Shelley S. Myers

Postdoctoral FellowShelley Myers

B.S. Biology - Massey University, 2009
Ph.D. Entomology - University of Auckland, 2014

As a postdoctoral researcher in The Caterino Arthropod Diversity Lab I have a broad interest in the natural history and evolution of beetles. My primary research goals are directed towards understanding species diversity and the maintenance of species. Here at Clemson I am excited to be pursuing these interests by researching leaf litter beetle distributions in the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Mountains provide an interesting environment for looking into how species respond to anthropogenic environmental change. A large proportion of these mountains have been subjected to historic deforestation, then left to produce secondary forest. Yet, a few undisturbed old growth forests remain. I am interested in this system to look into patterns of colonization and survival in beetle populations. By utilizing population genetics and species composition data I hope to establish whether environmental change across a relatively short timescale affects a species evolutionary trajectory, and look into the importance of old growth forest refugium as a source for colonization of secondary forest.

Past research:
I am originally from Auckland, New Zealand. I earned a BSc in Zoology from Massey University in Palmerston North. I continued at Massey to do an Honours project in the Phoenix Lab looking at ploidy levels in the parthenogenetic stick insect genus Acanthoxyla. I then moved back to Auckland where I continued to work on New Zealand stick insects for my Ph.D. at The University of Auckland and Landcare Research. My Ph.D. involved a through investigation of the stick insect genus Clitarchus. This project undertook a multidisplinary approach involving behavior, population genetics, and morphology analysis through CT scanning. These techniques allowed me to gain insights into the natural history of this genus, and provided information on how Northland’s biogeography has affected populations today. This work involved looking at secondary contact events between species and lead to my interest in colonizing populations. 

Mailing address:
 277 Poole Agricultural Center
 Clemson University
 Clemson, SC 29634-0310

Office: 280 Poole Agricultural Center
Email: smyers2@clemson.edu