Prof. Farrell is spending one year at Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) in the Dominican Republic as a Fulbright Scholar.
Current research extends the evolution of insect-plant interactions to other trophic levels through a broad collaboration in the beetle Tree of Life project.
A new research dimension in the lab concerns the acoustic signals produced for mating and territory defense. More
About the lab
Our research interests are broadly concerned with whether the diversity of species on earth is a cause or consequence of the diversity of roles different species play in ecosystems. Most of the lab work is phylogenetic, based on variation in DNA sequences and morphological characters, and studies vary in focus from principally ecological dimensions of resource use to emphasis on biogeographic or paleontological dimensions. The context of most work in the lab is the interaction between insects and plants, but this emphasis is now extended to other trophic levels through the Beetle Tree of Life project, based in the Farrell Lab. The aim of this broadly-collaborative, multi-year effort is to provide a comprehensive phylogenetic study of this most diverse group of animals and achieve an understanding of their many shifts among trophic levels, and so the evolutionary rules of assembly of the trophic pyramid.
A new research dimension in the lab, initiated by undergraduates, concerns a different kind of resource, one in which insects may overlap with birds, frogs and mammals: the acoustic signals produced by these animals for mating and territory defense.
To learn more about individual interests and projects, see individual lab members' pages and our News and Archives section.
If you are interested in joining the Farrell Lab, please contact us!