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Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: 434A BBIowa City, IA 52242
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb: More About Dr. Forbes - Related Websites and Resources
BA, Biology, Colgate University PhD, Ecology & Evolution, University of Notre Dame
I am interested in the origins and maintenance of insect diversity with a focus on plant-feeding and parasitic insects. These organisms constitute the vast majority of animal species on Earth, but most tend to be small, relatively anonymous, and specialists on just one host species, and are therefore grossly understudied. I integrate traditional ecological experimentation with molecular genetic techniques and evolutionary theory to investigate the evolution of these charismatic but under-appreciated taxa.
In my lab, we are exploring the dimensions of biodiversity among a complex of Tephritid fruit flies (genus: Rhagoletis) and their associated parasitoid wasps (genera: Diachasma, Diachasmimorpha, Utetes and Coptera). Recent host shifts and incipient speciation events of the fly appear to be driving similar events in their parasitoids, leading to a veritable ‘starburst’ of recent speciation in this system. We are looking at how the ecologies, life histories, morphologies and genetic / genomic backgrounds of these insects both facilitate and stymie the genesis of new diversity.
Date Last Modified: 04/12/2016 -
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