Insects are the most diverse group of life on Earth and their history extends well into the Paleozoic, making them among the oldest of terrestrial animal lineages. They are critical to the well being of ecosystems from the equator to the poles, and are inexorably tied to the well being of our world. Whether beneficial or malignant, insects wield an overwhelming influence on our health, economy, and security. It is little wonder that insects so consistently appear in our cultures, religions, and mythologies. Given such realities, it is vital that we gain a better understanding and appreciation of Nature’s ‘inordinate fondness’. Indeed, there is considerable wisdom to be found in the study of these marvels of evolution, and what better way to understand their present and future than to peer back into their distant past.
Here presented are some of the results of the 6th International Congress on Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber (FossilX3) held in Byblos, Lebanon in April, 2013. In the tradition of previous congresses, researchers from around the world gathered to discuss the latest developments and to build new co-operative endeavours. Recognizing that the future of our science is one of interdisciplinary collaboration, these meetings steadily grow in importance, and proceedings such as this reveal the latest hypotheses and conclusions, while inspiring others toward newer and greater goals.
Dany Azar, PhD (2000), University of Paris XI- Orsay- France, is Professor - Research Director - Senior Curator, Lebanese University and Natural History Musem of the same University. He is a world authority in amber, paleoentomology and insects evolution, with over 180 publications. He received recentlty the Excellence Award of the Lebanese National Council of Scientific Research for his outstanding researches on fossil insects and their evolution.
Michael S. Engel, PhD (1998) is Professor-Senior Curator, University of Kansas, and Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History. He is an authority on insect biology, systematics, and paleontology, with over 450 publications, and co-author of Evolution of the Insects (2005, Cambridge University Press).
Edmund Jarzembowski, PhD. is Professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; China. He is a world authority on paleoenvironment and paleoentomology, he published many books and articles.
André Nel, PhD. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, is Professor-Senior Curator at the same institute. He is a world authority on fossil insects, evolution, systematics and paleontology, with over 500 publications.
Lars Krogmann, PhD (2005), is research entomologist and head of the Hymenoptera Section at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart. His research interests cover all aspects of hymenopteran systematics. Previously, he has been awarded a PostDoc fellowship from the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt foundation and was appointed at the University of Adelaide (South Australia). Lars Krogmann is the editor-in-chief of the international journal Insect Systematics & Evolution.
Jorge A. Santiago-Blay, PhD (1990), University of California, Berkeley is a Research Associate at the NMNH. He researches arthropods and plants, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Life: The Excitement of Biology and Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews, and teaches at several American universities.
All scientists interested in fossil insects, taphonomy of insects, amber, amber chemiastry, paleoenvironment, paleontology