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Jon Gelhaus, Ph.D.

Jon Gelhaus, PhD

Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Curator, Department of Entomology, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science


  • BS, Entomology, University of California at Davis, 1978
  • MA, Entomology, University of Kansas, 1983
  • PhD, Entomology, University of Kansas, 1989

Research Interests:

I am a systematist with research interests ranging from phylogenetic reconstruction, historical and ecological biogeography, biodiversity measures and evolution of morphological character systems. My systematic expertise is in insects, specifically crane flies (Tipuloidea), an insect group of nearly 16,000 described species worldwide found in a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Current research projects include: inventory and endemism of aquatic insects in Mongolia (; the evolution of crane flies in the deserts of western North America and its application to understanding the historical biogeography of these regions; development of identification keys for larval and adult crane flies in the New World; crane fly communities of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, focusing on the New Jersey Pine Barrens.


Current Funded Projects (2014) include:

  • Survey and Inventory of the Aquatic Insects of the Altai and Hangai Mountains’ drainages, Mongolia. $720,000. (with J. Morse, C. R. Nelson), NSF: Biodiversity Inventories (DEB-0743732), FUNDED for 2008-2012.
  • A digital species index to The Academy of Natural Sciences’ Entomology Collection. $150,000. IMLS-Museums for America, MA-05-10-0001-10. FUNDED Oct. 2010-Sept. 2014.
  • Renovation of the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Entomology Department Research Collection & Associated Lab. $1,051,265. (with D. Otte). NSF: DEB: Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI). DBI-0963474. FUNDED Oct 2010-Sept. 2014.
  • Aquatic crane fly diversity and seasonality in the Chesapeake Watershed: sampling along a transect from estuarine to freshwater.  $26,000.  ANSP ERC.  FUNDED 2014.



Selected Publications:

  • Maasri, A., and J.K. Gelhaus. 2011. The new era of livestock production in Mongolia: Consequences on streams of the Great Lakes Depression. Science of the Total Environment 409: 4841-4846. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.08.005 published 9/1/2011
  • Podenas, S. and J.K. Gelhaus. 2011. Three new species of Chioneinae crane flies (Diptera: Limoniidae) from north-central Mongolia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences 161: 73-86
  • Gelhaus, J. 2012. The census of aquatic insect biodiversity and water quality in Mongolia: Results from the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey 2002-2011, pp. 89-90 IN: A. Stubbe, ed. International Symposium “Biodiversity Research in Mongolia”. Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany, 25-29 March 2012
  • Gelhaus, J., R. Clark. 2012. Beauty in a Box. The Titian Peale Butterfly and Moth Collection. Gelhaus (text), Clark (photography). EXEL Magazine 2012: 48-59.
  • Gelhaus, J.K. and A. Ruggeri. 2012. A review of the crane fly genus Epiphragma (Diptera, Tipuloidea, Tipulidae s.l.) in North America (including Mexico). Canadian Entomologist 144: 1-23.
  • Maasri, A., and J.K. Gelhaus. 2012. Stream invertebrate communities of Mongolia: current structure and expected changes due to climate change. Aquatic Biosystems 8 (18): 1-13.
  • Podenas, S., J.K. Gelhaus, and V. Podeniene. 2013. An overview of the Tipulomorpha and Ptychopteromorpha crane flies (Diptera) of Mongolia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences 162: 111-123.
  • Podeniene, V. and J.K. Gelhaus. 2013. Larva of Protanyderus stackelbergi Savchenko, 1971 (Diptera: Ptychopteromorpha, Tanyderidae) from Mongolia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences 162: 125-132.