: "American Spring LIVE" (2019), Nature: "Nature's Sex, Lies, and Butterflies" (2018), David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies 3D (2015), and Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2009).
Kawahara was born in New York City, United States. He is the son of modern Contemporary Artist, On Kawara. As a child, he traveled between New York and Tokyo annually, attending two schools simultaneously, a schooling called "Taiheiyou-tsugaku" (Trans-Pacific Commute). He resides in Florida and New York, and has two children.
- Barber, Jesse R.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (23 August 2013). "Hawkmoths produce anti-bat ultrasound". Biology Letters. 9 (4): 20130161. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0161. PMC 3730625. PMID 23825084.
- Barber, Jesse R.; Leavell, Brian C.; Keener, Adam L.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Chadwell, Brad A.; McClure, Christopher J. W.; Hill, Geena M.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (3 March 2015). "Moth tails divert bat attack: Evolution of acoustic deflection". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (9): 2812–2816. Bibcode:2015PNAS..112.2812B. doi:10.1073/pnas.1421926112. PMC 4352808. PMID 25730869.
- Breinholt, Jesse W.; Earl, Chandra; Lemmon, Alan R.; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Xiao, Lei; Kawahara, Akito Y. (1 January 2018). "Resolving Relationships among the Megadiverse Butterflies and Moths with a Novel Pipeline for Anchored Phylogenomics". Systematic Biology. 67 (1): 78–93. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx048. PMID 28472519. S2CID 3658506.
- Espeland, Marianne; Breinholt, Jesse; Willmott, Keith R.; Warren, Andrew D.; Vila, Roger; Toussaint, Emmanuel F.A.; Maunsell, Sarah C.; Aduse-Poku, Kwaku; Talavera, Gerard; Eastwood, Rod; Jarzyna, Marta A.; Guralnick, Robert; Lohman, David J.; Pierce, Naomi E.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (March 2018). "A Comprehensive and Dated Phylogenomic Analysis of Butterflies". Current Biology. 28 (5): 770–778.e5. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.061. hdl:10072/384394. PMID 29456146. S2CID 3346155.
- Kawahara, Akito Y.; Plotkin, David; Espeland, Marianne; Meusemann, Karen; Toussaint, Emmanuel F. A.; Donath, Alexander; Gimnich, France; Frandsen, Paul B.; Zwick, Andreas; Reis, Mario dos; Barber, Jesse R.; Peters, Ralph S.; Liu, Shanlin; Zhou, Xin; Mayer, Christoph; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Storer, Caroline; Yack, Jayne E.; Misof, Bernhard; Breinholt, Jesse W. (5 November 2019). "Phylogenomics reveals the evolutionary timing and pattern of butterflies and moths". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116 (45): 22657–22663. Bibcode:2019PNAS..11622657K. doi:10.1073/pnas.1907847116. PMC 6842621. PMID 31636187.
- Kawahara, Akito Y.; Reeves, Lawrence E.; Barber, Jesse R.; Black, Scott H. (12 January 2021). "Opinion: Eight simple actions that individuals can take to save insects from global declines". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 118 (2): e2002547117. Bibcode:2021PNAS..11820025K. doi:10.1073/pnas.2002547117. PMC 7812750. PMID 33431563.
- Kawahara, Akito Y.; Barber, Jesse R. (19 May 2015). "Tempo and mode of antibat ultrasound production and sonar jamming in the diverse hawkmoth radiation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (20): 6407–6412. Bibcode:2015PNAS..112.6407K. doi:10.1073/pnas.1416679112. PMC 4443353. PMID 25941377.
- Kawahara, Akito Y.; Breinholt, Jesse W. (7 August 2014). "Phylogenomics provides strong evidence for relationships of butterflies and moths". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281 (1788): 20140970. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0970. PMC 4083801. PMID 24966318.
- "Florida Museum Faculty Spotlight".
- "Akito Kawahara named director of McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity".
- "Butterflies and plants evolved in sync, but moth 'ears' predated bats". 21 October 2019.
- Wade, Nicholas (21 October 2019). "How the Butterfly Discovered Daylight". The New York Times.
- "Scientists Trace Butterfly and Moth Evolutionary History". 1 August 2014.
- "The Evolution of Hawkmoths' Sonar Jamming". 13 May 2015.
- "Moths Vibrate Genitals to Scare Bats". 8 July 2013. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
- Quenqua, Douglas (16 February 2015). "Moth Tails Divert Bats". The New York Times.
- Yong, Ed (21 October 2019). "A Textbook Evolutionary Story About Moths and Bats Is Wrong". The Atlantic.
- Kawahara, Akito Y.; Reeves, Lawrence E.; Barber, Jesse R.; Black, Scott H. (12 January 2021). "Opinion: Eight simple actions that individuals can take to save insects from global declines". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 118 (2): e2002547117. Bibcode:2021PNAS..11820025K. doi:10.1073/pnas.2002547117. PMC 7812750. PMID 33431563.[non-primary source needed]
- "PBS American Spring Live". PBS.
- "Sex, Lies and Butterflies". PBS. 2 Mar 2018.
- David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies 3D at IMDb