Associate Curator

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.
| Website |


Postdoctoral Fellows

Matt_NelsenDr. Matthew Nelsen
Postdoctoral Fellow – Moreau & Ree Labs
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.

Price_cropDr. Shauna Price
Postdoctoral Fellow
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.

April_WrightDr. April Wright
Postdoctoral Fellow – Heath & Moreau Labs
My main research interest is the estimation and use of phylogenetic trees. I am especially interested in incorporating morphological and molecular information to develop a better understanding of the evolutionary history of both populations of organisms and of complex traits. In my work, I use a combination of simulated and empirical data, and, with the Moreau lab, will be working with fossil and extant ant specimens.


Graduate Students

Benjamin_BlanchardBenjamin Blanchard
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
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.
| Website |

Peter_FlynnPeter Flynn
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
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.
| Website |


Manuela Ramalho
Visiting Ph.D. Graduate Student – UNESP – Rio Claro, Brazil & CAPES Fellow (co-advised with Odair Correa Bueno)
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 two ant genera Polyrhachis (spiny ants) and Camponotus (carpenter ants). Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), I will examine the microbiota of samples from related hosts across different continents and in the context of their phylogenetic history.

Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago (co-advised with Trevor Price)
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.


Max Winston
Ph.D. Graduate Student – University of Chicago
I am interested in mechanisms of diversification and their relationship with developmental processes. To investigate these interests, I am utilizing phylogenomic methods to test several models of Amazonian speciation in Neotropical army ants (Genus: Eciton), and integrating this genetic data with traditional and geometric morphometrics to understand the evolution of morphological castes.
| Website |


Research Assistants & Staff

bootMatthew Boot
Research Assistant
I am interested in the mechanisms and processes by which population level dynamics scale to produce species level divergence patterns. I am especially intrigued by the way ecological dynamics, antagonistic forms of selection, and variation in selective regimes contour species’ evolutionary histories. Ultimately, I would like to address these topics through the lens of anthropogenic habitat fragmentation, and contemporary biological invasions.

Alexandra_Westrich_websiteAlexandra Westrich
Curatorial Associate
I am returning to the Moreau Lab to help with the ongoing digitization of the Field Museum’s formicids. My mission this time around—imaging the [2,000+] represented species in the pinned ant collection—is a continuation of my efforts as one of AntWeb’s World Ant Tour imaging technicians, a two-year undertaking that gave the global ant community access to records and high res images of 14,000 historic ant type specimens from all the major collections in Europe. | Website |

wrayBrian Wray
Research Assistant
I’m the primary technician in the Pritzker Lab for Molecular Systematics here at the Field Museum, which means that I do a lot of the leg work associated with acquiring the molecular data that the Moreau Lab uses. I’ve also recently been familiarizing myself with the lab’s imaging system, producing magnified images of the morphologically diverse little monsters that the lab has collected from around the world (though so far I’ve only imaged Australian ants).


Undergraduate Interns, High School Interns, & Volunteers

Grant_DoeringGrant Doering
Arizona State University
madeline_jenkinsMadeline Jenkins
Beloit College
Hannah_Klassen2016Hanna Klaeser
Whitman College
StevenMedinaSteven Medina
Tulane University
Dreyvon_McCray_webDreyvon McCray
Governor’s State University
Sean_OFallenSean O’Fallon
University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana
Destiny_ReevesDestiny Reeves
University of Chicago
AndreaThompson_2014Andrea Thompson
Harold Washington College
Tischner_2015_smallArista Tischner
Illinois Department of Public Health

 Mitch_TrychtaMitch Trychta
Rhodes College


Visiting Scientists

Dr. Christophe Duplais

Group Leader
Le Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) &
Scientific Affiliate at Field Museum
2016 – present
| Website |


Dr. Barrett Klein

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse &
Research Associate at Field Museum
2013 – present
| Website |

Dr. Sean Menke

Lake Forest College &
Research Associate at Field Museum
2011 – present
| Website |


Dr. Veronica Pereyra

Consejo Nacional de
Investigaciones Científicas y
Técnicas CONICET – Argentina &
Research Associate at Field Museum
2014 – present


Dr. Andrew Yang

School of the Art Institute of Chicago &
Research Associate at Field Museum
2009 – present
| Website |



Moreau Lab Alumni

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

Postdoctoral Researchers:
– Dirk Mezger: 2014-2015
– Stefanie Kautz: 2009-2013

Research Assistants:
– Gracen Brilmyer (Now at: University of California, Berkeley): 2011-2014
– Jesse Czekanski-Moir (Now at: SUNY-ESF): 2008-2010
– Joe Rowlett: 2014-2015

– Aaron-Bereich Apilado (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Graduate Student Intern 2012-2013
– Jenna-Marie Antonucci (Loyola University): Undergraduate Intern 2009
– Patrick Belenky (University of Illinois, Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2012-2014
– Simon Briggs (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Andrew Burchill (University of Chicago; Now at: Arizona State University): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Kelsey Choo (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2014–2015
– Jessica DeSmet (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Now at: University of Oklahoma): Post-Undergrad Intern 2009-2011
– Ariel Fang (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2011-2014
– Manda Gibbs (Lake Forest College): Undergraduate Intern 2014
– Alexandra Gray (Deerfield Academy High School; Now at: Dartmouth College): High School Intern 2010
– Charles Griggs (Middlebury College): High School Intern & Undergraduate Intern 2012-2014
– Geneva Guinee (University of New England): Undergraduate Intern 2009
– Ali Gutowski (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Caroline Hanson (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2012-2013
– Mallory Hinz (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): Undergraduate Intern 2013
– Hanna Klaeser (Whitman College): Undergraduate Intern 2014
– Rachel Kleban (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2014
– Stephanie Krim (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Eveline Liu (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy; Now at: Brown University): High School Intern 2013-2014
– Elizabeth Loehler (Loyola University; Now at: Harvard School of Public Health): NSF REU Undergraduate Intern 2009
– Ariadne Lumayag (DePaul University): NSF CIRRUS Undergraduate Intern 2010
– Paul Masonick (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Now at: University of California, Riverside): Undergraduate Intern 2014
– Katherine McDonnell (Tufts University): Undergraduate Intern 2013
– Will Montag (Bowdoin College; Now at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): NSF REU & Undergraduate Intern 2010 & 2011
– Stephanie Morgan (Beloit College): FMWIS Undergraduate Intern 2013
– Amanda Mulcahy (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2014
– Peter Nichols (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2015
– Tim O’Connor (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Now at: University of Arizona): Undergraduate Intern & Research Assistant 2010
– Estefany Romero (Concordia University Chicago): FMWIS Undergraduate Intern 2015
– Timothy Salazar (University of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2014-2015
– Kathleen Solar (Now at: Chicago Park District): Post-Undergrad Intern 2009-2010
– Lynika Strozier (Dominican University; Now at: Loyola University): Undergraduate Intern 2011 & 2013
– Arista Tischner (Now at: Illinois Department of Public Health): NSF REU & Undergraduate Intern 2011-2014
– Gabriel Trujillio (Lake Forest College): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Miriam Usmani (DePaul University; Now at: University of Illinois, Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2009
– Chelsea Wang (Naperville North High School; Now at: Harvard University): High School Intern 2013
– Cody Weinberger (University of Chicago): Undergraduate Intern 2013
– Jesse Williams (Roosevelt University): Undergraduate Intern 2013-2014
– Sara Zufan (DePaul University; Now at: Field Museum Education Department): NSF REU & Undergraduate Intern 2009-2012

– 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