Welcome to the California Department of Food and Agriculture

Top Left Column Heading

Bottom Left Column Heading

CDFA Logo

Right Column Heading

Plant Pest Diagnostics Center

Kevin Williams

Dr. Kevin A. Williams

Associate Insect Biosystematist

Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, U.S.A.
916-738-6685 office, 916-262-1190 fax, kevin.williams@cdfa.ca.gov

 

Quick Links

 

Curriculum vitae

Education

  • 2012, Ph.D., Biology / Insect Systematics, Utah State University, Logan
  • 2005, B.S., Entomology, University of California, Davis
  • 2003, A.S., General Sciences, Yuba Community College, Marysville, California

Employment

  • 2016-present, Associate Insect Biosystematist, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento
  • 2014-2016, Biological Scientist IV, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville, Florida
  • 2013, Postdoctoral Researcher, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
  • 2012-2013, Agricultural Technician, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento
  • 2005-2012, Laboratory Instructor, Utah State University, Logan
  • 2006-2011, Research Assistant, Utah State University, Logan
  • 2009, Lecturer, Utah State University, Logan
  • 2003-2005, Agricultural Technician, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento
  • 2002-2003, Agriculture Inspector Aide, Sacramento County Department of Agriculture, Sacramento
  • 2002-2003, Laboratory Preparation Assistant, Yuba Community College, Marysville, California

Publications

  1. Luz, D. R., B.B. Rosa, K.A. Williams, & G.A.R. Melo. 2016. An uncommon feeding habit: mutillid wasps (Hymenoptera, Mutillidae) visiting extrafloral nectaries in Malpighiaceae. Brazilian Journal of Biology AHEAD (2016): (link to early view).
  2. Azevedo, C.O., A.D. Molin, A. Penteado-Dias, A.C.C. Macedo, B. Rodriguez-V., B.Z.K. Dias, C. Waichert, D. Aquino, D.R. Smith, E.M. Shimbori, F.B. Noll, G.Gibson, H.C. Onody, J.M. Carpenter, J.E. Lattke, K.S. Ramos, K.A. Williams, L. Masner, L.S. Kimsey, M.T. Tavares, M. Olmi, M.L. Buffington, M. Ohl, M. Sharkey, N.F. Johnson, R. Kawada, R.M. Feitosa, R.B. Gonçalves, S.L. Heydon, T.M. Guerra, T.S.R. da Silva, & V. Costa. 2015. Checklist of the genera of Hymenoptera (Insecta) from Espírito Santo, Brazil. Boletim do Museu de Biologia Mello Leitão, 37(3): 313-343.
  3. Bartholomay, P.R., K.A. Williams, D.R. Luz, & E. Morato. 2015. Frigitilla gen. nov., a new genus of Amazonian Mutillidae (Hymenoptera). Zootaxa, 3957: 49–58.
  4. Bartholomay, P.R., K.A. Williams, G.C. Waldren, & M.L. De Oliveira. 2015. Corrections on the biology of Traumatomutilla André, 1901 (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Zootaxa, 3920(1), 198-200.
  5. Medal, J., A.S. Cruz, K.A. Williams, S. Fraser, D. Wolaver, T. Smith, & B.J. Davis. 2015. First Record of Paratelenomus saccharalis (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) on Kudzu Bug Megacopta cribraria (Heteroptera: Plataspidae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist,98: 1250-1251.
  6. Wilson, J. S., J.P. Jahner, M.L. Forister, E.S. Sheehan, K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2015. North American velvet ants form one of the world’s largest known Müllerian mimicry complexes. Current Biology, 25(16), R704-R706.
  7. Brothers, D.J., D.G. Manley, & K.A. Williams. 2014. Case 3643: Mutilla clytemnestra Fox, 1899 (currently Dasymutilla clytemnestra) and Mutilla clytemnestra Péringuey, 1899 (currently Mutilla dasya Péringuey, 1899): maintenance of current usage (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Aculeata, VESPOIDEA, MUTILLIDAE), Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 71: 13-16.
  8. Luz, D.R., & K.A. Williams. 2014. The first sexual associations in the genus Darditilla Casal, 1965 (Hymenoptera, Mutillidae). ZooKeys 454: 41-68.
  9. Waichert, C., C.O. Azevedo, R.B. Ferreira, & K.A. Williams. 2013. Range extension of Plumarius brasiliensis Penteado-Dias and Scatolini, 2003 (Hymenoptera: Plumariidae) in Northeastern Brazil. Check List, 9: 626-627.
  10. Williams, K.A., & J.P. Pitts. 2013. Mexican and Caribbean additions to the Dasymutilla bioculata species-group (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 106:429-436.
  11. Wilson, J.S., J.P. Jahner, K.A. Williams, & M.L. Forister. 2013. Ecological and evolutionary processes drive the origin and maintenance of imperfect mimicry. PLoS ONE, 8: e61610.
  12. Boehme, N.F., K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2012. Faunal study of velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) and their activity patterns and habitat preference at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, Nevada, USA. Zootaxa, 2587: 1-45.
  13. Williams, K.A., D.G. Manley, M. Deyrup, C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. 2012. Systematic review of the Dasymutilla monticola species-group (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae): using phylogenetics to address species-group placement and sex associations. Zootaxa, 3554: 1-29.
  14. Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, M.L. Forister, C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. 2012. Rapid Evolution in overlapping mimicry rings among North American velvet ants. Nature Communications, 3:1272-1278.
  15. Wilson, J.S., S.L. Clark, K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2012. Historical biogeography of the arid-adapted velvet ant Sphaeropthalma arota (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) reveals cryptic species. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 336-352.
  16. Williams, K.A., D.G. Manley, E.M. Pilgrim, C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. 2011. Multi-faceted assessment of species validity in the Dasymutilla bioculata species-group (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Systematic Entomology 36: 180-191.
  17. Williams, K.A., D.J. Brothers, & J.P. Pitts. 2011. New species of Tobantilla Casal, 1965 and a new genus and species, Gogoltilla chichikovi gen. et sp. nov., from Argentina (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Zootaxa, 3064: 41-68.
  18. Brabant, C., K. A. Williams, & J. P. Pitts. 2010. True females of the Photomorphus subgenus Photomorphina Schuster (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Zootaxa, 2559: 58–68.
  19. Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, K.A. Williams, & N.F. Boehme. 2010. Nocturnal velvet ant males (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of Deep Canyon, California including four new species and a fifth new species from Owens Lake Valley, California. Zootaxa, 2553: 1–34.
  20. Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2010. Preliminary Assessment of velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) diversity in the deserts of southern California. Western North American Naturalist, 70 (2): 224-232.
  21. Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, C.F. Gunnell, & J.P. Pitts. 2010. Preliminary phylogeography of the widespread, arid-adapted antlion Brachynemurus sackeni Hagen (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 804709: 1-7.
  22. Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, D. Tanner, & J.P. Pitts. 2010. Nectaring by nocturnal velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Southwestern Naturalist, 55:443-444.
  23. Pilgrim, E.M., K.A. Williams, D.G. Manley, & J.P. Pitts. 2009. Addressing the Dasymutilla quadriguttata species-group and species-complex (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae): several distinct species or a single, morphologically variable species? Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 82 (3): 231-249.
  24. Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, K.A. Williams, & N.F. Boehme. 2009. Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of the Algodones Sand Dunes of California, USA. Zootaxa, 2131: 1-53.
  25. Williams, K.A., & J.P. Pitts. 2009. Eight New species of Lomachaeta Mickel and the Synonymy of Smicromutilla Mickel (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 18: 227-243.
  26. Pilgrim, E.M., K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2008. Sex association and synonymy in Southwestern U.S. species of Dasymutilla (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 84: 58-69.
  27. Williams, K.A., & J.P. Pitts. 2008. Three Species Masquerading as One: Updating the Taxonomy of Pseudomethoca russeola Mickel and P. donaeanae (Cockerell & Fox) (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 17: 127-133.
  28. Williams, K.A., & J.P. Pitts. 2007. New species of predominately temperate velvet ant genera Lomachaeta Mickel and Sphaeropthalma Blake from Central America and northern South America (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 133: 297-326.
  29. Williams, K.A. & D.G. Manley. 2006. A New Color Variant of Dasymutilla gloriosa (Saussure) from Mexico (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 82:103-104.
  30. Manley, D.G. & K.A. Williams. 2005. A New Color Variant of Dasymutilla atricauda Mickel from Imperial County, California (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 81:184-185.

Presentations

  1. Williams, K.A., Identification of families and subfamilies of Aculeata (Hymenoptera), HymCourse 2015, Anillaco, La Rioja, Argentina. March 2015
  2. Williams, K.A., Morphology of Hymenoptera, HymCourse 2015, Anillaco, La Rioja, Argentina. March 2015
  3. Williams, K.A., Detecting Cerceris to detect Emerald Ash Borer, CAPS Giant African Land Snail Survey, Orlando, FL, USA. August 2014
  4. Williams, K.A. Florida’s stinging wasps, Entomology Summer Camp, Gainesville, FL, USA. July 2014
  5. Williams, K.A. Mimicry and biodiversity in velvet ants, Entomology Seminars, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. February 2014
  6. Williams, K.A. Neotropical Mutillidae: overview and genus identification, Nucleus for Excellence in Systematics of Hymenoptera, Vitoria, ES, Brazil, July 2013
  7. Williams, K.A. Investigações no mimetismo e taxonomia dos mutilídeos, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil, May 2013
  8. Williams, K.A. Mutillid mimicry madness: Colorful insights into the largest mimetic complex, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA, USA. March 2013
  9. Williams, K.A. Colorful insights into mimicry and biodiversity in velvet ants, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA, USA. February 2013
  10. Williams, K.A. Mutillid mimicry madness: Colorful insights into the largest mimetic complex, Pacific Coast Entomological Society Meeting, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, USA. February 2013
  11. Williams, K.A. Fuzzy logic and fuzzy wasps: A Holistic Systematic Approach to velvet ant research, Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, CA, USA. January 2013
  12. Williams, K.A. The velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of Trinidad: A springboard for biodiversity studies in South America.  Intermountain West Graduate Student Symposium, Logan, UT, April, 2012
  13. Williams, K.A., A.W. Hook, & J.P. Pitts. The Mutillidae (Hymenoptera) of Trinidad: Matching sexes in limited space. Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, Reno, NV, USA, November 2011 (poster)
  14. Williams, K.A., C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. Phylogenetic studies of Dasymutilla and their relatives shed light on mimicry, biodiversity, and biogeography (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, Reno, NV, November 2011
  15. Williams, K.A. Hymenoptera Diversity in the Great Basin National Park. Presented to volunteers and park staff during the Great Basin National Park’s annual Bioblitz, Baker, NV, USA. August 2011
  16. Williams, K.A., J.S. Wilson, C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. Investigations of Dual Sex-Limited Mimicry in the Thistledown Velvet Ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Intermountain West Graduate Student Symposium, Logan, UT, USA, April, 2011. Second Place
  17. Gunnell, C., J.S. Wilson, K.A. Williams, & J.P. Pitts. 2010. Do phylogenetic relationships based solely on ITS1 & 2 adequately represent evolution?. Undergraduate Research Symposium, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA, December 2010 (poster)
  18. Perez, S.M., K.A. Williams & J.P. Pitts. Identification and differentiation of females in the Odontophotopsis parva and O. venusta species-groups (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Undergraduate Research Symposium, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA, December 2010 (poster)
  19. Williams, K.A., J.S. Wilson, & J.P. Pitts. Does the Thistledown Velvet Ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) mimic Creosote seeds? A phylogenetic approach. Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, December 2010. Second Place
  20. Williams, K.A., C.D. von Dohlen, & J.P. Pitts. Mimicry confuses taxonomy: Lessons from the Dasymutilla bioculata species-group (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Intermountain West Graduate Student Symposium, Logan, UT, USA, March, 2010. First Place
  21. Williams, K.A. Phylogenetic investigation of mimicry complexes in Dasymutilla (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, Reno, NV, USA, November, 2008. Second Place
  22. Williams, K.A. Phylogenetic investigation of mimicry complexes in Dasymutilla (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Presented to the Utah State University Entomology Club, Logan, UT, USA. October 2008
  23. Williams, K.A. & J.P. Pitts. Coping with confusing coloration: molecular and morphological analysis of the Dasymutilla occidentalis species-complex (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Entomological Society of America, National meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, December, 2007 (poster)
  24. Williams, K.A. & J.S. Wilson. Diversity of insects in Jackson, Wyoming. Presented to the public at the Teton Science School, Jackson, Wyoming in conjunction with a Bioblitz and visit from E. O. Wilson. October 2007
  25. Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, & K.A. Williams. Phylogenetics of the Nearctic Nocturnal velvet ant genus Odontophotopsis Viereck (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America meeting, Portland, OR, USA, March, 2007 (poster)
  26. Williams, K.A., E.M. Pilgrim, & J.P. Pitts. Synonymies and sex associations in the velvet ant genus Dasymutilla (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America meeting, Portland, OR, USA, March, 2007. First Place (poster)

Grants

  • 2013, Programa Ciéncia sem Fronteiras – Boslas no País modalidade atração de Jovens Talentos [Science without Borders program – grants for attracting young talents to the coutry], Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). Complexos miméticos em vespas da família Mutillidae (Insecta, Hymenoptera): padrões de mimetismo e diversidade nos biomas brasileiros [Mimicry complexes in wasps of the family Mutillidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera): patterns of mimicry and diversity in Brasilian biomes] (co-written with Gariel Melo). Br R$ 191,400 [~USD $90,000]
  • 2009, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant, American Museum of Natural History. Transectional Survey of Mutillidae (Hymenoptera) across the Deming Plain. $1600
  • 2007, Research Grant, California Desert Research Fund, Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Endemism and diversity in velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of the Southern California deserts (co-written with James Pitts and Joseph Wilson). $3,194
  • 2006, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant, American Museum of Natural History. Revision of Nearctic Pseudomethoca Ashmead (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). $1200

Awards

  • Second Place - Graduate student oral presentations, 15 minute talks in Biology: Investigations of Dual Sex-Limited Mimicry in the Thistledown Velvet Ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Intermountain West Graduate Student Symposium, Logan, UT, USA, 5 April, 2011
  • Second Place - Students Competition for the President’s Prize, 10 minute talks: Does the Thistledown Velvet Ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) mimic Creosote seeds? A phylogenetic approach. Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, San Diego, CA, 15 Dec. 2010
  • First Place - Graduate student oral presentations, 15 minute talks in Biology: Mimicry confuses taxonomy: Lessons from the Dasymutilla bioculata species-group (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Intermountain West Graduate Student Symposium, Logan, UT, 31 March, 2010
  • Second Place - Students Competition for the President’s Prize, 10 minute talks: Phylogenetic Investigation of mimicry complexes in Dasymutilla Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Entomological Society of America, National Meeting, Reno, NV, 15 Nov. 2008
  • First Place - Student Poster Competition: Synonymies and sex associations in the velvet ant genus Dasymutilla Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Entomological Society of America: Pacific Branch Meeting, Portland, OR, 15 March 2007

Courses Taught

  • HymCourse 2015. Workshop on Hymenoptera research and identification for 20 students in La Rioja Argentina. The other three instructors worked for the USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory.
  • Biology 3500, Plagues, Pests, and People. Lecture course (21 students), Spring 2009, Utah State University. Course for non-majors about the impact of infectious diseases on human history, emphasizing insect-vectored diseases.
  • Biology 5530, Insect Systematics Laboratory. One section (8-14 students) per semester, Fall 2005, 2007, 2011, Utah State University. Course for Biology majors and graduate students about insect identification and classification.
  • Biology 1610. General Biology Laboratory. One to three sections (30 students) per semester, Fall 2005-2010, Utah State University. Subjects included: microscopy, cell division, Mendelian genetics, DNA fingerprinting, plant diversity.
  • Biology 1620, General Biology Laboratory. One to three sections (30 students) per semester, Spring 2006-2008, 2010, 2011, Utah State University. Subjects included: population genetics, phylogenetics, scientific method, animal diversity.
  • Biology 1610, 1620. Honors Biology Laboratory. One section (15-20 students) per semester, Fall 2011-Spring  2012, Utah State University. Identical to General 1610 and 1620 labs, except students were required to summarize and present scientific publications that related to each given lab.