Natalie R Graham

Natalie R Graham

View all

Natalie Graham

Graduate Student

Email |
Web |
Office | Hilgard 221
Curriculum vitae | PDF
Research area | Species Diversification Mechanisms / Ecological Networks / Biological Invasions / Biological Control



Research Interests

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at University of California, Berkeley working with Dr. Rosemary Gillespie. I have a MS Biology from Sonoma State University where I worked with Dr. Derek Girman and Dr. Brian Fisher investigating a group of ants from Madagascar that have specialized across the island due to divergent colony reproductive strategies and variable microhabitats.

I am broadly interested in species diversification mechanisms of insular fauna and how communities change over time; in particular, how anthropogenic changes are altering species interactions and potentially driving rapid evolution. To investigate these questions I study arthropod communities in the Hawaiian archipelago that include endemic and native species as well as accidental and purposeful introductions. I exploit the natural occurrence of age-structured terrains on the archipelago that represent communities in an assembly continuum at sites dating from 44 years to 5.5 million years in geological age.

For my dissertation, I am: (1) Taking a phylogenomic approach to examine long-term evolutionary mechanisms in species radiations of three focal lineages of arthropods: wasps, beetles and spiders (2) Taking a data science approach to assembling ecological networks of parasitoid-host, plant-herbivore, predator-prey and pollinator-flower associations of both native and non-native species for communities of different age, elevation, and habitat modification regime (3) Taking a landscape genomic approach to investigate the axes for population differentiation of an ecologically dominate escaped biological control agent, to further understand the role of natural enemies introduced for biological control in ecological communities and track genomic signatures of invasion.

My aim to develop efficient molecular biodiversity assessment pipelines that leverage genomic, spatial and ecological network information to capture global change phenomena of the world’s biotas.


Sheffer M., Graham N.R. and Gillespie R.G., 2018. Dietary and Spatial Niche Partitioning in Hawaiian Spiders: A Test of the Competitive Exclusion Principle. Manuscript in preparation.

Krehenwinkel H., Pomerantz A., Henderson J., Kennedy S.R., Lim J.Y., Varun S., Shoobridge J.D., Graham N.R., Patel N., Gillespie R.G., Prost S., (in press). Nanopore sequencing of long ribosomal DNA amplicons enables portable and simple biodiversity assessments with high phylogenetic resolution across broad taxonomic scale. GigaScience

Graham, N.R., Gruner, D.S., Lim, J.Y. and Gillespie, R.G., 2017. Island ecology and evolution: challenges in the Anthropocene. Environmental Conservation, pp.1-13.
Graham, N.R., Fisher, B.L. and Girman, D.J., 2016. Phylogeography in response to reproductive strategies and ecogeographic isolation in ant species on Madagascar: genus Mystrium (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae). PloS one, 11(1), p.e0146170.