PEOPLE

Dr. Corrie Moreau

Director of Integrative Research and Associate Curator/Professor
cmoreau@fieldmuseum.org

I am interested in the origin and evolution of species, and in particular, how symbiosis may influence patterns of diversification.  More specifically I am interested in how we can use diverse tools including molecular methods, next-generation sequencing, and comparative genomics with field-based research to unravel the tempo and mode of the evolution of biodiversity.
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Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Caroline Birer
Visting Postdoctoral Fellow
birercaroline@gmail.com
I am interested in the biology and the chemistry of the bacterial microbiota of ant cuticles. More specifically, I isolated cuticular Actinobacteria to test their antibiotic activities and I use mass spectrometry molecular networks to explore the diversity of small natural compounds produced in bacterial co-cultures. I also try to better understand acquisition mechanisms, biodiversity, and functions of ant cuticular microbiota by testing correlations between microbiota data XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx(metabarcoding) and chemical data (metabolomics). My research links XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxnatural products chemistry, microbioloy, and community ecology.

Dr. Doug Booher
Postdoctoral Fellow (starting January 2018)
dbooher@antmuseum.com
I am interested the processes and mechanisms responsible for the origination, organization, and maintenance of diversity. I am specifically interested in understanding how the importance of diversity maintaining and organizing processes and thus patterns of diversity change as a function of geographic scale. I am currently studying the effects of non-native species on Florida ant communities using historical records collected by entomologists and deposited in museums over the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxlast few decades. I aim to describe what happens to native ant species when non-native species XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxarrive and identify the traits that predict which non-native ant species will become successful. I am XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxworking on a taxonomic treatment of the ant genus Strumigenys in my spare time.
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Dr. Matthew Nelsen
Postdoctoral Fellow – Moreau & Ree Labs
mnelsen@fieldmuseum.org
My interests lie in understanding how lineages have diversified and  interacted with terrestrial ecosystems over space and time.  I am especially interested in the evolutionary origins and diversification of symbiotic and interacting lineages of fungi, plants and insects.  My research links systematics, comparative methods and geology to better understand the context in which these lineages evolved, and their ecological and evolutionary consequences.
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Price_cropDr. Shauna Price
Postdoctoral Fellow
sprice@fieldmuseum.org
I am interested in the processes and mechanisms involved in the diversification of lineages, and specifically, how those relate to the ecology of the lineage. I study the species rich Neotropical turtle ant genus, which exhibits elaborate morphological traits that can be linked to their ecology. I have primarily focused on phylogenetic reconstruction and rates of lineage diversification of turtle ants, and as I continue to work further on a complete phylogeny, I am also incorporating comparative XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxmethods to address questions about the adaptive diversification of these ants.
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Dr. Manuela Ramalho
Postdoctoral Fellow (starting June 2018)
manuramalho2010@gmail.com
Symbiotic interactions are responsible for the evolution of animal diversity on the planet. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, I study the bacterial communities of ants. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), I will examine the microbiota of samples from related hosts across different environments and in the context of their phylogenetic history.
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Graduate Students

Benjamin_BlanchardBenjamin Blanchard
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
bblanchard@fieldmuseum.org
I am intrigued by morphological adaptations and their influence on ecological interactions and species divergence. The ant genus Polyrhachis is ideal for investigating these topics, with some species boasting remarkably developed spines. I plan to investigate patterns of morphological evolution, including the role of specialization on speciation and the ecological functions of spines.
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Anaïs Chanson
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of French Guiana (co-advised with Christophe Duplais)
anais.chanson@ecofog.gf
I am interested in insect ecology and evolution, specifically in understanding how ants of the same or different species exhibit different microbial association according to their environment. I am currently studying the bacteria living on/in ants in Amazonia with the aim to understand the correlations between the diversity of biosynthetic gene clusters coded from non-ribosomal peptides from these bacteria and the host ants phylogeny/ecology.
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Jordan Greer
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
jgreer2@fieldmuseum.org
Starting Fall 2017
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Peter Flynn

Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
pflynn@fieldmuseum.org
I am interested in adaptation and diversification in ant species. I am hoping to study ant trait evolution and species diversity using various phylogenetic and comparative techniques. I plan to investigate the role of biogeography, disease dynamics, and symbiosis on ant diversification using a combination of ecological field experiments with genomic and evolutionary analyses.
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Supriya_IndiaSupriya
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago (co-advised with Trevor Price)
ksupriya@uchicago.edu
I am interested in the role of interactions between distantly related taxa in driving species diversity patterns. More specifically, I am studying the effect of interactions between ants and birds in Eastern Himalayas on elevational distribution of birds. I hope to quantify the pattern of these interactions by studies of diet overlap and phylogenetic histories; and use field experiments to understand the underlying processes.
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Research Assistants & Staff

Destiny Reeves
Research Assistant
destinydreeves@gmail.com

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Undergraduate Interns, High School Interns, & Volunteers

Grant_DoeringGrant Doering
Arizona State University
madeline_jenkinsMadeline Jenkins
Beloit College
Madeleine Kelly Harvard University
Ian Rines
Wofford College
Francesca Socki
Ohio Wesleyan University

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Visiting Scientists/Professors

Dr. Christophe Duplais
Group Leader
Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) &
Scientific Affiliate at Field Museum
2016 – present
| Website |
I am interested in combining methods in analytical chemistry and molecular ecology to decipher the biosynthetic pathways of natural products in an evolutionary context. Our research in chemical ecology and evolutionary chemistry focuses on (1) the mechanism of heartwood formation in tropical woods, (2) community ecology of ants cuticular bacteria, (3) the impact of latex in plant evolution.

 

Dr. Cíntia Martins
Professor
Federal University of Piauí, Brazil &
Fulbright Junior Faculty Member Award at Field Museum
2017 – present
My main interests are ants and their symbionts, specially the roles of symbionts in the evolutionary history and success of ants. With the Moreau lab I will be studying associated microbiota from the ant genus Pheidole using next-generation sequencing. Our main goal is to investigate how symbionts participated in the evolutionary success and diversification of this ecologically important ant genus by analyzing bacterial communities from Pheidole species from a variety of biogeographic locations and different diets.

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Moreau Lab Alumni

Graduate Students:
– Benjamin Rubin (Now at: Princeton University): 2009-2015 | Website |
– Max Winston (Now at: Private tech company): 2011-2017 | Website |
– Lu Yao (Now at: American Museum of Natural History): 2011-2016 | Website |

Postdoctoral Researchers:
– Felix Grewe (Now at: Genome Analyst – Field Museum: 2014–2016 | Website |
– Stefanie Kautz (Now at: Research Associate – Portland State University): 2009–2014
– Steve Leavitt (Now at: Assistant Professor – Brigham Young University): 2013–2015 | Website |
– Dirk Mezger (Now at: Project Manager & Photographer – AntBase.net): 2013–2014
– April Wright (Now at: Assistant Professor – Southeastern Louisiana University): 2016-2017 | Website |

Research Assistants:
– Matt Boot (Now at: Ohio State University): 2015-2017
– Gracen Brilmyer (Now at: University of California, Los Angeles): 2011-2014
– Jesse Czekanski-Moir (Now at: SUNY-ESF): 2008-2010
– Joe Rowlett: 2014-2015
– Alexandra Westrich (Now at: Chicago Department of Public Health): 2010–2012 & 2014–2015
– Brian Wray (Now at: Northwestern University): 2010-2017

Undergraduate Interns:
– Aaron-Bereich Apilado (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2012–2013
– Jenna-Marie Antonucci (Loyola University): Summer 2009
– Patrick Belenky (University of Illinois, Chicago): 2013–2014
– Matthew Boot (Grand Valley State University): 2013–2015
– Simon Briggs (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2013–2014
– Andrew Burchill (University of Chicago): 2013–2014 (NSF REU intern 2013)
– Kelsey Choo (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2014–2015
– Jessica De Smet (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): 2009–2011
– Grant Doering (Arizona State University): Summer 2016 & 2017
– Ariel Fang (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2011–2014
– Manda Gibbs (Lake Forest College): FMWIS Kemper Scholar Summer 2014
– Charles Griggs (Middlebury College): Summer 2013
– Geneva Guinee (University of New England): Summer 2009
– Ali Gutowski (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2013–2014
– Caroline Hanson (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2012–2013
– Mallory Hinz (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): 2013
– Madeline Jenkins (Beloit College): 2016–present
– Madeleine Kelly (Harvard University): Summer 2017
– Hanna Klaeser (Whitman College): Summers 2014 & 2016
– Rachel Kleban (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2014
– Stefanie Krim (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2013–2014
– Daniel Minh-Tu Le (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2011
– Elizabeth Loehler (Loyola University): Summer 2009 (NSF REU intern 2009)
– Ariadne Lumayag (DePaul University): Summer 2010 (NSF CIRRUS intern 2010)
– Paul Masonick (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): 2014
– Dreyvon McCray (Governor’s State University): Summer 2016 (NSF REU intern 2016)
– Katherine McDonnell (Tufts University): Summer 2013
– Steven Medina (Tulane University): Summer 2016
– William Montag (Bowdoin University): Summer 2010 & 2011 (NSF REU intern 2011)
– Stephanie Morgan (Beloit College): Summer 2013 (Field Museum Women In Science intern)
– Amanda Mulcahy (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2014
– Peter Nichols (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): 2014–2015
– Timothy O’Connor (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): 2010
– Sean O’Fallon (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): 2016–2017
– Destiny Reeves (University of Chicago): 2016–2017
– Ian Rines (Wofford College): Summer 2017 (NSF REU intern 2017)
– Estefany Romero (Concordia University Chicago): Summer 2015 (Field Museum Women In Science intern)
– Timothy Salazar (University of Chicago): 2014–2015
– Francesca Socki (Ohio Wesleyan University): Summer 2017 (NSF REU intern 2017)
– Kathleen Soler (DePaul University): 2009-2010
– Lynika Stozier (Dominican University): Summer 2011 & Summer 2013
– Andrea Thompson (Harold Washington College): 2014–2017
– Arista Tischner (University of Illinois, Chicago): 2011–2014 (NSF CIRRUS intern 2011; NSF REU intern 2012)
– Gabriel Trujillio (Lake Forest College): 2014–2015
– Mitchell Trychta (Rhodes College): Summer 2016
– Mariam Usmani (DePaul University): Summer 2009
– Cody Weinberger (University of Chicago): 2013
– Alexandra Westrich (School for the Art Institute of Chicago): 2009-2010
– Jesse Williams (Roosevelt University): 2013–2014
– Sara Zufan (Loyola University): 2009–2012 (NSF REU intern 2010

High school interns:
– Alexandra Gray (Deerfield Academy High School): Summer 2010
– Charles Griggs (Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy): Spring 2012–Summer 2012
– Eveline Liu (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy): Fall 2013–Spring 2014
– Katherine McDonnell (St. Francis High School): Summer 2012
– Chelsea Wang (Naperville North High School): Summer 2013

Volunteers:
– Dr. Helga Haumuller: 2014
– Daniel Le (School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Now at: Field Museum Botany Department): Undergraduate Volunteer 2011
– Dr. Amanda Wass: 2008

Visiting Scientists:
– Frank Azorsa (Museo de Historia Natural, Lima, Peru): Visiting Museum Collections Assistant 2009
– Dr. Matthew Carson (Northwestern University): Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher 2013-2014
– Dr. Arietta Fleming-Davies (University of Chicago; Now at: QUBES project): Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher 2011-2014
– Rodolfo Probst (Museu de Zoologia da University of São Paulo): Visiting Master’s Student 2015 & Research Assistant 2016
– Dr. Gregory Putzel (Northwestern University): Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher 2013-2014
– Dr. James Waters (Princeton University; Now at: Providence College): Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher 2014

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