Alan was born in London, UK on 17th March 1933. An engineer by profession, Alan spent 14 years in Zambia where he collected widely. Encouraged by the late Elliot Pinhey, then Keeper of Entomology at the National Museum, Zimbabwe, Alan wrote his first scientific paper in 1977 and embarked on a book of Zambian butterflies which was published in 2002. Following a move to Cape Town in 1984, Alan focused on the evolutionary aspects of African lycaenid butterflies, their morphology and ant-associated life histories. Other interests include hiking and a passion for classical music. He now divides his time between South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Alan is currently studying the morphology of different butterfly groups to infer phylogenetic relationships and to compare with phylogenies inferred from molecular sequence data at the MCZ laboratory. Further research into life histories is ongoing including lycaenid associations with ants and with Hemiptera.
Heath, A., McLeod, L., Kaliszewska, Z.A., Fisher, C.W.S. & Cornwall, M. 2008. Field notes including a summary of trophic and ant-associations for the butterfly genera Chrysoritis Butler, Aloeides Hübner and Thestor Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from South Africa. Metamorphosis 19(3): 127-148.
Heath, A., & Pringle, E. L. 2007. Biological observations and a taxonomic review based on morphological characters in the myrmecophilous genus Chrysoritis Butler (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Aphnaeini). Metamorphosis 18(1) + CD.
Heath, A., & Pringle, E. L. 2004. A review of the southern African genus Thestor Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Miletinae). Metamorphosis 15(3): 91-151.
Heath, A., Newport, M.A. & Hancock, D. 2002 Butterflies of Zambia. Lepidopterists' Society of Africa & A.B.R.I. Pp. 137 + CD.
Heath, A. 2001. New synonymies and taxonomic notes on the genus Chrysoritis Butler (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Metamorphosis 12(3).
Heath, A. & Claassens, A. J. M. 2000. New observations of ant associations and life history adaptations (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in South Africa. Metamorphosis. 11: 3-19.
Rand, D.B., Heath, A., Suderman, T. & Pierce, N.E. 2000. Phylogeny and life history evolution of the genus Chrysoritis within the Aphnaeini (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 17: 85-96.
Heath, A. 1998. Further aspects on the life history of the myrmecophilous species Chrysoritis dicksoni (Gabriel) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Metamorphosis 9: 160-172.
Heath, A.. 1997. Myrmecophily and the male genitalia of African Lycaenidae: a preliminary discussion. Metamorphosis Occ. Suppl. 3: 89-97.
Claassens, A.J.M. & Heath, A. 1997. Notes on the myrmecophilous early stages of two species of Thestor Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from South Africa. Metamorphosis 8: 56-61.
Heath, A. 1997. A review of African genera of the tribe Aphnaeini (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Metamorphosis Occ. Suppl. 2: 60pp.
Heath, A. & Brinkman, A. K. 1995. Notes on the early stages of Argyrocupha malagrida maryae (Wallengren) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Metamorphosis. 6: 167-173.
Heath, A. & Brinkman, A. K. 1995. Aspects of the life history, distribution and population fluctuations of Oxychaeta dicksoni (Gabriel) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Metamorphosis. 6: 117-127.
Heath, A. 1994. in Pringle, E.L.L, Henning, G.A. & Ball, J.B. (eds.). Description of a new species of Thestor Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Pennington's Butterflies 2nd edn. Struik, Winchester. p.146.
Heath, A. 1994. in Pringle, E.L.L, Henning, G.A. & Ball, J.B. (eds.). Revision of the status of a subspecies of Thestor montanus. Pennington's Butterflies 2nd edn. Struik, Winchester. p.146.
Heath, A. & Ball, J.B. 1992. A new species of Poecilmitis Butler (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from the Cape Province, South Africa. Metamorphosis 3: 86-88 + pl.
Hancock, D.L & Heath, A. 1988. The subspecies of Acraea johnstoni Godman (Lep.:Nymphalidae). Entomologist's Record 100: 137-140.
Heath, A. 1985. Revisions of three Iolaus subgenera and descriptions of two new species of Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera) from Zambia. Arnoldia Zimbabwe. 9(18): 257-266.
Hancock, D.L & Heath, A. 1985. A new species of Mylothris Hübner from Zambia (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Arnoldia Zimbabwe. 9(15): 231-237.
Heath, A. 1983. Some new and little known Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera) from Zambia. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9(10): 145-164.
Heath, A. 1977. Early stages of a remarkable species of African Pieridae (Lepidoptera). Arnoldia Rhod. 8(16): 1-3.