Prof. Dr. Michael S. Engel

Michael S. Engel
  • Distinguished Professor & Senior Curator

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Public Safety Building, room #Suite 140


Entomology, Cornell University, 1998, Ithaca, NY


Morphological systematics of bees.

Research interests:

  • entomology
  • bees
  • systematics
  • taxonomy
  • comparative morphology
  • phylogenetics
  • historical biogeography
  • arthropod paleontology

Selected Publications

Badano, D., Engel, M. S., Basso, A., Wang, B., & Cerretti, P. (2018). Diverse Cretaceous larvae reveal the evolutionary and behavioural history of antlions and lacewings. [Journal Articles]. Nature Communications, 9, 3257., M. S. (2018). Innumerable Insects: The Story of the Most Diverse and Myriad Animals on Earth. [Books]. Sterling.Nel, A., Prokop, J., Pecharov├í, M., Engel, M. S., & Garrouste, R. (2018). Palaeozoic giant dragonflies were hawker predators. [Journal Articles]. Nature: Scientific Reports, 8(1), 12141., M. S., Winterton, S. L., & Breitkreuz, L. C. V. (2018). Phylogeny and evolution of Neuropterida: Where have wings of lace taken us? [Journal Articles]. Annual Review of Entomology, 63, 531–551., S., Chantawannakul, P., & Engel, M. S. (2018). Social bees and the current status of beekeeping in Indonesia. [Book Chapters]. In Asian Beekeeping in the 21st Century. (pp. 287–306). Springer Singapore., M., Perrard, A., Engel, M. S., Nel, A., & Michez, D. (2017). Antiquity of cleptoparasitism among bees revealed by morphometric and phylogenetic analysis of a Paleocene fossil nomadine (Hymenoptera: Apidae). [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 42(3), 543–554., M. S. (2017). Charles D. Michener (1918-2015): A life among the bees. [Journal Articles]. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 11(3), 243–247., M. J., & Engel, M. S. (2017). Charles D. Michener, 1918-2015. [Journal Articles]. Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences, 2017, 1–23.…, M. J., & Engel, M. S. (2017). Charles D. Michener, 1918-2015. [Journal Articles]. Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences, 2017, 1–23.Engel, M. S., Alqarni, A. S., & Shebl, M. A. (2017). Discovery of the bee tribe Tarsaliini in Arabia (Hymenoptera: Apidae), with the description of a new species. [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3877, 1–28., C., Huang, D., Newton, A. F., Eldredge, K. T., & Engel, M. S. (2017). Early evolution of specialized termitophily in Cretaceous rove beetles. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 27(8), 1229–1235.├ínchez-Garc├¡a, A., Delcl├▓s, X., Engel, M. S., Bird, G. J., Perrichot, V., & Pe├▒alver, E. (2017). Marsupial brood care in Cretaceous tanaidaceans. [Journal Articles]. Nature: Scientific Reports, 7, 4390., J., Pecharov├í, M., Nel, A., H├╢rnschemeyer, T., Krzemi┼äska, E., Krzemi┼äski, W., & Engel, M. S. (2017). Paleozoic nymphal wing pads support dual model of insect wing origins. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 27(2), 263–269., V. H., Smith-Pardo, A. H., & Engel, M. S. (2017). Phylogenetic relationships of a new genus of calliopsine bees from Peru, with a review of Spinoliella Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). [Journal Articles]. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 412, 1–71., M. S. (2016). Charles D. Michener (1918-2015): The compleat melittologist. [Journal Articles]. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 89(1), 1–44., B., Xia, F.-Y., Engel, M. S., Perrichot, V., Shi, G., Zhang, H.-C., Chen, J., Jarzembowski, E. A., Wappler, T., & Rust, J. (2016). Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects. [Journal Articles]. Science Advances, 2(6), e1501918., V., Wang, B., & Engel, M. S. (2016). Extreme morphogenesis and ecological specialization among Cretaceous basal ants. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 26(11), 1468–1472., Y.-H., Engel, M. S., Rafael, J. A., Wu, H.-Y., R├⌐dei, D., Xie, Q., Wang, G., Liu, X.-G., & Bu, W.-J. (2016). Fossil record of stem groups employed in evaluating the chronogram of insects (Arthropoda: Hexapoda). [Journal Articles]. Nature: Scientific Reports, 6, 38939., M. S. (2016). In memoriam: Charles D. Michener (1918-2015). [Journal Articles]. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, 152(1), 73–77.Engel, M. S., Barden, P., Riccio, M. L., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2016). Morphologically specialized termite castes and advanced sociality in the Early Cretaceous. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 26(4), 522–530., J., Nel, A., Engel, M. S., Pecharov├í, M., & H├╢rnschemeyer, T. (2016). New Carboniferous fossils of Spilapteridae enlighten postembryonic wing development in Palaeodictyoptera. [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 41(1), 178–190., D.-Y., Bechly, G., Nel, P., Engel, M. S., Prokop, J., Azar, D., Cai, C.-Y., van de Kamp, T., Staniczek, A. H., Garrouste, R., Krogmann, L., dos Santos Rolo, T., Baumbach, T., Ohlhoff, R., Shmakov, A. S., Bourgoin, T., & Nel, A. (2016). New fossil insect order Permopsocida elucidates major radiation and evolution of suction feeding in hemimetabolous insects (Hexapoda: Acercaria). [Journal Articles]. Nature: Scientific Reports, 6, 23004., M. S., Breitkreuz, L. C. V., Cai, C.-Y., Alvarado, M., Azar, D., & Huang, D.-Y. (2016). The first Mesozoic microwhip scorpion (Palpigradi): A new genus and species in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. [Journal Articles]. The Science of Nature, 103(3–4), 19., M. S. (2015). Insect evolution. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 25(19), R868–R872., T., Labandeira, C. C., Engel, M. S., Zetter, R., & Gr├¡msson, F. (2015). Specialized and generalized pollen-collection strategies in an ancient bee lineage. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 25(23), 3092–3098., M. S. (2015). The bibliography of and taxa proposed by Charles D. Michener. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Melittology, 54, 1–109., B., Rust, J., Engel, M. S., Szwedo, J., Dutta, S., Nel, A., Fan, Y., Meng, F., Shi, G., Jarzembowski, E. A., Wappler, T., Stebner, F., Fang, Y., Mao, L., Zheng, D., & Zhang, H. (2014). A diverse paleobiota in Early Eocene Fushun amber from China. [Journal Articles]. Current Biology, 24(14), 1606–1610., T., Dlussky, G. M., Engel, M. S., Prokop, J., & Knor, S. (2014). A new trap-jaw ant species of the genus Odontomachus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Poneriae) from the Early Miocene (Burdigalian) of the Czech Republic. [Journal Articles]. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 88(4), 495–502., M. S., Alqarni, A. S., Hannan, M. A., Hinojosa-D├¡az, I. A., & Michener, C. D. (2014). Allodapine bees in the Arabian Peninsula (Hymenoptera: Apidae): A new species of Braunsapis from the Sarawat Mountains, with an overview of the Arabian fauna. [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3801, 1–15., T., Grimsson, F., Wang, B., Nel, A., Olafsson, E., Kotov, A. A., Davis, S. R., & Engel, M. S. (2014). Before the “Big Chill”: A preliminary overview of arthropods from the middle Miocene of Iceland (Insecta, Crustacea) [Journal Articles]. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 401, 1–12., M. S. (2014). Early Cretaceous insect camouflage. [Book Chapters]. In McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 2015 (pp. 79–81). McGraw-Hill Professional.Cai, C.-Y., Thayer, M. K., Engel, M. S., Newton, A. F., Ortega-Blanco, J., Wang, B., Wang, X.-D., & Huang, D.-Y. (2014). Early origin of parental care in Mesozoic carrion beetles. [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 111(39), 14170–14174., M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2014). Whipspiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi) in amber from the Early Eocene and mid-Cretaceous, including maternal care. [Journal Articles]. Novitates Paleoentomologicae, 9, 1–17.Engel, M. S., & Kristensen, N. P. (2013). A history of entomological classification [Journal Articles]. Annual Review of Entomology, 58, 585–607.Huang, D.-Y., Nel, A., Cai, C.-Y., Lin, Q.-B., & Engel, M. S. (2013). Amphibious flies and paedomorphism in the Jurassic period [Journal Articles]. Nature, 495(7439), 94–97.Garrouste, R., Cl├⌐ment, G., Nel, P., Engel, M. S., Grandcolas, P., D’Haese, C. A., Lagebro, L., Denayer, J., Gueriau, P., Lafaite, P., Olive, S., Prestianni, C., & Nel, A. (2013). Garrouste et al. reply [Journal Articles]. Nature, 494(7437), E4–E5.Kotthoff, U., Wappler, T., & Engel, M. S. (2013). Greater past disparity and diversity hints at ancient migrations of European honey bee lineages into Africa and Asia [Journal Articles]. Journal of Biogeography, 40(10), 1832–1838.Azar, D., Engel, M. S., Jarzembowski, E., Krogmann, L., Nel, A., & Santiago-Blay, J. (2013). Insect Evolution in an Amberiferous and Stone Alphabet (D. Azar, M. S. Engel, E. Jarzembowski, L. Krogmann, A. Nel, & J. Santiago-Blay, Eds.) [Books]. Brill.Engel, M. S., Davis, S. R., & Prokop, J. (2013). Insect wings: The evolutionary developmental origins of Nature’s first flyers [Book Chapters]. In Arthropod Biology and Evolution: Molecules, Development, Morphology (pp. 269–298). Springer Verlag.Nel, A., Roques, P., Nel, P., Prokin, A. A., Bourgoin, T., Prokop, J., Szwedo, J., Azar, D., Desutter-Grandcolas, L., Wappler, T., Garrouste, R., Coty, D., Huang, D.-Y., Engel, M. S., & Kirejtshuk, A. G. (2013). The earliest known holometabolous insects [Journal Articles]. Nature, 503(7475), 257–261.Krishna, K., Grimaldi, D. A., Krishna, V., & Engel, M. S. (2013). Treatise on the Isoptera of the world [Journal Articles]. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 377, 1–2704.Garrouste, R., Cl├⌐ment, G., Nel, P., Engel, M. S., Grandcolas, P., D’Haese, C., Lagebro, L., Denayer, J., Gueriau, P., Lafaite, P., Olive, S., Prestianni, C., & Nel, A. (2012). A complete insect from the Late Devonian period [Journal Articles]. Nature, 488(7409), 82–85.Huang, D.-Y., Engel, M. S., Cai, C.-Y., Wu, H., & Nel, A. (2012). Diverse transitional giant fleas from the Mesozoic era of China [Journal Articles]. Nature, 483(7388), 201–204.P├⌐rez-de la Fuente, R., Delcl├▓s, X., Pe├▒alver, E., Speranza, M., Wierzchos, J., Ascaso, C., & Engel, M. S. (2012). Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 109(52), 21414–21419.Michez, D., Vanderplanck, M., & Engel, M. S. (2012). Fossil bees and their plant associates [Book Chapters]. In S. Patiny (Ed.), Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Relationships (pp. 103–164). Cambridge University Press.Engel, M. S., & Krombein, K. V. (2012). Hymenoptera [Encyclopedia/Dictionary Entries]. In McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (Vol. 8, Issue 11, pp. 787–798). McGraw-Hill.McKellar, R. C., & Engel, M. S. (2012). Hymenoptera in Canadian Cretaceous amber (Insecta) [Journal Articles]. Cretaceous Research, 35, 258–279.Gu, J.-J., Montealegre-Z, F., Robert, D., Engel, M. S., Qiao, G.-X., & Ren, D. (2012). Wing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced low-pitched musical calls to attract females [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 109(10), 3868–3873.Advances in the Systematics of Fossil and Modern Insects: Honouring Alexandr Rasnitsyn. (2011). [Books]. In D. E. Shcherbakov, M. S. Engel, & M. J. Sharkey (Eds.), ZooKeys (Vol. 130).Contributions Celebrating Kumar Krishna. (2011). [Books]. In M. S. Engel (Ed.), ZooKeys (Vol. 148).McKellar, R. C., Wolfe, A. P., Muehlenbachs, K., Tappert, R., Engel, M. S., Cheng, T., & S├ínchez-Azofeifa, G. A. (2011). Insect outbreaks produce distinctive carbon isotope signatures in defensive resins and fossiliferous ambers [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B, Biological Sciences, 278(1722), 3219–3224.Knecht, R. J., Engel, M. S., & Benner, J. S. (2011). Late Carboniferous paleoichnology reveals the oldest full-body impression of a flying insect [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 108(16), 6515–6519.Engel, M. S. (2011). Systematic melittology: Where to from here? [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 36(1), 2–15.Radloff, S. E., Hepburn, H. R., & Engel, M. S. (2011). The Asian species of Apis [Book Chapters]. In Honeybees of Asia (pp. 1–22). Springer Verlag.Beckemeyer, R. J., & Engel, M. S. (2011). Upper Carboniferous insects from the Pottsville Formation of northern Alabama (Insecta: Ephemeropterida, Palaeodictyopterida, Odonatoptera) [Journal Articles]. Scientific Papers, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas, 44, 1–19.Wang, Y.-J., Liu, Z.-Q., Wang, X., Shih, C.-K., Zhao, Y.-Y., Engel, M. S., & Ren, D. (2010). Ancient pinnate leaf mimesis among lacewings [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 107(37), 16212–16215.Rust, J., Singh, H., Rana, R. S., McCann, T., Singh, L., Anderson, K., Sarkar, N., Nascimbene, P. C., Stebner, F., Thomas, J. C., Sol├│rzano-Kraemer, M., Williams, C. J., Engel, M. S., Sahni, A., & Grimaldi, D. (2010). Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of a diverse paleobiota in amber from the Early Eocene of India [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 107(43), 18360–18365.Grimaldi, D., & Engel, M. S. (Eds.). (2010). Fossil Record and Phylogeny of the Arthropoda [Journal Articles]. Arthropod Structure and Development, 38(2–3).Ware, J. L., Grimaldi, D. A., & Engel, M. S. (2010). The effects of fossil placement and calibration on divergence times and rates: An example from the termites (Insecta: Isoptera) [Journal Articles]. Arthropod Structure and Development, 38(2–3), 204–219.Engel, M. S., Hinojosa-D├¡az, I. A., & Rasnitsyn, A. P. (2009). A honey bee from the Miocene of Nevada and the biogeography of Apis (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apini) [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, Series 4, 60(3), 23–38.Engel, M. S., Grimaldi, D. A., & Krishna, K. (2009). Termites (Isoptera): Their phylogeny, classification, and rise to ecological dominance [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3650, 1–27.Engel, M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2008). Diverse Neuropterida in Cretaceous amber, with particular reference to the paleofauna of Myanmar (Insecta) [Journal Articles]. Nova Supplementa Entomologica, 20, 1–86.Ohl, M., & Engel, M. S. (2007). Die Fossilgeschichte der Bienen und ihrer nächsten Verwandten (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). [Journal Articles]. Denisia, 20, 687–700.Liu, Z., Engel, M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2007). Phylogeny and geological history of cynipoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea) [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3583, 1–48.Engel, M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2007). The neuropterid fauna of Dominican and Mexican amber (Neuropterida: Megaloptera, Neuroptera) [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3587, 1–58.Grimaldi, D., & Engel, M. S. (2007). Why descriptive science still matters [Journal Articles]. BioScience, 57(8), 646–647.Grimaldi, D., & Engel, M. S. (2005). Evolution of the Insects [Books]. Cambridge University Press.Engel, M. S. (2004). Geological history of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) [Journal Articles]. Revista de Tecnologia e Ambiente, 10(2), 9–33.Engel, M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2004). New light shed on the oldest insect [Journal Articles]. Nature, 427(6975), 627–630.Grimaldi, D. A., Engel, M. S., & Nascimbene, P. C. (2002). Fossiliferous Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma): Its rediscovery, biotic diversity, and paleontological significance. [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3361, 1–72.Engel, M. S., & Grimaldi, D. A. (2002). The first Mesozoic Zoraptera (Insecta) [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3362, 1–20.Engel, M. S. (2001). A monograph of the Baltic amber bees and evolution of the Apoidea (Hymenoptera) [Journal Articles]. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 259, 1–192.Anderson, G. J., Bernardello, G., & Engel, M. S. (2001). Conservation implications of a newly discovered bee species on Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile [Journal Articles]. Conservation Biology, 15(3), 803–805.Schultz, T. R., Engel, M. S., & Ascher, J. S. (2001). Evidence for the origin of eusociality in the corbiculate bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) [Journal Articles]. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 74(1), 10–16.Engel, M. S. (2001). Monophyly and extensive extinction of advanced eusocial bees: Insights from an unexpected Eocene diversity [Journal Articles]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 98(4), 1661–1664.Engel, M. S. (2000). A new interpretation of the oldest fossil bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3296, 1–11.Engel, M. S. (2000). Classification of the bee tribe Augochlorini (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) [Journal Articles]. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 250, 1–89.Schultz, T. R., Engel, M. S., & Prentice, M. (1999). Resolving conflict between morphological and molecular evidence for the origin of eusociality in the corbiculate bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae): A hypothesis-testing approach [Journal Articles]. 24, 125–138.Engel, M. S. (1999). The first fossil Euglossa and phylogeny of the orchid bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae; Euglossini) [Journal Articles]. American Museum Novitates, 3272, 1–14.Engel, M. S. (1998). Fossil honey bees and evolution in the genus Apis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) [Journal Articles]. Apidologie, 29(3), 265–381.Engel, M. S., & Schultz, T. R. (1997). Phylogeny and behavior in honey bees (Hymenoptera:Apidae) [Journal Articles]. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 90(1), 43–53.Engel, M. S. (1996). New augochlorine bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) in Dominican amber, with a brief review of fossil Halictidae [Journal Articles]. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, Supplement, 69(4), 334–345.Proceedings of the Eickwort Memorial Symposium. (1996). [Books]. In M. S. Engel & B. A. Alexander (Eds.), Special Publication Number 2, Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, Supplement (Vol. 1997).Wcislo, W. T., & Engel, M. S. (1996). Social behavior and nest architecture of nomiine bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae; Nomiinae) [Journal Articles]. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, Supplement, 69(4), 158–167.Engel, M. S. (1995). Neocorynura electra, a new fossil bee species from Dominican amber (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) [Journal Articles]. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 103(3), 317–323.Engel, M. S. (1995). A new fossil snake-fly species from Baltic amber (Raphidioptera: Inocelliidae) [Journal Articles]. Psyche, 102(3–4), 187–193.Smith, D. R., & Engel, M. S. (1994). Population structure in an Indian cooperative spider, Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) [Journal Articles]. Journal of Arachnology, 22(2), 108–113.

Awards & Honors

Fellow of the Entomological Society of America
Entomological Society of America
2017Thomas Say Award
Entomological Society of America
2017International Cooperation Award
Chinese Academy of Sciences
2015University Scholarly Achievement Award
University of Kansas
2014Bicentenary Medal
The Linnean Society of London
2009Charles Schuchert Award
The Paleontological Society
2008Fellow of the Paleontological Society
The Paleontological Society
2008Guggenheim Fellow
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
2006William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence
William T. Kemper Foundation
2006Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS)