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.
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., 2017, The mitochondrial genome of lberobaenia (Coleoptera: Iberobaeniidae): first rearrangement of protein-coding genes in the beetles, Mitochondrial Dna Part A, Vol:28, ISSN:2470-1394, Pages:156-158
et al., 2017, Intraspecific genetic variation in complex assemblages from mitochondrial metagenomics: comparison with DNA barcodes, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:8, ISSN:2041-210X, Pages:248-256
et al., 2017, The mitogenome of Hydropsyche pellucidula (Hydropsychidae): first gene arrangement in the insect order Trichoptera, Mitochondrial Dna Part A, Vol:28, ISSN:2470-1394, Pages:71-72
et al., 2017, Independent evolution of sexual dimorphism and female-limited mimicry in swallowtail butterflies (Papilio dardanus and Papilio phorcas), Molecular Ecology, Vol:26, ISSN:0962-1083, Pages:1273-1284
et al., 2016, Rarity and Incomplete Sampling in DNA-Based Species Delimitation, Systematic Biology, Vol:65, ISSN:1063-5157, Pages:478-494