Welcome New Lab Members!

We are pleased to welcome three new arrivals to the lab recently.

-Jamie Kass (left) is starting a term as a JSPS postdoctoral fellow coming from the US. He is an expert on species distribution modeling and one of the lead developers of Wallace. He is going to be working on our OKEON community monitoring data and also collaborating on other projects related to global biodiversity.

-Fumika Azuma (center), also coming most recently from the UK where she recently got a masters in geography from UCL, is the new technician in the lab. She has actually been here for a while as a research intern, but we liked her so much we convinced her to stay. She will be working on a range of tasks, but especially GIS, insect collection curation, micro-CT, and molecular work.

-Kosmas Deligkaris (right), coming from the UK, has a background in neuroscience and is now a computational specialist who will be working on computational support, data and database management, server admin, workflow design, and other related projects for the lab.

Welcome everyone and Gambatte!

New paper on evolution of ant spinescence in Pheidole

A new paper from the lab was published today in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society focusing on aberrant spinescent phenotypes in Pheidole (including the famous dragon ants). We look at spinescence from a number of angles including phylogenetic, ecological, geographic, and 3D morphology. This study sheds light on the complexity of the issue of spine phenotype evolution. There are a number of open questions and some big mysteries. For starters, why the heck has spinescence evolved so many times in the Indo-Pacific, but no spiny Pheidole in New World? Check out the paper here!

 

 

 

 

New Paper: Global patterns of alien species richness

We have a new paper out today Nature Ecology and Evolution, comparing hotspots of alien species richness around the globe (writeup here on BBC). We were happy to include our GABI/antmaps data as part of a broader effort to compare alien species richness patterns across taxonomic groups. Ants and reptiles turned out to be quite correlated for some reason, although it is not clear why.