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Bernice DeMarco, SI Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Phone: 517-896-9540
  • Fax: 202-786-2894
  • E-mail Address:

  • USPS Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 188
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Public Carrier Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th & Constitution NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0188

  • Education:
    Ph.D. Michigan State University
    M.Sc. University of Missouri
    B.S. Purdue University

Bernice DeMarco

Research Interests:

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. rudisComparative 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 Sociauxdoi: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. and A.I. Cognato. 2015. Phylogenetic analysis supports the resurrection of Novomessor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America (108: 201-210).

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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