My research centers in weevil (Curculionoidea) systematics, exploring the morphology, patterning, and evolutionary development of these remarkably diverse and curious beetles.
While my interests are strongly nested within comparative morphology and weevil systematics, I desire to employ a broad range of tools in evolutionary biology to better understand the taxonomy, classification, and evolution of one of the largest radiations in the tree of life.
Emanating from my interest in insect anatomy, and as a result of conducting taxonomic and phylogenetic studies in weevils (and other insects), I became fascinated with the developmental evolution driving the present and past morphological diversity in these organisms. Consequently, I have been integrating techniques of evolutionary development and developmental biology to better understand the genetic basis of morphological structure and evolution. I began by exploring the development and patterning of the weevil rostrum, a feature of this group which is believed to represent a key evolutionary innovation permitting them to undergo a spectacular radiation. Current and future work includes understanding the specific functions of these genes, their expression patterns, and determine the utility of such developmental data in a comparative phylogenetic context.