Research in our lab (the Great Basin Bug Lab, a.k.a the Forister lab) is focused on evolutionary ecology, particularly the ecology and evolution of interspecific interactions. Among other topics, we are interested in the evolution of diet breadth, mutualisms, ecological speciation, and phenology.
We often, though not exclusively, study plant-herbivore systems, and we use a range of tools from manipulative field experiments to population genetics and phylogenetics. We are also interested in the conservation biology of insects, particularly in the arid regions of western North America.
Ongoing projects in the lab include: the evolution of diet breadth in lycaenid butterflies; hybrid speciation in alpine environments; diversity in anthropogenic landscapes in the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada; analyses of long-term phenological data. Check out the links above to see our publications and what individual people are doing.
Why the "bug" lab? We are using bug in the colloquial sense to mean insects in general, and to reflect our interest in the little things that comprise the majority of multicellular life on Earth. However, our research is not limited to insects, and prospective students should feel free to contact me about research in any area of ecology and evolution (see below for contact information).
We have a PhD program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, as well as a Master's program in Biology. Students interested in joining the lab should check out the relevant links below and contact me (Matt Forister) at email@example.com.
Art's Sierran Butterflies (information on the butterfly diversity in our backyard)
The Forister Lab
Department of Biology, mail stop 314
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, Nevada 89557
Lab phone: (775) 784 - 7083
Fax: (775) 784 - 1302
Photos on this page
The photo at the top of the page is from the Warner Mountains, in north-eastern California. The caterpillar being tended by ants is Lycaeides melissa from one of our local sites near Reno, Nevada; and the adult butterfly is the alpine, hybrid species of Lycaeides from Mt Rose in the Sierra Nevada. All photos by Chris Nice.