Area of research
I am a molecular systematist working on the phylogeny and evolution of species diversity in insects. My specific interest is the order Coleoptera (beetles), the arguably largest radiation of animal species on Earth, which I use as a model for an evolutionary understanding of the great diversity of living organisms. I apply genomics and phylogenetic analysis, working at all hierarchical levels, from populations to basal relationships of insect orders. Novel high-throughput sequencing methods are constantly opening up new avenues for studying taxonomy and biodiversity, in particular in poorly known groups of arthropods, such as the tropical forest canopy or the soil. Metagenomic shotgun sequencing permits the study of entire complex communities in bulk for the analysis of species richness and phylogeny directly from an environmental sample (‘soup-to-tree’). Equally, we are using environmental DNA (eDNA) and qPCR or metabarcoding approaches to characterize complex communities from soil and water in benthic marine and freshwater habitats, or to study gut content of insects and mammals. I have a joint appointment with the Natural History Museum (NHM) London where I conduct most of my research.
et al., 2016, Metabarcoding of fungal communities associated with bark beetles, Ecology and Evolution, Vol:6, ISSN:2045-7758, Pages:1590-1600
et al., 2016, Imprints of multiple glacial refugia in the Pyrenees revealed by phylogeography and palaeodistribution modelling of an endemic spider., Mol Ecol, Vol:25, Pages:2046-2064
et al., 2016, Rapid assembly of taxonomically validated mitochondrial genomes from historical insect collections, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol:117, ISSN:0024-4066, Pages:83-95
et al., 2016, Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics, Genome Biology and Evolution, Vol:8, ISSN:1759-6653, Pages:161-175
et al., 2016, Aposematism and mimicry in soft-bodied beetles of the superfamily Cleroidea (Insecta), Zoologica Scripta, Vol:45, ISSN:0300-3256, Pages:9-21