Beetle systematics. Staphylinid beetles are one of the greatest successes of evolution. With more than 60,000 described species, they are found virtually everywhere and have a plethora of forms and evolutionary novelties. Even though staphylinid beetles are numerous, they have received relatively little attention. I am involved in several research projects dealing with both systematic questions (description of new species, phylogenetic analyses and monographs) and broader evolutionary questions such as the evolution of myrmecophily, the evolution of aposematic coloration and the diversification of major lineages.
Southeastern Beetles. Recently we have started a seed project to catalogue and identify the beetles in Tennessee valley region, including the Cumberland Plateau and the Lookout Mt in Georgia. Simple questions such as: "How many species of beetles are there in TN?" or "What is the conservation status of beetles in TN?" are without an answer.
Fossil Insects. In recent years there has been a flurry of activity in describing new rove beetles. Our lab focuses on describing key fossil taxa and integrating these taxa in phylogenetic analyses with extant taxa.