MacArthur Fellows Program

Philip James DeVries

Insect Biologist | Class of 1988

Insect Biologist
Austin, Texas
36 at time of award
Published August 1, 1988

About Philip's Work

Philip DeVries is an ecologist specializing in tropical butterflies.

His books, The Butterflies of Costa Rica and their Natural History (1987), and The Butterflies of Costa Rica and their Natural History II: Riodinidae (1997) are standard references for specialists and are benchmarks for understanding Neotropical butterflies.  Since butterflies are key indicators of biological diversity, his work has been an important catalyst in conservation efforts throughout the Neotropics.  DeVries is studying disturbance effects on vertical, horizontal and temporal patterns of diversity in Amazonian butterfly communities, and investigating the role of acoustical calls in the evolution and maintenance of the symbioses between butterfly caterpillars and ants.


DeVries is an associate professor of biology at the University of New Orleans, an adjunct professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and an adjunct professor of entomology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He also served as a research associate at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Missouri Botanical Garden.  DeVries has published numerous articles and has served as scientific advisor for many natural history films.

DeVries received a B.S. (1974) from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Texas.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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