Bernice DeMarco, SI Postdoctoral Fellow
I am interested in evolution and systematics of ants (Formicidae), as well as their behavior and morphology. I am focused on the genera Aphaenogaster and Novomessor.As a PhD student, I used morphology combined with molecular data from five genes (CO1, CAD, EF1αF2, LWR and Wingless) to reconstruct a phylogeny for 44 Aphaenogaster and outgroup species. Most taxa were resolved, but some species in the Aphaenogaster rudis complex are still unresolved.
Current molecular techniques are allowing me to expand this research using RADseq to sample across the genome to create a more phylogenetically informative data set. I am collaborating with Dr. Ted Schultz (NMNH-SI) and Dr. Sara Helms Cahan (University of Vermont) to try to resolve the remaining taxa in the “rudis” complex. I also intend to expand my sample size to include additional Aphaenogaster species worldwide.
Helms Cahan, S., Nguyen, A.D., Stanton-Geddes, J., Penick, C.A., Hernáiz-Hernández, Y., DeMarco, B.B. and Gotelli, N.J. 2017. Modulation of the heat shock response is associated with acclimation to novel temperatures but not adaptation to climatic variation in the ants Aphaenogaster picea and A. rudis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 204: 113-120. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2016.11.017
Warren, R.J., Chick, L.D., DeMarco, B., McMillan, A., Stefano, V. De, Gibson, R. and Pinzone, P. 2016. Climate-driven range shift prompts species replacement. Insectes Sociaux, doi:10.1007/s00040-016-0504-0
DeMarco, B.B. and A.I. Cognato. 2016. A multiple gene phylogeny reveals polyphyly among eastern North American Aphaenogaster species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zoologica Scripta (doi:10.1111/zsc.12168).
DeMarco, B.B. 2015. MSU Bug House: What’s it all about? Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society (60: 28).
Robert Morrison. 2014. PhD dissertation, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University.
Hunt, J.H. and M.S. Arduser. 1987. Common Missouri Wasps and Bees. The Missouri Conservationist.
Hunt, J.H. 1983. Foraging and Morphology in ants: the role of vertebrate predators as agents of natural selection. In P. Jaisson, ed, Social insects in the tropics, vol. 2, pp. 83-104. Universite Paris-Nord, Paris.
Pamela S. Mitchell. 1982. Master’s thesis, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St Louis.
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