Evan P. Economo

I am a biologist with broad interests in the ecology and evolution of biodiversity.  I was born in Montreal and grew up in Virginia and North Carolina before pursuing undergraduate work at the University of Arizona and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin.  I was a fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan from 2009-2012 where I remain a Visiting Assistant Professor.  In 2012 I moved to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology as an Assistant Professor where I lead the Arilab.

Please visit our research pages for more on the projects we are working on in the lab.

CVResearchGate | Google Scholar.


  • 2009  Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin.  Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior.
  • 2002  B.S. University of Arizona. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

Other Training:

  • 2006  California Academy of Sciences ‘Ant Course.’ Cairns, Australia.
  • 2004  Santa Fe Institute ‘Complex Systems Summer School.’ Qingdao University, China


University of Michigan

  • 2009-2012   Postdoctoral Fellow – Michigan Society of Fellows, Assistant Professor (non tenure-track), Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • 2012-2017   Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

  • 2011-2012        Visiting Assistant Professor
  • 2012-present    Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator: Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit



Sarnat, E.M., & Economo, E.P. 2012. The Ants of Fiji. University of California Press.

Journal Articles

  • Iglesias, T., Dornburg, A., Warren, D., Wainwright, P., Schmitz, L., Economo, E.P. (In Press). Eyes wide shut: The impact of dim-light vision on neural investment in marine teleosts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
  • Staab, M., Hita Garcia, F., Liu, C., Xu, Z.H., Economo, E.P. (In Press) Systematics of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Proceratiinae) in China – with descriptions of three new species based on micro-CT enhanced next-generation morphology. Zookeys.
  • Economo, E.P., Narula, N., Friedman, N.R., Weiser, M.D., Guénard, B. (2018) Macroecology and macroevolution of the latitudinal diversity gradient in ants. Nature Communications.
  • Matos-Maravi, P., Clouse, R.M., Sarnat, E.M., Economo, E.P., LaPolla, J.S., Borovanska, M., Rabeling, C., Czekanski-Moir, J., Latumahina, F., Wilson, E.O., Janda, M. (2018) An ant genus-group (Prenolepis) illuminates the biogeography and drivers of insect diversification in the Indo-Pacific.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 12: 16-25.
  • Seebens, H., …48 authors including Economo, E.P. …Essl, F.(2018) Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Ross, S. R. P-J., Friedman, N., Dudley, K., Yoshimura, M., Economo, E.P. (2018) Listening to ecosystems: data-rich acoustic monitoring through landscape-scale sensor networks. Ecological Research 33: 135.
  • Liu, C., Dudley, K., Xu, Z., Economo, E.P. (2018) Mountain metacommunities: climate and spatial connectivity shape ant diversity in a complex landscape. Ecography 41: 101-112.
  • Agavekar, G., Hita Garcia, F., Economo, E.P. (2017) Taxonomic overview of Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) in India with descriptions and X-ray microtomography of two new species from the Andaman Islands. PeerJ 5:e3800; DOI 10.7717/peerj.3800
  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G., Liu, C., Audisio, T., Economo, E.P. (2017) Next-generation morphological character discovery and evaluation: an X-ray micro-CT enhanced revision of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae) in the Afrotropics. ZooKeys 693: 33-93
  • Sarnat, E.M., Friedman, N.R., Fischer, G., Lecroq, B., Economo, E.P. (2017) Rise of the spiny ants: diversification, ecology, and function of extreme traits in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 122: 514-538.
  • Friedman, N., Harmáčková, L., Economo, E.P., Remeš, V. (2017) Smaller beaks for colder winters: thermoregulation drives beak size evolution in Australian songbirds. Evolution 71:2120-2129.
  • Choo, J., Carasco, C., Alvarez-Loayza, P., Simpson, B., Economo, E.P. (2017) Life history traits influence the strength of distance- and density-dependence at different life stages of two Amazonian palms. Annals of Botany 120: 147-158
  • Dawson, W., Moser, D., van Kleunen, M., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Pysek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Lenzer, B., Blackburn, T., Dyer, E., Cassey, P., Scrivens, S., Economo, E.P., Guénard, B., Capinha, C., Seebens, H., Nentwig, W., Berthou, E., Casal, C., Essl, F. (2017) Global hotspots and drivers of alien species richness across taxonomic groups. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 0186.
  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G, Liu, C.,Audisio, T.L., Alpert, G. D., Fisher, B. L., Economo, E.P. X-Ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: An exploration and case study with two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) species from Madagascar.  PLoS ONE 12: e0172641.
  • Guénard, B., Weiser, M. D., Gómez, K., Narula, N., Economo, E.P. (2017) The Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics (GABI) database: synthesizing data on the geographic distribution of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Myrmecological News 24: 83-89.
  • Economo, E. P., Janda, M., Guénard, B., Sarnat, E.M. (2017) Assembling a species–area curve through colonization, speciation and human-mediated introduction. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12884
  • Lasky, J. R., Keitt, T. H., Weeks, B. C., Economo, E. P. (2017) A hierarchical model of whole assemblage island biogeography. Ecography 40: 982-990. 
  • Wepfer, P., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P.  (2016) Influences of climate and historical land connectivity on ant beta diversity in East Asia. Journal of Biogeography 43: 2311–2321.
  • Sukumaran, J., Economo, E. P., Knowles, L.L. (2016) Machine learning biogeographic processes from biotic pattern: a trait-driven dispersal and diversification model with model-choice by simulation-trained discriminant analysis of Principal Components Classification. Systematic Biology 65: 525-545.
  • Sarnat, E.M., Fischer, G., Economo, E.P. (2016) Inordinate Spinescence: Taxonomic Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole cervicornis Species Group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). PLoS ONE 11: e0156709.
  • Liu, C., Guénard, B., Blanchard, B., Peng, Y., Economo, E.P. (2016) Reorganization of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic ant biodiversity patterns after conversion to rubber plantation. Ecological Monographs 86: 215-227.
  • Janicki, J., Narula, N., Ziegler, M., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2016) Visualizing and interacting with large-volume biodiversity data using client-server web-mapping applications: The design and implementation of antmaps.org. Ecological Informatics 32: 185-193.
  • Jaitrong, W., Guénard, B.,Economo, E.P., Buddhakala, N., Yamane, S. (2016) A checklist of known ant species of Laos (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 8: 1-32.
  • Fischer, G., Sarnat, E.M., Economo, E.P. (2016) Revision and microtomography of the Pheidole knowlesi group, an endemic ant radiation from Fiji (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). PLoS ONE 11: e0158544.
  • Bharti, H., Guénard, B., Bharti, M., Economo, E.P. (2016) An updated checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of India with their specific distributions in Indian states.ZooKeys 551:1-83.
  • Economo, E.P., Hong, L., Page, S.E. (2016) Social structure, endogenous diversity, and collective accuracy. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 125: 212-231.
  • Sarnat, E.M., Fischer, G., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2015) Introduced Pheidole of the world: taxonomy, distribution, and biology.ZooKeys, 543: 1-109.
  • Liu, C., Fischer, G., Economo, E.P. (2015). A rare ant on Samoa: first record of the cryptic subfamily Proceratiinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) and description of a new Proceratium Roger species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 46:35-44.
  • Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2015). Additions to the checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 440: 225-235.
  • Fischer, G., Azorsa, F., Hita Garcia, F., Mikheyev, A.S., Economo, E.P. (2015). Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood. ZooKeys 525: 77-105.
  • Guénard, B., Perrichiot, V., Economo, E.P. (2015). Integration of global fossil and modern biodiversity data reveals dynamism and stasis in ant macroecological patterns. Journal of Biogeography 42: 2302-2312.
  • Economo, E.P., Sarnat, E.M., Janda, M., Clouse, R., Klimov, P.,Fischer, G., Blanchard, B.D., Ramirez, L.N., Andersen, A., Berman, M., Guénard, B., Lucky, A., Rabeling, C., Wilson, E.O., Knowles, L.L. (2015). Breaking out of biogeographic modules: range expansion and taxon cycles in Indo-Pacific Pheidole. Journal of Biogeography 42: 2289-2301.
  • Triantis, K.*, Economo, E.P.*, Guilhammon, F., Ricklefs, R. (2015). Diversity regulation at the macro-scales: the case of Oceanic archipelagoes.Global Ecology & Biogeography 24: 594-605*equally contributing first authors 
  • Liu, C., Hita Garcia, F., Peng, Y., Economo, E.P. (2015).  Aenictus yangi sp. n. – a new species of the A. ceylonicus species group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) from Yunnan, China. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 42: 33-45.
  • Liu, C., Guénard, B., Hita Garcia, F., Yamane, S., Blanchard, B.,Yang, D.-R., Economo, E.P. (2015). New records of ant species from Yunnan, China. ZooKeys. 477: 17-78.
  • Hita Garcia, F., Sarnat, E.M., Economo, E.P. (2015). Revision of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Proceratiinae) in Fiji. ZooKeys. 475: 97-112.
  • Economo, E.P., P. Klimov, Sarnat, E.M., Guénard, B., Lecroq, B., Knowles, L.L. (2015). Global phylogenetic structure of the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole reveals the repeated evolution of macroecological patterns. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 282: 1-10.
  • Clouse, R. M., Janda, M., Blanchard, B., Sharma, P., Hoffmann, B.D., Andersen, A.N., Czekanski-Moir, J.E., Krushelnycky, P., Rabeling, C., Wilson, E.O., Economo,  E.P., Sarnat, E.M., D.M. General, G. D. Alpert, and W. C. Wheeler. (2015). Molecular phylogeny of Indo-Pacific carpenter ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae, Camponotus) reveals waves of dispersal and colonization from diverse source areas.Cladistics.31:1-14.
2014 and earlier
  • Sarnat, E. M., Rabeling, C., Economo, E.P., Wilson, E.O. (2014). First record of a species from the New World Pheidole flavens-complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) introduced to the southwestern Pacific. Bioinvasions Records. 3:301-307
  • Tin, M. M.-Y., Economo, E.P., Mikheyev., A.S. (2014). Sequencing Degraded DNA from Non-Destructively Sampled Museum Specimens for RAD-Tagging and Low-Coverage Shotgun PhylogeneticsPLoS ONE 9: e96793.
  • Guénard, B., Blanchard, B., Liu, C., Yang, D.-R., Economo, E.P. (2013). Rediscovery of the rare ant genus Bannapone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae) and description of the worker caste. Zootaxa 3734: 371-379.
  • Sarnat, E. M., Blanchard, B., Guénard, B., Fasi, J., Economo, E.P. (2013). Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Solomon Islands and a new survey of Makira Island. ZooKeys 256: 47-88.
  • Sarnat, E. M., Economo, E.P. (2013). Pristomyrmex tsujii sp. n. and P. mandibularis Mann (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Fiji. ZooKeys 340: 43-61.
  • Economo, E.P., Sarnat, E.M. (2012).  Revisiting the ants of Melanesia and the taxon cycle: historical and human mediated invasions of a tropical archipelago. The American Naturalist 180: E1-E16. (Presidential award from ASN for best paper of 2012 in Am. Nat.) 
  • Economo, E.P. (2011). Biodiversity conservation in metacommunity networks: linking pattern and persistence. The American Naturalist 177: E167-180. (highlighted by Faculty of 1000)
  • Leibold, M., Economo, E.P., Peres-Neto, P. (2010). Metacommunity Phylogenetics: Separating the roles of environmental filters and historical biogeography. Ecology Letters. 13: 1290-1299
  • Economo, E. P., & Keitt, T.H. (2010). Network isolation and local diversity in neutral metacommunities. Oikos 119: 1355-1363.
  • Cowperthwaite, M., Economo, E.P., Harcombe W., Miller, E., Meyers, L.A. (2008).  The ascent of the abundant: How mutational networks constrain evolution. PLoS Computational Biology 4: e1000110.
  • Economo, E. P., & Keitt, T.H. (2008). Species diversity in neutral metacommunities: a network approach. Ecology Letters 11: 52-62.  (highlighted by Faculty of 1000)
  • Enquist, B. J., Kerkhoff, A.J., Huxman, T.E., Economo, E.P. (2007). Adaptive differences in plant physiology and ecosystem paradoxes: insights from metabolic scaling theory. Global Change Biology 13: 591-609.
  • Economo, E.P., Kerkhoff, A.J., Enquist., B.J. (2005) Allometric growth, life history invariants, and population energetics. Ecology Letters 8: 353-360.
  • Enquist, B.J., Economo, E.P., Huxman, T.E., Allen, A.P., Ignace, D.D., Gillooly, J. (2003). Scaling metabolism from organisms to ecosystems. Nature 423: 639-642.


  • 2012 Presidential Award from American Society of Naturalists (Best paper published in The American Naturalist in 2012)
  • 2011 Economo, E. (PI), L. Knowles (co-PI). NSF DEB 1141989.  $378,522.  “Evolving hyperdiversity in phenotypic, ecological, and geographic networks: testing the taxon cycle and alternatives in Indo-Pacific Pheidole.”
  • 2009 Selected for Michigan Society of Fellows (one of 8 out of 500+ applicants)
  • 2009 Nominated for Distinguished Dissertation Award, University of Texas
  • 2009 Marion Elizabeth Eason Scholarship, University of Texas
  • 2005-2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 2004-2005 NSF IGERT Graduate Training Fellowship in Computational Phylogenetics
  • 2007 EEB Research Fellowship
  • 2006 EEB Research Fellowship
  • 2005 EEB Research Fellowship
  • 2004 Teaching Award, School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas
  • 2004 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention
  • 2003 University of Texas Dean’s Excellence Preemptive Fellowship
  • 2001 Honors College Undergraduate Research Grant, U. of Arizona
  • 2001 Research Training Grant in the Analysis of Diversification, U. of Arizona



  • 2011 “EEB Senior Capstone”, primary instructor. U. of Michigan.
  • 2011 “Insect Ecology & Evolution” graduate seminar, primary instructor. U. of Michigan.
  • 2010  “General Ecology”, primary instructor, U. of Michigan
  • 2009  TA for “Ecology”, 2 guest lectures. U. of Texas at Austin.
  • 2004  TA for “Ecology, Evolution and Society”, 3 guest lectures. U. of Texas at Austin.  Won graduate teaching award from the School of Biological Sciences


  • 2011-2012 Supervised two independent study undergraduates for credit.  U. of Michigan.
  • 2010-2011 Supervised five undergraduates on independent research projects. U. of Michigan.
  • 2009-2010 Supervised four undergraduate students on independent research projects for independent study credit. U. of Michigan.
  • 2005-2006 Supervised or co-supervised six undergraduate researchers on entomological and computational projects.  U. of Texas at Austin


  • 2002-2003 Research Technician, University of Arizona, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, lab of Brian J. Enquist.


  • 2012 Ecological Society of Japan Meeting (Symposium)
  • 2011 Society of Population Ecology Meeting (Symposium)
  • 2011 University of Alabama
  • 2011 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
  • 2011 University of Queensland
  • 2011 International Biogeography Society Meeting (Symposium)
  • 2010 University of British Columbia
  • 2010 Field Museum of Natural History
  • 2010 UM/SFI Complex Systems Symposium.
  • 2004 University of New Mexico.


  • 2013 Evolution Annual Meeting2012 International Congress of Entomology
  • 2012 Ecological Society of Japan
  • 2011 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.
  • 2011 Society of Population Ecology (Japan)
  • 2011 International Biogeography Society Meeting.
  • 2010 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.
  • 2009 Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity Synthesis Meeting, Fiji.
  • 2003 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.
  • 2002 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.


  • 2011 Contributer to “Umvelt: Subjective Worlds” art exhibition, The Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • 2010 Organized EEB/Biokids field trip for 80 Detroit elementary school students.
  • 2009 Outreach lecture, “The ways of the Ant”, Science Under the Stars.
  • 2009 Founded and organized the still active Science Under the Stars, outreach lecture series, Austin, Texas.
  • 2008 Outreach Lecture: “The Ants of the Pacific.” Pacific Conference of Theologists, Suva, Fiji
  • 2006-2008 Outreach activities on ants for schools: Matthews Elementary School, Austin, University of South Pacific open day, Hauta School, Solomon Islands.
  • 2005 Pre-lecture presenter: ESI (UT) outreach lecture series (Lauren Meyers).
  • 2002 Student Volunteer: Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.
  • Co-authored outreach website with Eli Sarnat (www.fijiants.org), and antweb.org Fiji page.
  • Reviewer for The American Naturalist, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Conservation Letters, Oikos, PLoS One, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Functional Ecology, Diversity and Distributions, Global Ecology & Biogeography, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Biological Invasions, Aquatic Ecology, American Journal of Botany, Biological Reviews.