Devon Brits

Ph.D. Student


I am a PhD student in Dr. Lord's lab focused on the genetic basis of color in beetles.


I have a Masters in Black Soldier Fly mass rearing at Stellenbosch University where I looked at manipulating fly husbandry to improve yields of the species’ larvae at industrial scales. Before that, I completed an undergraduate majoring in Zoology and Entomology where I specialized in Taxonomy & Forensic Entomology at Rhodes University. I have 7+ years of experience in the fields of insect mass rearing and entomophagy working with companies to improve mass production of entomophagous insects.


I have, more recently, become fascinated by insect senses. Dr Lord's lab was naturally the perfect place to start understanding and learning the right tools and techniques to study these complex systems. The lab’s focus on color is my focus now as vision as a sense and, consequently, color are intrinsically linked. But the major question we are asking is how they are linked and what genes control for the colors and patterns that beetles, and other animals have used over their evolution to interact with the eyes of their predators, prey and mates. That is why our research will look to establish the genetic basis for color evolution in beetles in the hopes of further unravelling the mechanisms and functions of color production.