Lab Members

Aaron D. Smith, Ph.D.Aaron_small

  • Assistant Professor and Curator
  • Research Interests: My research interests are broadly centered on questions relating to the biodiversity and systematics of beetles (Coleoptera), particularly darkling beetles; including revisionary taxonomy, biogeography, evolutionary ecology, speciation, and the integration of molecular and morphological data in phylogenetic studies. I am also part of a collaboration building the Coleoptera Anatomy Ontology.
  • CV

Kojun Kanda, Ph.D.Kanda

  • Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Research Interests: My research interests focus on using molecular tools to infer phylogenetic relationships within the Tenebrionidae. For my dissertation I inferred the phylogeny of the family using 4 nuclear genes. I also conducted a preliminary phylogenomic analysis of the Pimeliinae using transcriptomic data. Currently I am working on developing additional genomic resources for Tenebrionidae including target capture probe sets in Asidini (Pimeliinae). I am also working on a phylogenomic study of the entire family to infer the early divergences in the family, which could not be resolved with PCR-derived datasets.

Chris WirthWirth

  • Ph.D. student
  • Research Interests: My research focus is the phylogenetic revision of the charismatic tenebrionid genus Edrotes, whose approximately half a dozen charismatic species inhabitant sand dunes systems in the southwest United States, and the creation of a modern, phylogenetically-informed classification of the tribe Edrotini.
  • CV
  • Website

Amelia SmithSmith

  • Ph.D. student
  • Research Interests: Systematics of Nilio

Ryan LumenLumen

  • Master’s student
  • Research interests: Insect taxonomy, biodiversity, ecology, systematics, and museum collections/curation. I am currently working on a revision of the tenebrionid genus Ulus.
  • CV

Beauchamp ThomasWirth

  • Master’s student
  • Research Interests: Beetle taxonomy and systematics. My research is revising the tiny horned genus of Hypogena.
  • CV

Elliot Hunsinger

  • Master’s student
  • Research Interests: Roach taxonomy, systematics, evolution.

Mark Ecker

  • Undergraduate Researcher
  • Mark is investigating phylogenetic relationships among members of the tribe Cnodalonini.

Kali SwichtenbergSwichtenberg

  • Undergraduate Researcher
  • Kali is investigating the phylogenetics of the African genus Psammodes (the Tok-tok beetles).

Lab Alumni:

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Priscila Navarrete
  • Lucio Sanchez
  • Alexis Galvez