Expertise

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Systematics, taxonomy, and evolution of terrestrial arthropods with an emphasis on arachnids and myriapods (specifically spiders and millipedes).  We employ molecular, morphological, and ecological approaches to study questions related to evolutionary diversification at multiple hierarchical levels (populations – higher taxa).

The primary focus of my research program is the discovery, conservation, and investigation of the pattern and processes responsible for the diversity of life.  My research program has been principally aimed to 1) document biodiversity by discovering and describing new species (and higher taxa, genera and families), 2) identify various dimensions of diversity and those underlying evolutionary processes that generate it, and 3) use these findings to identify threatened or endangered populations and taxa.  My organismal expertise centers on terrestrial arthropods (spiders, millipedes, and tenebrionid beetles).  Current research projects focus on spider and beetle speciation pattern and process, higher level phylogenomics of millipedes and spiders, and understanding broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and relationship to biogeography, habitat destruction, and climate (contemporary and historical).

Affiliations

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis

Past Affiliations

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Department Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Professor, Department of Biology, Thomas Harriott College of Arts & Sciences, East Carolina University (past)

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Thomas Harriott College of Arts & Sciences, East Carolina University (past)

AUMNH Director, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Communities
Biological Science
Degrees
PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Evolutionary Systematics and Genetics, 1999
MS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Biology, 1995
BSc, Western Carolina University, Biology, 1993