The Caterino Arthropod Biodiversity Lab documents patterns of diversity in Arthropods, and examines the evolutionary processes that have generated this diversity. Using taxonomic, phylogenetic, and informatic tools, we aim to provide a fuller accounting of the diversity of arthropods on earth, and to provide the tools necessary for their effective conservation.
Our geographic emphases cover two megadiverse areas, the southeastern United States, and the Neotropical Region. Both of these areas are home to tens of thousands of arthropod species. But even so their faunas are poorly documented, with new species discovered regularly. Through active fieldwork and efficient taxonomic work, we hope to give citizens and conservationists the information needed to integrate arthropods into sustainable management plans.
Work in the lab focuses mainly on beetles, the most diverse and successful group of animals on the planet, but students interested in other Arthropod groups are welcomed.
Projects in the lab range from field surveys and specimen-based taxonomic revisionary taxonomy, to phylogeographic, species level, and higher phylogenetic studies. We utilize larval and adult morphological information as well as data from the genome to explore evolutionary patterns.