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.
PHD STUDENTSHIPS AVAILABLE -- If interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mapping the hidden arthropod biodiversity of UK soils using high-throughput sequencing
Large-scale phylogenetics to link biological trait evolution and ecological status assessment in European freshwater macroinvertebrates
1995 - present Joint Position in Molecular Systematics, Imperial College London and Natural History Museum, London, UK (Full Professor 2006)
1991-1994 Research Scientist, Department of Entomology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
1989 -1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
1988 PhD (Bacterial Genetics), University of Osnabrück, Germany,
1984 Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany
et al., 2018, Ecological constraints from incumbent clades drive trait evolution across the tree-of-life of freshwater macroinvertebrates, Ecography, Vol:41, ISSN:0906-7590, Pages:1049-1063
et al., 2018, Genome sequencing of Rhinorhipus Lawrence exposes an early branch of the Coleoptera, Frontiers in Zoology, Vol:15, ISSN:1742-9994
et al., 2018, The phylogeny of Galerucinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and the performance of mitochondrial genomes in phylogenetic inference compared to nuclear rRNA genes, Cladistics, Vol:34, ISSN:0748-3007, Pages:113-130
et al., 2018, Metabarcoding of freshwater invertebrates to detect the effects of a pesticide spill, Molecular Ecology, Vol:27, ISSN:0962-1083, Pages:146-166
et al., 2018, Re-evaluating conservation priorities of New World tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae) in a molecular framework indicates non-monophyly of the genera, Aphonopelma and Brachypelma, Systematics and Biodiversity, Vol:16, ISSN:1477-2000, Pages:89-107