Felix Sperling, Curator, E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum
"Felix, more than anyone I know, is motivated to do right by students, colleagues, his institution, the specimens in his care, and science as a whole." - John H. Acorn, Faculty Service Officer (Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences) and Curator, Renewable Resources National History Collection.
Dr. Felix Sperling has been a visionary curator, leader, and advocate for the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum. In 1999, he took over curatorship of the collection from Dr. George Ball, but had been working with the collection since the 1980s while he was a graduate student at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Sperling's achievements with the collection have had resounding affects within the University community and beyond. His creativity and proactivity has been instrumental in raising money and in expanding the collection to what it is today. His passion for the collection also nurtures a vibrant community of professional and amateur entomologists who both use the Museum's resources and contribute to it in return. Dr. Sperling has also been dedicated to developing the E.H. Strickland Virtual Museum. The Virtual Museum allows the world to search through more than 300,000 specimen records and browse 2,500 species pages in which there is information regarding taxonomy, distribution and biology of many of Alberta's insects. In addition to his work on campus, Dr. Sperling is an active member in local and international lepidopterist communities. He is a long-time member of the Lepidopterists' Society and held a term as the President of the Society in 2005-2006, and he is a founding a member of the Alberta Lepidopterist's Guild and the Albertabugs listserv.
Through his passion and hard work, Dr. Sperling has ensured that the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum continues to be one of the best and well-known entomological collections in Canada. He has worked tirelessly in producing the next generation of researchers who understand and respect the role of collections in science.