Dr. Marc A. Branham
Statement of Research
I am broadly interested in the evolution of insect mating systems, but am specifically interested in the use of phylogenetic reconstructions to explore the evolution of sexual communication in fireflies (Lampyridae). While my work includes the evolution of behavior (bioluminescent signals) I am also examining the evolution of the morphological structures that are associated with aspects of these mating systems. Some of my current research includes: a) elucidating the higher-level phylogenetic relationships within Lampyridae, b) incorporating fossil lampyrids into matrices with extant taxa to both place them and to study character evolution, and c) investigating the systematics and biogeography of the Caribbean firefly fauna (both fossil and extant). My lab is oriented around research in insect phylogenetic systematics (both molecular and morphological) and the study and description of morphological variation as it relates to taxonomy and systematics.