Of particular interest are two related topics related to biodiversity science: the ecology of biological invasions and the history and structure of populations. The work addresses both basic and applied questions, taking advantage of the opportunities associated with the geography of Pacific Basin, Pacific Islands, and Pacific Rim, including California and Asia.
Our research includes studies of the origins of endemic, indigenous and non-indigenous organisms, processes associated with colonization and invasion, and population structure, including identification of management units, conservation, sustainability, and biodiversity science. Some of this work deals with older colonizations and deeper history, such as the assembly of ecological communities in the islands of the Pacific and the roles of geography and climate change in the structure of insect populations. Other work examines the recent colonizations of biological invasions. We use a diversity of tools in this work, including genomics, population genetics, GIS, and climate modeling.
Related research examines the role of population subdivision and host use in the formation of species and in the conservation status of arthropods. I collaborate with Rosemary Gillespie on studies of biodiversity and adaptive radiation of Pacific Island terrestrial arthropods.
Another emphasis concerns trophic interactions–how they come to be and how they change and evolve over time. These issues are fundamental to processes of colonization and establishment of organisms in novel environments, particularly in the context of global change. Such processes are important not only in natural settings, for example as organisms colonize new areas or switch to new hosts, but also in managed systems, where such factors determine the impact of biological invasions and the successes and failures of biological control. We use many tools in this work, including field manipulations, population genetics/genomics, and computational approaches.
Organisms under study in California include both indigenous and non-indigenous organisms, mainly insects and other terrestrial arthropods. In Hawaii, French Polynesia, and the Pacific, my students and I are studying endemic insects associated with plants in the Hawaiian silversword alliance and other hosts, as well as the effects and origins of non-indigenous arthropods. Much of this work is based at UCB’s Gump South Pacific Research Station. Of particular interest are fruit flies in the family Tephritidae (Diptera, Trupanea, Bactocera, Ceratitis), planthoppers in the family Delphacidae (Hemiptera, Nesosydne), and the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (formerly, H. coagulata), Cicadellidae (Hemiptera). Related projects focus on the population biology of rice pests (planthoppers, stemborers) in SE Asia and Colorado potato beetle and relatives (Leptinotarsa) in the US and Northern Mexico.
Current and recent projects:
- Moorea Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar (IDEA) Project, ETH Zurich, Oxford, EPHE, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Gump South Pacific Research Station
- NSF. BRC–CalBug, digitizing California’s entomology collections. 8 California Insect Collections.
- NSF. BRC–BiSciCol Tracker: Towards a tagging and tracking infrastructure for biodiversity science collections. PI N Cellinese, U Florida.
- Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Keck Foundation, Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, PIs R Gillespie, C Marshall
- NSF. Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology: Ecology, evolution, and conservation biology in the Pacific. R Gillespie/M Hadfield, D Price, R Richmond, G Roderick (based at Univ. Hawaii)
- US Department of the Interior. Status of alpine butterflies in Yosemite National Park. S Schoville, S Thompson, G Roderick (PhD work of S Schoville)
- NSF. Research Coordination Network (RCN): Insect invasion biology: Collections and approaches. G Roderick
- NSF. Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories (BSI): Polynesia Terrestrial Arthropods. R Gillespie, N Evenhuis, J Liebherr, D Polhemus, G Roderick
- NSF. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference on alien invasive species. G Roderick, J Shogren
- NSF. Evolution of host plant use by Pacific planthoppers. G Roderick, Kari Goodman, Gerald Hasty
- NSF. Evolutionary impact of cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters on host reproductive biology. N Davies, S Charlat, G Hurst, S O’Neill, G Roderick, N Wedell
- NSF. GK-12: Exploring California Biodiversity. R Gillespie, B Mishler, D Lindberg, C Moritz, M Power, G Roderick (track 2, renewal)
- France-Berkeley Fund. Les insectes et les acariens invasifs en climat méditerranéen / Invasive insects and mites of Mediterranean climates. M Navajas, G Roderick
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), DIGIT Seed Money. Invasion Biology of Insects–Collections and Data. G Roderick, J Deck, R Gillespie
- USDA NRI. Invasion genetics of olive fruit fly (Tephritidae), F Nardi, C-Y Bon, K Hoelmer, G Roderick
- USDA NRI. Invasion genetics of walnut husk fly (Tephritidae). Y Chen, S Opp, S Berlocher, G Roderick (postdoc work of Y Chen)
- USDA NRI. Ecological and genetic change in a biological control agent of tephritid fruit flies following introduction. R Messing, M Wright, A Wieczorek, G Roderick
- USDA NRI. Discrimination of whiteflies in the genus Bemisia. J Brown, R Gill, G Roderick, G Watson (PhD work of M Hadjistylli)
- USDA NRI. Combined 12th International Auchenorrhyncha Congress and 5th Workshop on Leafhoppers and Planthoppers of Economic Significance, A Purcell, EA Backus, G Roderick
- UC IPM Program. Using population structure to identify parasitoid biotypes of mealy plum aphid in California. N Mills, J Lozier, G Roderick (PhD work of J Lozier)
- UC Agricultural Experiment Station. Bioinvasions of exotic insects: molecular genetics, modeling, and databases. G Roderick
- Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Moorea Biocode Project. N Davies, R Gillespie, C Meyer, J-Y Meyer, C Moritz, S Planes, G Roderick (click for a day in science report in Nature–search for Moorea; another in Nature here; UC news item here, and video, Mongabay.com)
- National Geographic Society. International ecostations. N Davies, G Roderick
- UC Pacific Rim Research Program Minigrants, Identifying sites of Samoan arthropod endemism for biodiversity monitoring, E Claridge, R Gillespie, G Roderick (PhD work of E Claridge)
- Territorial Government of French Polynesia, Cicadellidae of French Polynesia and the biological control of glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis. Hosted at UCB Gump South Pacific Research Station. N Davies, J Grandgirard, M Hoddle, J Petit, G Roderick