Jessica Ware

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Jessica Ware
photo of Jessica Ware
Jessica Lee Ware

Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career

Jessica Lee Ware is a Canadian-American evolutionary biologist and entomologist.[1][2] She is the associate curator of Odonata & non-holometabolous insect orders at the American Museum of Natural History, New York.[3] In addition, she is a principal investigator at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and an associate professor for the Richard Gilder Graduate School. She studies the evolution of insect physiology and behavior, particularly dragonflies and dictyoptera, as well as their biogeography (their geographic distribution).[4] Ware was a contributor to a major study of the phylogenomics of insect evolution,[5] and developed molecular phylogeny of hexapoda.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Jessica Lee Ware was born in 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, one of twins (her twin is artist and activist Syrus Marcus Ware).[2] Ware has said that she became interested in biology because her grandparents, Gwen and Harold Irons, in northern Canada encouraged her to collect snakes, insects, and frogs.[7] Ware attended the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) for grades 7-13. Ware earned a bachelor of science in invertebrate zoology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2001.[2] She pursued entomology after working in the University's Entomological Museum to support herself during her studies.[2]

After graduating, Ware traveled to Costa Rica to work with Diane Srivastava for a semester. She reports that her time there led to her to choose research as a career, and it was also her first experience of working with other scientists of color.[2]

Ware went directly from her bachelor's degree to the doctoral program at Rutgers University.[2] She was awarded a PhD in 2008, with a dissertation titled, Molecular and morphological systematics of Libelluloidea (Odonata: Anisoptera) and Dictyoptera.[8]


In 2010, she was appointed as an associate professor at Rutgers University.[2] She is was hired as an associate curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York,[4] in 2020 and is also a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History.[2] Ware contributed to a major study of the phylogenomics of insect evolution,[5] and developed molecular phylogeny of hexapoda.[6] She has undertaken fieldwork in several continents.[2]

Ware is the PI and lead coordinator of her lab working over multiple PhD, masters, and undergraduate students working on research in the entomological field.

Ware is active in encouraging women and people from under-represented groups to become entomologists.[2][7] She was a featured speaker at the March for Science in Washington DC in 2017.[9][10][11][1] She is a contributor to Entomology Today,[12] and serves on the board of several entomological journals.[2]

As of May 7, 2020, Ware is Vice President-Elect of the Entomological Society of America (to start her term in November 2020).[13]

From 2019–2021, she is serving as the President of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association.[14]

She has been featured on Jonathan Van Ness's podcast.[15] She co-founded Entomologists of Color ([16] and co-organized #BlackInEnto week in February 2021 ( [17]


Ware is the recipient of a National Science Foundation career grant,[18][19] as well as an Entomological Society of America Snodgrass Memorial Research Award,[20] which recognizes "outstanding research by a graduate student".[21] In 2008, she was one of the winners of the Entomological Society of America's John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award.[22] Ware also received the Leader in Faculty Diversity Award. This Rutgers wide award "honors a select number of faculty who have been leaders in promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and access at Rutgers, either through their own academic research, teaching, community engagement research, and other forms of engagement". Dr. Ware was nominated for and won a PECASE award from the U.S. Government in 2019.[23] Ware currently serves on the Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America, representing the SysEB section.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Ware was married to another entomologist, however they are now separated and she is a single parent to two children.[2][7] Ware identifies as bisexual.[25]


  1. ^ a b Lerner, Sharon (April 22, 2017). "Why They March: "Science and Scientists Are Now Under Attack"". The Intercept. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Riddick, EW; Samuel-Foo, M; Bryan, WW; Simmons, AM (2015). Memoirs of Black Entomologists: Reflections on Childhood, University, and Career Experiences. Entomological Society of America. pp. 120–121. ISBN 9780977620999.
  3. ^ "Profile: Jessica L. Ware". Rutgers–Newark Colleges of Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Jessica Ware". AMNH. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b Misof, B; Liu, S; Meusemann, K; Peters, RS; Donath, A; Mayer, C; Frandsen, PB; Ware, J; Flouri, T; Beutel, RG; Niehuis, O; Petersen, M; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F; Wappler, T; Rust, J; Aberer, AJ; Aspöck, U; Aspöck, H; Bartel, D; Blanke, A; Berger, S; Böhm, A; Buckley, TR; Calcott, B; Chen, J; Friedrich, F; Fukui, M; Fujita, M; Greve, C; et al. (7 November 2014). "Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution" (PDF). Science. 346 (6210): 763–7. Bibcode:2014Sci...346..763M. doi:10.1126/science.1257570. PMID 25378627. S2CID 36008925.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b Kjer, Karl; Carle, Frank; Litman, Jesse; Ware, Jessica L (October 2006). "A molecular phylogeny of Hexapoda". Arthropod Syst Phylogeny. 64 (1): 35–44. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Jessica Ware – Untamed Science". Untamed Science. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  8. ^ Ware, Jessica Lee (2008). Molecular and morphological systematics of Libelluloidea (Odonata: Anisoptera) and Dictyoptera. New Brunswick: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  9. ^ Fox, Maggie (22 April 2017). "March for Science Demonstrators Say They're the Real Patriots". NBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  10. ^ Lerner, Laurence (24 April 2017). "Professor Jessica Ware Gets Featured Speaker Slot at March for Science". Rutgers University News. Rutgers University. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  11. ^ Yong, Ed (April 23, 2017). "How the March for Science Finally Found Its Voice". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  12. ^ "Jessica Ware – Entomology Today". Entomological Society of America. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Jessica Ware Elected as Vice President-Elect of Entomological Society of America | Entomological Society of America". Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  14. ^ "Worldwide Dragonfly Association: Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  15. ^ Van Ness, Jonathan. "Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness". Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  16. ^ Ware, Jessica. "Entomologists of Color". Entopoc. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  17. ^ Ware, Jessica. "BlackInEnto". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Prof. Jessica Ware (SEBS '08) Wins Prestigious NSF Early CAREER Award". Rutgers University. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  19. ^ "NSF Award Search". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Winners of the SysEB Section Snodgrass Memorial Research Award". Entomological Society of America. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (SysEB) Snodgrass Memorial Research Award". Entomological Society of America. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Winners of the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award". Entomological Society of America. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  23. ^ Ware, Jessica. "PECASE". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Jessica L. Ware | Entomological Society of America". Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  25. ^ "Jessica Ware".

External links[edit]