An integrative approach to unraveling insect diversity and evolution: from molecules to phenotypes


Raymond Building R3-048, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA

Special seminar by Jessica Gillung, PhD, Department of Entomology, Cornell University

Evolutionary biologists strive to understand the patterns that have shaped life in our planet and the processes that create and maintain biodiversity. Central to this scientific inquiry, thus, are phylogenies. The recently developed 'omics' approaches give us the possibility to pursue new avenues in biodiversity research and the privilege to revisit the Tree of Life using data that was previously unavailable. However, not all parts of the genome are equally useful for reliable phylogenetic inference, and we now require new statistical approaches to identify genomic regions that we can adequately model and to develop rigorous protocols for robust estimation of phylogeny. In this presentation I will: 1) present my research in insect diversity and evolution, 2) discuss some of the pitfalls of the currently established phylogenomic pipeline, and 3) introduce my future integrative research synthesizing traditionally disparate data sources, including genomics, natural history, morphology, distribution, and paleontology.