Welcome to the Smith Insect Biodiversity Lab

We are interested in collaborative research to understand patterns of biodiversity and aid in the discovery and delimitation of species, particularly within the world’s most diverse group of multi-cellular organisms (ie. the class Insecta). We are also focused on promoting public awareness of insect diversity and species conservation through the Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity (CPMAB) and the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research (MPCER) at Northern Arizona University (NAU).

Many of the research projects we are leading or participating in are focused on uncovering the evolutionary history of darkling beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) by collecting and analyzing phylogenetically informative data (larval and adult morphology, DNA, and behavior) and applying the results to their classifications, though the production of taxonomic revisions, and our understanding of their ecology.

We are currently seeking graduate students and collaborators for multiple projects. Undergraduates at NAU and volunteers from the community are always welcome as well.