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Research Leaders

  • Nico Franz, Ph.D.NMF-small
    • Principal Investigator, Associate Professor & Curator of Insects
    • Systematics and evolution of weevils, logic-based methods in taxonomy
  • SML-smallSangmi Lee, Ph.D.
    • Collection Manager – Frank F. Hasbrouck Insect Collection (ASUHIC)
    • Systematics and diversity of Gelechioidea moths, insect curation
  • EEG-smallEd Gilbert, M.Sc.
    • Biodiversity Informatician & Faculty Research Associate
    • Biodiversity informatics, lead development of Symbiota software platform
  • GYZ-smallGuanyang Zhang, Ph.D.
    • Postdoctoral Researcher – Neotropical Entimine Weevil Project
    • Systematics, molecular phylogenetics, and evolution of Hemiptera and Coleoptera


  • Benjamin Brandt  –  Symbiota
  • David Fleming  –  SCAN

Graduate Students

  • SAN-smallSalvatore Anzaldo  –  Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology
    • Systematics, morphology, and evolution of weevils
    • Emphasis on Neotropical lineages
  • MAJ-smallAndrew Jansen  –  M.Sc. Biology
    • Systematics and evolution of entimine weevils
    • Revision and phylogeny of Minyomerus Horn
  • AJO-smallAndrew Johnston  –  Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology
    • Systematics and evolution of darkling beetles
    • Revision and phylogeny of Eleodes, subgenus Promus LeConte
  • NDW-smallNick Waters  –  Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology
    • Systematics and evolution of desert-dwelling snails
    • Sonorella Pilsbry and relatives in the greater Phoenix region

Undergraduate Students

  • Soon FlynnSoonFlynn
    • Soon Flynn started in our lab in the Fall of 2012. He is an avid collector with superb insect preparation skills. Soon has contributed to the curation of moths and weevils, and participated in a three-week collecting trip to Panama in the summer of 2013. His SCAN images of weevils are available here.
  • Jennifer Guzzardi
    • Jennifer Guzzardi started in the Summer of 2013. She initially entered Orthoptera grasshopper specimens records into SCAN; however she has since shifted to produce a taxon/character/state matrix and images with diagnostic features for an interactive key to the insect orders in SCAN.
  • Catherine Mercado
    • CatherineMercadoCatherine Mercado joined our group in the Summer of 2012. Working with our collection manager and moth specialist Sangmi Lee, she has concentrated on databasing Lepidoptera holdings in SCAN, ranging from butterflies to various families of macro- and micromoths.
  • Naomi Pier
    • NaomiPierNaomi Pier is a continuous member of the lab since the Fall of 2012. She has focused on digitizing various groups of ground-dwelling arthropods for SCAN, ranging from cockroaches to several hemipteran families. Naomi has also regularly contributed to outreach events on campus and with school and museum groups.
  • Michael Shillingburg
    • MichaelShillingburgMichael Shillingburg also started in our lab during the Fall of 2012. He initially databased SCAN records of scarab beetle specimens, taking over from Micah Bodine, but then shifted towards specimen imaging using the Visionary Digital Passport II system. As of September, 2013, Michael has produced nearly 450 excellent habitus images for SCAN, viewable here. Michael spent much of the Summer of 2013 conducting entomological surveys for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. He is now focusing again on SCAN imaging, in particular for the Weevils of North America project.
  • Sarah Shirota
    • SarahShirotaSarah Shirota has contributed to our insect collection research program since the Fall of 2012. Sarah has been instrumental in databasing our weevil specimen holdings, focusing first on North American taxa and now increasingly on Mexican and Central American specimens. She has databased most of the WoNA records, many originating from a synoptic set acquired from the Charles W. O’Brien Collection (Green Valley, AZ).
  • Chelsey Tellez
    • Chelsey Tellez joined the lab late in the Summer of 2013, and has contributed to imaging weevil specimens, viewable here.

Lab Affiliates

  • Elizabeth Davidson
    • ElizabethDavidsonDr. Elizabeth Davidson is an insect and amphibian pathologist and longstanding member of ASU’s research faculty. She collaborates and volunteers with our lab since 2012. Initially she helped process and identify insect specimens from Sonora, Mexico, acquired through our collaboration with Dr. Tom van Devender and MABA – the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment project. She now works both with Melody Basham on various outreach projects and with Dale Snyder on curating the shell collection.
  • Ruth Kearns
    • RuthKearnsRuth Kearns has a Ph.D. in Entomology, and has been involved for several years in cataloguing and updating records of our Coleoptera groups, including scarabs and cicindelines from the David Pearson collection that has been partly donate to ASUHIC. She is currently involved in mounting and labeling new insect material for the collection, primarily specimens from the southwestern United States and Sonora, Mexico, and performs these tasks with great skill.
  • Dale Snyder
    • DaleSnyderDale Snyder is a sea shell collector, naturalist, and an increasingly experienced and authoritative taxonomist who is working tirelessly to reactivate and curate the Chester Melville Shell Collection, donated to ASU in the mid 1960s but left inactive for many years. Since 2012 she has been inventorying the collection and associated data files, is undertaking myriad taxonomic updates and identifications, and corresponds with experts nationwide about ways to turn the collection into valid resource for scientific inquiry. Dale also contributes to our outreach program.