Principal Investigator

Dr. Andrew E. Z. Short

Associate Professor & Curator

Google Scholar @TheShortLab Nat Geo Blog

Full CV [Sept 2018]

Email: aezshort /at/ ku.edu

Office phone: 785.864.2323

My work revolves around the evolution and diversity of aquatic beetles. I use a combination of molecular, morphological, and field data to understand how these organisms are related and distributed.

Postdocs & Staff

Dr. Grey T. Gustafson

Postdoctoral Researcher

Google Scholar @GreyTGustafson

Full CV [Jan 2017]

Email: gtgustafson/at/gmail.com

My research focuses on the systematics and phylogenetics of aquatic beetles, particularly the whirligig beetles (the family Gyrinidae). I utilize phylogenetic reconstruction to study their evolution and diversification and am interested in the interplay between sexual selection and speciation in this group, as well as their historical biogeography.

Sarah Schmits

Digitization Specialist

Email: scschmits/at/ ku.edu

I coordinate the lab's informatics and database activities, including our participation in Invertnet and work to develop digital infrastructure for the National Water Quality Collection in collaboration with the University of Minnesota.

Graduate Students

Stephen Baca

PhD candidate

Google Scholar @StephenMBaca

Full CV [Dec 2016]

Email: s953b810/at/ ku.edu

My research focuses on the systematics of the aquatic beetle family Noteridae (Coleoptera: Adephaga). I am currently working on several projects related to the the phylogenetics of Noteridae using both Sanger sequencing and the targeted capture of Ultraconserved Elements, revising poorly known noterid genera/groups and describing new genera and species.

Jennifer Girón

PhD Candidate

Google Scholar @Yenizina Blog

Web: https://sites.google.com/view/jcgiron/home

Email: jcgiron/at/ ku.edu

I’m broadly interested in the morphology, systematics, biodiversity and biogeography of Neotropical beetles. My current research focuses in reconstructing the phylogenetic history of water scavenger beetles of the subfamily Acidocerinae (Hydrophilidae). I will also investigate morphological characters associated with niche shifts in acidocerines.

Rachel Neff

MS Student


Email: rachelneff/ at/ ku.edu


Larissa Santana

PhD Student

Co-advised with Neusa Hamada and based at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil

Larissa is working on the systematics and evolution of the giant water scavenger beetle genus Hydrobiomorpha.

Janderson Alencar

PhD Student

Co-advised with Neusa Hamada and based at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil

Janderson is studying the taxonomy and ecology of aquatic beetles living in seepage habitats in the mountain ranges of east-central Brazil.


Rachel Smith

Undergraduate Research Assistant/ REU student

I am currently studying the hydrophilid genus Tobochares, including describing some new species from Brazil.

Lacey Jennings

Undergraduate Assistant

Bryson Hall

Undergraduate Assistant

Lab Alumni

Devin Bloom, Postdoctoral Researcher (now Western Michigan University)

Bruno Clarkson, PhD '14, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Jacob Dixon, REU Student

Frazier Graham, REU Student

Vanessa Kadosoe, MS '14, National University of Suriname (now National Zoological Collection of Suriname)

Alex Kohlenberg, REU/Senior Thesis Student

Crystal Maier, PhD '16 (now MCZ, Harvard University)

Clay McIntosh, REU Student

Marianna Simoes, PhD '17, (now Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum)

Emmanuel Toussaint, Postdoctoral Researcher (now Natural History Museum of Geneva)



Chief Snuggler