For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Jon Gelhaus, Ph.D.

Jon Gelhaus, PhD

Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Curator, Department of Entomology, ANS
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: macroinvertebrate ecology and river functioning at multiple scales in grassland ecosystems in Mongolia and United States (insects and flow, B. Erdene, Ph.D. student); inventory and endemism of aquatic insects in Mongolia; insect communities of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, focusing on the New Jersey Pine Barrens (role of fire and insects, S. Mason, Ph.D student); Revisionary systematics and development of identification keys for aquatic larval and adult crane flies in the New World (Nippotipula of North America, with V. Shirey, Drexel recent graduate); Inventory of Tipuloidea of a mid-elevation tropical forest site in Costa Rica (ZADBI Project); the evolution of crane flies in the deserts of western North America and its application to understanding the historical biogeography of these regions.

Current Funded Projects include:

  • Strengthening our knowledge of Mongolia's aquatic insect fauna and its use in water quality monitoring and predicting impacts from climate change.  J. Gelhaus, PI.  $20,000.  Trust for Mutual Understanding, NY.  2017-2018.
  • Digitization PEN: The addition of OrthopNet to SCAN.  J. Gelhaus, PI, $174,861.  NSF: DBI-Digitization Program. July 2016-June 2019.
  • Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: Lepidoptera of North America Network: Documenting Diversity in the Largest Clade of Herbivores.  SUBAWARD to ANSP, J. Gelhaus.  $104,669.  (N. Cobb, No. Arizona Univ., Lead PI, $3.2 million total award) 2016-2021.
  • Collaborative Research: Hierarchical Functioning of River Macrosystems in Temperate Steppes: From Continental to Hydrogeomorphic Patch Scales.  Collaborative proposal from The Academy of Natural Sciences, J. Gelhaus, A. Maasri, P.I., $456,735.  NSF- Macrosystems Program.  (J, Thorp, Univ of Kansas Lead PI, $4.2 million total request).  2015-2020. 


Courses Taught:

  • ENVS 201 Practical Identification of Plants and Animals (Fall)
  • ENVS 328/528  Conservation Biology (Winter)
  • ENVS 335/535 Aquatic Insects and Water Quality (with Stefanie Kroll) (alternate years)

Drexel PhD Students:

  • Mr. Robert Conrow (2017-Present)
  • Ms. Bolortsetseg Erdenee (2014-Present)
  • Mr. Stephen Mason Jr. (2014-Present)
  • Mr. Joseph Sweeney (2018-Present)

Selected Publications:

  • 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. (*)
  • Mederos-Lopez, J. and J. Gelhaus. 2014.  A new Neotropical species of Trentepohlia (Mongoma) (Diptera: Tipulidae) from Cuba.  Transactions of the American Entomological Society 140: 137-144.    (*)
  • Podenas, S., V. Podeniene and J. Gelhaus.  2014.  A new species of Heterangaeus Alexander, 1925 crane flies (Diptera: Pediciidae) from north-central Mongolia with first description of the larva for the genus.  Zootaxa 3814 (2): 259-274.  (*)
  • Yadamsuren**, O., B. Hayford, J. Gelhaus, L. Ariuntsetseg, C. Goulden, S. Podenas and V. Podeniene.  2015. Declines in diversity of crane flies (Diptera: Tipuloidea) indicate impact from grazing by livestock in the Hövsgöl region of Mongolia. Journal of Insect Conservation 19(3): 465-477.  DOI 10.1007/s10841-015-9767-4  (*)
  • Podeniene, V. and J. Gelhaus.  2015.  Review of the last instar larvae and pupae of Hexatoma (Eriocera) and Hexatoma (Hexatoma) (Diptera, Limoniidae, Limnophilinae).  Zootaxa. 4021 (1): 093–118  (*)
  • Rozkošný R, M. Hauser  and J. K. Gelhaus.  2016.  Caloparyphus palaearcticus sp. n. (Diptera, Stratiomyidae), the first record for the soldier fly genus in the Palaearctic. ZooKeys 594: 111-122. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.594.7750  (*)
  • Gelhaus, J., & J. Weintraub  2016.  Frank D. Fee Collection to the Academy of
    Natural Sciences of Drexel University Philadelphia, PA, USA (ANSP).  Fly Times 56:3-4. 
  • Erdenee B.**, Maasri A., Gelhaus J. K., Bayartogtokh B. (2016) A contribution to mayfly studies  of Western Mongolia (Insecta, Ephemeroptera). ZooKeys 638: 105-123. (*)
  • Katja C. Seltmann, Neil S. Cobb, Lawrence F. Gall, Charles R. Bartlett, M. Anne Basham, Isabelle Betancourt, Christy Bills, Benjamin Brandt, Richard L. Brown, Charles Bundy, Michael S. Caterino, Caitlin Chapman, Anthony Cognato, Julia Colby, Stephen P. Cook, Kathryn M. Daly, Lee A. Dyer, Nico M. Franz, Jon K. Gelhaus, Christopher C. Grinter, Charles E. Harp, Rachel L. Hawkins, Steve L. Heydon, Geena M. Hill, Stacey Huber, Norman Johnson, Akito Y. Kawahara, Lynn S. Kimsey, Boris C. Kondratieff, Frank-Thorsten Krell, Luc Leblanc, Sangmi Lee, Christopher J. Marshall, Lindsie M. Mccabe, Joseph V. Mchugh, Katrina L. Menard, Paul A. Opler, Nicole Palffy-Muhoray, Nick Pardikes, Merrill A. Peterson, Naomi E. Pierce, Andre Poremski, Derek S. Sikes, Jason D. Weintraub, David Wikle, Jennifer M. Zaspel, Gregory Zolnerowich.  2017.  LepNet: The Lepidoptera of North America Network.  Zootaxa 4247 (1): 073-077. (*)
  • Podeniene, V. and J. K. Gelhaus. 2017.  The first description of the larva and pupa of crane fly genus Phyllolabis Osten Sacken, 1877 (Diptera, Limoniidae, Limnophilinae), with information for understanding the phylogenetic relationships and systematical position of the genus.  Zootaxa 4365 (5): 559–570. *  DOI:
  • Maasri, A., B. Hayford, B. Erdenee**, and J. Gelhaus. 2017. Macroscale drivers influencing the structural and functional organization of stream macroinvertebrate metacommunities: potential role of hydrological connectivity. Freshwater Science 37:159-168. * 
  • Art Borkent, Brian V. Brown, Peter H. Adler, Dalton de Souza Amorim, Kevin Barber, Daniel Bickel, Stephanie Boucher, Scott E. Brooks, John Burger, Z.L. Burington, Renato S. Capellari, Daniel N.R. Costa, Jeffrey M. Cumming, Greg Curler, Carl W. Dick, J.H. Epler, Eric Fisher, Stephen D. Gaimari, Jon Gelhaus, David A. Grimaldi, John Hash, Martin Hauser, Heikki Hippa, Sergio Ibáñez-Bernal, Mathias Jaschhof, Elena P. Kameneva, Peter H. Kerr, Valery Korneyev, Cheslavo A. Korytkowski, Giar-Ann Kung, Gunnar Mikalsen Kvifte, Owen Lonsdale, Stephen A. Marshall, Wayne Mathis, Verner Michelsen, Stefan Naglis, Allen L. Norrbom, Steven Paiero, Thomas Pape, Alessandre Pereira-Colavite, Marc Pollet, Sabrina Rochefort, Alessandra Rung, Justin B. Runyon, Jade Savage, Vera C. Silva, Bradley J. Sinclair, Jeffrey H. Skevington, John O. Stireman III, John Swann, Pekka Vilkamaa, Terry Wheeler, Terry Whitworth, Maria Wong, D. Monty Wood, Norman Woodley, Tiffany Yau, Thomas J. Zavortink, Manuel A. Zumbado.  2018.  Remarkable fly (Diptera) diversity in a patch of Costa Rican cloud forest: Why inventory is a vital science.  Zootaxa 4402 (1): 053–090. *
  • Gelhaus, J., Brodo, F., Young, C., Frommer, S. & May, E. 2018. A tribute to George W. Byers 16 May 1923 to 1 January 2018.  Fly Times 60 (April 2018): 55-67. 
  • Kato, D. **, T. Tachi & J. Gelhaus.  2018.  Revision of the subgenus Dicranomyia (Erostrata) Savchenko, 1976 (Diptera, Limoniidae) of Japan.  Zootaxa 4441 (1) : 181-194.*  June 27 2018  DOI:

* = peer reviewed

** = co-authored with student

Recent Presentations (2017-):

  • Gelhaus, J., V. Shirey and Y. Li.  2016.  Tipula (Nippotipula) abdominalis  (Diptera: Tipulidae), a common eastern Nearctic shredder crane fly, is actually three species.  Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA.  May 24, 2016 and International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, FL.  September 30, 2016
  • Gelhaus, J., V. Shirey and Y. Li.  2017.  The beautiful iconic aquatic crane fly Tipula abdominalis is actually three species: the intersection of taxonomy, aquatic ecology and citizen science.  North American Dipterists Society, Annual Meeting, Missoula MT.  June 27 2017.
  • Gelhaus, J. and G. Cowper. 2018.  Grasshoppers, Covered Wagons & the Wild West: Connecting Historical Field Notes to Specimens in the Academy's Entomology Collection.  The American Entomological Society, Philadelphia, PA Feb. 28, 2018
  • Gelhaus, J.  2018. Developing entomological science while chasing aquatic insects: over two decades of exploration in Mongolia.  Invited presentations at Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University (Fuzhou), Chinese Agricultural University (Beijing), and Shenyang Agricultural University (Shenyang), July 1-14, 2018.  Presented also on new initiatives in entomological collection digitization and on the Drexel BEES program.