Dear ISH members,

In 2022 the President-Elect position and the Student Representative are up for election.

The President-Elect is a 2-year position, followed by 2 years as President, and then 2 years as Past-President.

The Student Representative will serve for two years, and their responsibilities will include in particular:

  • Preparing reports on ISH student activities to be presented at yearly business meetings
  • Taking part in ISH Executive meetings
  • Organising student lunches in connection with in person meetings
  • Updating the student of ISH Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Helping with setting up student competitions

Nominations closed on October 10, 2022, and the candidate biographies are below. You must be a financial member and logged-in to the website to vote for the President-Elect. You must be a financial student member and logged-in to the website to vote for the Student Represetative.

The Nominating Committee:

  • Petr Janšta
  • Miles Zhang
  • Dominique Zimmerman


You must be a financial member and logged-in to the website to vote for the President-Elect.


Juanita Rodriguez

Juanita Rodriguez is a research scientist and Hymenoptera curator at the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC). Her research focuses on the use of morphological and molecular data to study the systematics, diversification, evolution and historical biogeography of various Hymenoptera groups (Pompilidae, Mutillidae, bees and others). She grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, where she obtained her B.Sc and M.Sc degrees at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. In 2014 she obtained her Ph.D. at Utah State University. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Auburn University between 2014-2016. In August 2016 she joined the Australian National Insect Collection.

Juanita’s lab is dynamic, uses the latest techniques and actively encourages inclusiveness and diversity. During her time at ANIC she has mentored one honours, one master’s and three PhD students and is currently supervising two postdoctoral researchers. She has enthusiastically worked to become a role model for young women and POC in entomology. Juanita has numerous national and international collaborations, which are testament to her strengths in fostering cross-disciplinary science, collaborating with researchers from diverse fields such as morphometrics, venom biochemistry, insect sensory systems and geological stratigraphy. She serves as a subject editor for Austral Entomology journal and is a member of the editorial board of Systematic Entomology and Current Research in Insect Science journal.

Juanita has been an active member of the International Society of Hymenopterists since the start of her PhD in 2008. In 2010, she was awarded second place for the ISH student award. As a president, Juanita would work to improve diversity and inclusion in the society, increase participation from underrepresented groups and members from developing nations. One of the main obstacles for scientists from developing countries where English is not their first language is being required to publish in English to reach the broader scientific community. Juanita would work towards a program to fund English translation and editorial services for members who require it.

Matt Buffington

Matt Buffington received his Master’s Degree from Texas A&M University in 2000, mentored by Bob Wharton and Jim Woolley.  Returning to his native California, he then went on to earn his PhD at UC Riverside with John Heraty and John Pinto.  Following graduation in 2005, Matt then went on to a postdoctoral position with Fredrik Ronquist at Florida State University.  In 2006, Matt joined the Hymenoptera Unit of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, stationed at the National Museum of Natural History, where he remains to this day.   Throughout his career, Matt has focused on the systematics of Cynipoidea, with an emphasis on the entomophagous Figitidae.

Matt is interested in all aspects of Hymenoptera research, from ‘field to bottle to genome’, as it were.  He likes to experiment with novel collecting and sorting techniques, labeling techniques, and scientific photography.  Matt also enjoys mentoring students and interns at the NMNH and nearby universities, with an emphasis on basic systematics, taxonomy, anatomy and curation. He has also co-organized seven offerings of The Hym Course. Presently, he is involved in collaborative efforts reconstructing the Hymenoptera Tree of Life, as well as more focused work on species-limits questions within the cynipoid wasps.

The International Society of Hymenopterists has been a cornerstone of Matt’s career, where he has met so many mentors, colleagues and friends.  If elected, Matt would like to examine the current role and impact of ISH with respect to young and emerging scientists.  Questions such as ‘What can we do better?’ and ‘What are we already doing, and not realizing the impact?’ come to mind. It is critical to Matt that the needs of young Hymenopterists are being heard, and met, with as much enthusiasm and energy as possible. 

Student Representative

You must be a financial student member and logged-in to the website to vote for the Student Represetative.


Luke Kresslein

Robert L. Kresslein (Luke) is a sixth-year graduate student at the University of California, Riverside who works alongside John Heraty studying the phylogenomics and taxonomy of the chalcid family Aphelinidae, with particular focus paid to the megadiverse whitefly parasitoid Encarsia.

Luke has been involved with the International Society of Hymenopterists since beginning graduate school in 2017 and has gotten to work closely with many of its regular members, as well as student and early career professional members around the globe. As the student representative, it is his goal to advocate for the needs and wants of ISH’s student/ECP members to ensure our voices are heard by the senior members of the community. Additionally, Luke wants to enhance global participation of students to increase the diversity of taxa represented by the society and its publications, as well as the diversity of racial, ethnic, sex, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds belonging to ISH’s membership. In particular he would like to encourage greater socialization between the global student body of ISH (online and during conferences) and ensure that a diversity of student voices are represented in ISH’s annual meetings and during the #Hymathon online symposium.

Jessica Awad

I am a third-year doctoral student at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart, studying the taxonomy of Platygastrinae under the supervision of Lars Krogmann and Elijah Talamas. I did my master’s at the University of Florida, also on the taxonomy of Platygastrinae. I’ve been a member of ISH since 2018. In 2021 and 2022, I co-organized our very successful online Hymathon conference, and I currently serve as interim student representative. 

If elected, my main focus would be to continue and improve our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Through Hymathon and through our dues waiver program, we have made good progress in bringing in more colleagues from underrepresented countries. I would like to find new ways to make sure society membership and participation is possible for all students of Hymenoptera. Language can be a major barrier, so if we could provide support or subgroups in different languages, we could welcome more diversity from different countries. Additionally, I would make sure that student competitions are fair and that the metrics are clear, and advocate for opportunities for students to receive funding and other resources.

ISH is a really great professional organization that has done a lot for me, so I would be happy to give back by serving as student representative. Thanks for your consideration.