Diving Beetles of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press Kelly Miller Lab

The focus of research in my laboratory is the study of the systematics and evolution of insects. Systematics is the subdiscipline of biology that documents the diversity of living things... no small task when it comes to arthopods. Systematists are concerned with establishing what species exist and how those species are related to each other as larger groups, and our activities result in a classification system (taxonomy) and historical context (phylogeny) that provides a foundation for all of biology.

Work in my lab has involved many groups of arthropods including diving beetles (Dytiscidae), whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae), slime-mold beetles (Agathidiini, Leiodidae), fungus beetles (Cucujoidea), longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae), band-wing grasshoppers (Oedipodinae), roaches (Blattodea), mantises (Mantodea), spiders (Araneae), and webspinners (Embioptera), among others.

Several hundred species of arthropods have been described in my laboratory. Species discovery remains "big science" since vast numbers of species of arthropods remain unknown, and we seek to make knowledge of biodiversity available.

We use phylogentic techniques with morphological and DNA sequence data to study larger evolutionary patterns in arthropods. For example, we have investigated the evolution of silk use in spiders, switches between generalization and specialization in pollination by bees, and sexual strategy evolution in water beetles.

"I am dying by inches, from not having any body to talk to about insects..."
Charles Darwin, Letters. A Selection, 1825-1859

"I suppose you are an entomologist" "Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name. No man can be truly called an entomologist, sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table


Kelly B. Miller Lab, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, 167 Castetter Hall, MSC03 2020, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001 USA
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