I recently joined the Jackson Laboratory having previously worked on a diverse set of organisms. My Ph.D. focused on population and conservation genetics of a submersed aquatic plant species, which was targeted for restoration efforts. Most recently, I was a member of the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian Institution. In that role, I was responsible for the generation and analysis of target enrichment data used in phylogenomics. These studies spanned a number of insect orders and also included ant-associated fungi. I am excited to apply my knowledge and skill set to the diversity of questions being asked at Jax.
Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) have been successfully used in phylogenomics for a variety of taxa, but their power in phylogenetic inference has yet to be extensively compared with that of traditional Sanger sequencing data sets. Moreover, UCE data on invertebrates, including insects, are sparse. We compared the phylogenetic informativeness of 959 UCE loci with a multi-locus data set of ten nuclear markers obtained via Sanger sequencing, testing the ability of these two types of data to resolve and date the evolutionary history of the second most species-rich subfamily of ants in the world, the Formicinae.