Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Kjer et al. Study of Evolution of Insect Life Published in Science
Congratulations to Dr. Karl Kjer (right) and current and former lab members Paul Frandsen, Jessica Ware (Rutgers Newark), and Xin Zhou for their groundbreaking work in insect evolution, featured as the cover article in the November 7 issue of Science. The two-year effort of 100 international collaborators to the 1KITE initiative used molecular data from 1,400 insect species to map out evolutionary relationships among all insects. Says Kjer, "Using only 10% of the data we have in hand, this paper resolved many of the long-standing debates about insect phylogenetics." Keep your eyes out for another outcome of the 1KITE initiative: a new book on insect evolution. READ MORE
PhD Candidate Feinberg Discovers New Frog Species in New York
Six years after first encountering a new species of leopard frog on Staten Island, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution PhD candidate Jeremy Feinberg and colleagues recently announced their findings in PLoS One. Feinberg and his collaborators used molecular and bioacoustic techniques to confirm that the Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog, Rana kauffeldi, was indeed distinct from two very similar leopard frog species. Since Feinberg's discovery, Rana kauffeldi has been recorded in eight eastern states and several major cities, which gives the optimistic result that new biodiversity can be discovered even in very well-studied metropolitan areas. Its name, kauffeldi, pays homage to late Staten Island Zoo director Carl Kauffeld, who in 1937 made claims that a new frog species existed in New York. READ MORE
Our interdisciplinary department specializes in ecology, evolution, and natural resource conservation. We study the evolutionary origins and maintenance of biodiversity, conserving and restoring native ecosystems, and issues of global change such as managing natural resources within urban ecosystems.