Michigan State University
In general, the goal of my research program is to uncover systematically informative morphological and molecular characters. Once found, new methodologies for the analysis, description, and interpretation of these data are explored. Phylogenies resulting from these studies are used to revise classifications and test evolutionary hypotheses. These objectives are mostly applied to scolytine systematics but also to any insect group depending on student and colleague interest.
I have interests in all aspects of scolytine biodiversity and evolution but below are a few specific projects.
Taxonomy, phylogenetics, and evolution of tropical scolytines.
Phylogenetics of Ipini.
Molecular identification of scolytines.
Short Bio & Education
I was born and raised in Long Island, NY, 50 miles east of the city. I fortunately spent the first 20 years of my life playing in swampy greenbelts and beaches were I developed an appreciation for nature. I received my BS and MS at SUNY- Environmental Science and Forestry (1990-1995) which gave me a broad education in natural history and initiated my excitement for Entomology. It was there that I became acquainted with scolytines under the guidance of Stephen Teale. During my master degree’s research I had the fortune to visit UC Berkeley and collect Ips spp. with David Wood and Steve Seybold. I was taken by California’s beauty and diversity and with the hands of providence I was delivered to UC Berkeley (1995-1998). I received my Ph.D in Entomology under the guidance of Felix Sperling which solidified my career in molecular scolytine systematics. My first and only post-doctoral position was at The Natural History Museum, London (1999-2000) with Alfried Vogler which I left early for an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University (2000-2006). There I learned the nuances of being part of the faculty and a PI. I received my first USDA and NSF grants for scoltyine systematic research. In 2006, I was lured away by Michigan State University with the directorship of the AJ Cook Arthropod Research Collection. I was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2008.