NEW PAPER OUT! Thermal diversity of North American ant communities: Cold tolerance but not heat tolerance tracks ecosystem temperature

Our second NEON ants and 5th pub for 2020 was just published in Global Ecology and Biogeography. Led by Jelena Bujan, this is our first paper linking physiological traits like critical thermal max and min (CTmax and CTmin ) to different environmental abiotic conditions at a large geographical scale. A summary from Jelena in GEB… “InContinue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! Thermal diversity of North American ant communities: Cold tolerance but not heat tolerance tracks ecosystem temperature”

NEW PAPER OUT! Seasonal plasticity of thermal tolerance in ants

Great to see another publication out from one of my favorite places to do field work, the University of Oklahoma Biological Station. This is the 4th pub for 2020, which is shaping up to be quite the productive year! Recently published in Ecology, Jelena and I were interested in seeing if thermal tolerance, an importantContinue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! Seasonal plasticity of thermal tolerance in ants”

NEW PAPER OUT! Invasive Saltcedar and Drought Impact Ant Communities and Isopods in South-Central Nebraska

It has been a busy March as our third paper of 2020 was recently published in Environmental Entomology! This was a fun collaboration with Wyatt Hoback at Oklahoma State University, who I first met while working on our Ants of Oklahoma project. We decided to tackle a data set that had been collected almost 15Continue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! Invasive Saltcedar and Drought Impact Ant Communities and Isopods in South-Central Nebraska”

NEW PAPER OUT! Nutrient dilution and climate cycles underlie declines in a dominant insect herbivore

Second paper of 2020 is out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS for short)! Ellen Welti sums up the work nicely here… “Parsing variation in long-term patterns underlying insect abundances and assigning mechanisms are critical in light of recent reports of dramatic insect declines. Grasshopper abundancesContinue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! Nutrient dilution and climate cycles underlie declines in a dominant insect herbivore”

NEW PAPER OUT! The economics of optimal foraging by the red imported fire ant

First paper of 2020 is out in Environmental Entomology! Here we look at how the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, regulates its foraging behavior. This was an interesting project that we first piloted back in 2015 and built on all the way through the summer of 2018. We were interested in testing ideas fromContinue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! The economics of optimal foraging by the red imported fire ant”

Job Announcement: Undergraduate research quantifying insect biodiversity and trophic structure of agricultural food webs

The Harmon-Threatt lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is seeking a motivated, hardworking undergraduate student to join our team for the spring 2020 semester. The successful candidate will work with Dr. Karl Roeder on a recently funded project examining if multifunctional woody polycultures increase insect biodiversity and food web stability. The position will mostlyContinue reading “Job Announcement: Undergraduate research quantifying insect biodiversity and trophic structure of agricultural food webs”

NEW PAPER OUT! Species Energy and Thermal Performance Theory predict 20‐year changes in ant community abundance and richness

Our newest paper of 2019 and the first NEON ants paper is out in Ecology!!! “In an era of rapid climate change, and with it concern over insect declines, we used two theories to predict 20‐year changes in 34 North American ant communities. The ecosystems, from deserts to hardwood forests, were first surveyed in theContinue reading “NEW PAPER OUT! Species Energy and Thermal Performance Theory predict 20‐year changes in ant community abundance and richness”

PhD and future postdoc in Illinois!

Over the past few years, I have tried to post once every month or at least every other month with updates from my research or outreach. This came to a crashing halt after BioBlitz last year as I finished off the last few sections of my dissertation and prepared to defend. After a successful defense,Continue reading “PhD and future postdoc in Illinois!”

Quantifying invertebrate responses to nutrient additions in North American grasslands

A slight delay in posts as I have been gone or busy writing up portions of my dissertation. In September, our lab finished off the last sampling on the SALT grant for the year at three locations in the midwest United States. Having never visited two of these states before, I was quite excited toContinue reading “Quantifying invertebrate responses to nutrient additions in North American grasslands”