Michael G. Branstetter
Office: (801) 58

Ph.D. University of California, Davis (2012)
B.Sc. The Evergreen State College (2005)

2012-2014 Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution

Michael is a longtime collaborator on the LLAMA project and is currently the postdoc on the recently funded Ant Diversity of MesoAmerica (ADMAC) grant. He is involved in all aspects of project ADMAC, but his primary role is to establish and run the molecular and bioinformatics components of the grant, which focus on using next-generation sequencing to generate genome-scale datasets for inferring ant phylogenies. Michael's research interests are broad, but center around documenting and understanding ant diversity within the Neotropical region. For his Ph.D., Michael studied the systematics and evolution of the ant genus Stenamma, working mainly with the species that occupy Mesoamerica. Following his Ph.D. he has developed several on-going projects, which include (1) revising the generic boundaries within the ant tribe Stenammini, (2) developing the UCE phylogenomics method for use in ants and other Hymenoptera, and (3) employing the UCE approach to infer the evolutionary histories of select ant lineages. As the ADMAC project progresses, Michael and his collaborators will synthesize results from individual projects in order to test hypotheses about how Central American ant assemblages have evolved.

Michael's C.V.


Rodolfo da Silva Probst


Office: (801) 587 ​5683​

2016-     PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Department of Biology – University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. 

2013-2105    M.S. in Systematics, Animal Taxonomy and Biodiversity. Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (MZSP), São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

2008-2012    B.Sc. in Biology, with a specialization in Marine Biology. Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” – Campus do Litoral Paulista (UNESP-CLP), São Vicente, São Paulo, Brazil.




Mac Pierce

Mac was an undergrad lab assistant and participated in the 2015 ADMAC field sampling in Costa Rica.

Hanna Kim

Hanna was a lab assistant, working on morphometrics of the genus Pheidole and involved in DNA library preparation for the ADMAC project.

Spencer Monett

Spencer worked as a lab assistant, providing lots of help sorting ants from leaf litter samples. He was also involved in DNA extraction and library preparation, associated with the ADMAC project.

Alex Gregorcy

Alex became interested in ants and entomology after taking a Costa Rica field class with Jack Longino. He helped sort ants from a conservation-oriented trip in Guyana that Michael Branstetter participated in.

Theodore P. Sumnicht

M.S. University of Arkansas, Little Rock (2012)
B.S. University of California, Davis (2009)

Selected Publications:

Ward, P.S. and T.P. Sumnicht. 2012. Molecular and morphological evidence for three sympatric species of Leptanilla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on the Greek island of Rhodes. Myrmecological News 17: 5–11.

Boudinot, B.E., Sumnicht, T.P., and R.M.M. Adams (in press). Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males. Zootaxa.

Brendon E. Boudinot

B.S. Evergreen State College, WA (2012)

An avid mountain biker and metal-head, Brendon is one of the few myrmecologists to specialize in male ant morphology and taxonomy, although his research interests also span molecular systematics and functional morphology. His major current project is to produce male-based keys and diagnoses to all the ant genera of Central America. He worked with Dr. Longino since an undergraduate at Evergreen, and was a field assistant for the LLAMA project in 2010 (Honduras). He was a hyper-productive lab tech in the Longino lab at University of Utah, 2012-2013, and has started a PhD program with Phil Ward at UC Davis.


Boudinot, B.E. (2013). The male genitalia of ants: musculature, homology, and functional morphology (Hymenoptera: Aculeata: Formicidae).  The Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 30: 2949.

Longino, J.T. & Boudinot B.E. (2013). New species of Central American Rhopalothrix Mayr 1870 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa, 3616: 301–324.

Boudinot, B.E. & Fisher, B.L. (2013). A taxonomic revision of the Meranoplus F. Smith of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) with descriptions of queens and males.  Zootaxa, 3635: 301–339.

Boudinot, B.E., Sumnicht, T.P., and R.M.M. Adams (in press). Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males. Zootaxa.