Source: Building a bug’s life
I am a Postdoctoral fellow of the Short Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the University of Kansas (KU) based in Lawrence (USA).
My work mainly focuses on the origin and evolution of the stunning biodiversity living on Earth. Within this remarkable diversity of organisms, only a part has already been discovered. It is especially true for insects, in which an outstanding number of new species remains unknown. New advances in disciplines such as molecular phylogenetics, historical biogeography, ancestral character state reconstruction, ecological niche modeling or diversification analyses, coupled with the development of faster and cheaper ways to access increasingly larger amounts of sequence data, allow to untangle the evolutionary processes that may have led to the setting up of this biodiversity. Hence, the study of the fine-scale evolution of different organisms allows us to gain new insights in the knowledge of more global and large-scale patterns. Interestingly, rock and amber fossils along with paleo-reconstructions help us to underpin which abiotic or biotic factors can explain those evolutionary histories.
In order to tackle these challenging questions, I currently work on a variety of insect groups (diving beetles, stemborer moths, swallowtail butterflies, brush-footed butterflies and flightless weevils) mostly from the Old World and will start exploring patterns and processes with a new model, the Neotropical scavenger beetles.