Research in the lab aims to understand the mechanisms behind the rapid speciation processes that produce high species richness in specific areas. Combining classical taxonomy with an array of modern molecular techniques, our research focuses in three main, complementary lines: (i) understanding to what extent geological factors drive speciation using islands as models, (ii) characterizing the morphological variation associated with rapid diversifications, and (iii) applying DNA metabarcoding and high-throughput sequencing to study the diversity of plants used by solitary bees.
August - Moses presented his MS research at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Rebecca Foy has returned to the lab as a grad student, and we have two new undergrads joining as well. Clara will be a student-worker in the Herbarium, and Anthony will be helping with digitization of our fungi collection. Welcome!
July - Zach's first publication is out! We published a protocol to produce 3D images from 3D herbarium specimens using free photogrammetry software in the journal Castanea. Also, Pam got to go to the Canary Islands for a week to do fieldwork!
April - Erica, Jacob, and Moses presented at the Marshall University Research Days and at the College of Science Research Expo! Also, Pam was awarded a NASA WV EPSCoR Seed Grant to study ramp's pollinators, and published a new subspecies of Calceolaria from Peru!
March - Erica, Jacob, and Pam presented at the Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina! - Erica and Jacob were each awarded the Weinstein Travel Award ($200) to attend this meeting. Congrats!
January - New publication out! Pam co-authored a paper with Portuguese and Spanish collaborators "DNA barcodes of Iberian Trichoptera, documenting biodiversity of freshwater biomonitoring in a Mediterranean hotspot" published in Biodiversity Data Journal.
December - John Mamas presented their CREU research at the 2022 Student Symposium on the Environment at Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. John got Honorable Mention for Best Research Presentation! Way to go, John!
November - Zach passed his thesis defense with distinction! Congratulations!!! Zach was also awarded the 2022-2023 Gould Botany Scholarship ($800).
August - Abagail Parker has joined the lab this Fall as a grad student! - We also welcome two new undergraduate students who will be helping with digitization and transcription of the Marshall University Herbarium, Jacob Webb and Erica Edinger. Welcome! - John presented a poster at the Invasion Genomics Conference held in Lafayette, Louisiana. Good job, John! Moses was awarded the Weinstein Travel Award for doing fieldwork ($250).
Plants used by solitary bees
We are looking into the diversity of plant species used by a couple of solitary bees: the alfalfa leafcutter bee (Megachile rotundata) and long-horned bees (Melissodes trinodis and M. agilis).
Micromeria (Lamiaceae) in the Canary Islands
This project tries to understand the influence of the islands' geological history and inter-island colonization on the diversification of insular taxa using genus Micromeria (Lamiaceae) in the Canary Islands as an example.
Taxonomy of Calceolaria (Calceolariaceae)
Calceolaria is a diverse genus with ca. 250 species distributed from Central Mexico to Chile and Southern Argentina...