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 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.
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., 2022, Community assembly and metaphylogeography of soil biodiversity: Insights from haplotype-level community DNA metabarcoding within an oceanic island, Molecular Ecology, ISSN:0962-1083
et al., 2022, Joint analysis of species and genetic variation to quantify the role of dispersal and environmental constraints in community turnover, Ecography: Pattern and Diversity in Ecology, Vol:2022, ISSN:0906-7590, Pages:1-13
et al., 2022, DNA-based assessment of environmental degradation in an unknown fauna: The freshwater macroinvertebrates of the Indo-Burmese hotspot, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol:59, ISSN:0021-8901, Pages:1644-1658
et al., 2022, The SITE-100 project: site-based biodiversity genomics for species discovery, community ecology, and a global tree-of-life, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:10, ISSN:2296-701X
et al., 2022, Coming of age for COI metabarcoding of whole organism community DNA: towards bioinformatic harmonisation, Molecular Ecology Resources, Vol:22, ISSN:1471-8278, Pages:847-861