I am interested in the evolution of symbiotic lifestyles and investigating how major biotic, climatic, and tectonic events may have influenced the timing and patterns of diversification. Much of my current research is centered on the carabid beetle subfamily Paussinae, which contains many obligate ant symbionts. Other ongoing projects explore the evolution of bombardier beetles and ground dwelling arthropods in the Madrean Archipelago of the Southwestern US.
I have a deep appreciation for the largely untapped value of data in natural history collections. Specimens are the physical evidence for virtually everything we know about biology, they anchor our species concepts, hypotheses of relationships among species, patterns of distribution, as well as our more general theories about evolution, biogeography and biodiversity. While collections represent the single largest source of information we have on planetary biodiversity, they are largely under-utilized and therefore also under-appreciated. As curator of the University of Arizona Insect Collection, I am committed to collections care and enhancement, and the use of bioinformatics to make collections-based data widely available to diverse user communities.