How do tropical landscapes drive insect evolution?

Dominic Evangelista | Jessica L. Ware

Rutgers University

$6,500Next Goal
This project was funded on:
13 April 2014
Most of the species on earth are in the tropics, but where did all this biodiversity come from? We want to study how certain landscape features contribute to evolutionary diversification in a tropical savannah. By comparing populations of cockroaches across the savannah we can understand the forces driving their evolution. Why cockroaches? There are a huge diversity (>4500 species) of cockroaches globally and we know almost nothing about them.


Budget Overview

Any funding you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

The funds we require will cover costs for collection of specimens from the field and for genetic sequencing. Our main goal of $4000 will cover the majority of the field collection and some of the genetic sequencing supplies. The stretch goal will provide the remainder of the money necessary for the genetic sequencing. Without the stretch goal money we may be able to scrounge by but it would definitely be extremely helpful if we were fully funded!

Whether you can fund us or not, please read the full project description! We think it's cool and interesting and hope you might think so too!

Meet the Researcher


Dominic's research involves exploring how to effectively describe biodiversity and the landscape level processes that contribute to promoting evolutionary diversification. On the organismal level, Dominic navigates the ecology, taxonomy and systematics of the insects of the order Blattodea.

There are very few researches that specialize in cockroaches and Dominic is one of them. Cockroaches are cryptic in their habitats and have morphology that is difficult for even identifying species. Despite this, Dominic is an experienced collector of wild roaches, can identify many of them by sight or genetic barcoding, and has even discovered new species.

Endorsed by


This is a unique project that should be supported. Funding this high quality project will further our understanding...See more

Assistant Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology in the department of Biological Sciences


This is an important and timely research project.

Assistant Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology


This is an exciting and important project, performed by a passionate and well qualified scientist.

Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural resources, Rutgers University


Our research on cockroaches has made it to the big time! Check out these stories about our most recent discovery!

Science Friday: EncROACHment: New York City's Invasive Roaches

Invasive cockroach in NYC can take the cold - Associated Press

Alien Cockroach Species Invading the US - National Geographic

Six Legged Freak - New York Magazine

View our publications and get to know us on Research Gate

Dominic Evangelista
Jessica Ware

...or follow us on Twitter...

@JessicaLWareLab Project image taken by Wajahat Mahmood

Project Backers

cresswell333sarahkornbluthCindy Wundharip_moneymelsanchAdam TrautwigwillkuhnsjmgarnierManpreetkjernattygutierrez52mayberenbaum1