Phenotypic Diversity in Wasps
Paper wasps have an astonishing diversity in facial and body coloration both within species and between species. What color patterns are expressed in different species? How unique are these color patterns? Does the abiotic environment influence color patterning? We are investigating the mechanisms that drive the high degree of variation in paper wasp color patterning to understand these questions.
Many species of paper wasp co-occur, with as many as ten different species found in the same region. We are interested in how wasp species subdivide their environment in order to co-exist with other species. Current projects are addressing the effect of community composition on morphology, diet, and mate choice.
Northern paper wasp (P. fuscatus)
Insect Population Genetics
We are applying cutting edge tools and methods to measure genetic diversity and connectivity among populations of paper wasps and other insect species.
We have sequenced >5 wasp genomes, with more to come! We are using comparative genetics and genomics to test the role of genome architecture in diversification, and the evolution of genomes among species.