Biosystematics, informatics and genomics of the big 4 insect groups: training tomorrow's researchers and entrepreneurs

Understanding the biodiversity boom in terrestrial hydrophilid beetles

Objectives: The vast majority of hydrophilid beetles are members of Megasternini, the youngest and most speciose tribe. Reasons for their immense species and morphological diversity are still unclear. The group moreover includes a number of invasive species30 which are uneasy to identify and distinguish from local native faunas when intercepted due to the absence of identification guides and lack of reliably identified sequence data with world-wide coverage.

Expected Results: The project aims a combined molecular and morphological phylogeny of Megasternini in order to understand the early evolution of the tribe. It also targets understanding the evolution of structures within this group by application of the advanced methods of morphological studies and geometric morphometrics. We aim to obtain real diversity estimates of this group in selected regions by metagenomic methods, and to initiate a barcode library with world-wide coverage to facilitate quick identification of invasive species.  






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