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Current Postdocs


Ph.D. UC Davis


 Lacie works on the dragonfly GEODE grant, systematics and phylogenetics of dragonflies and damselflies, while also continuing their work on trapdoor spiders. 


Dr. Lacie Newton

Dr. Laura Gonzalez

Ph.D. Rutgers University, New Brunswick


 Laura works on the systematics of Hemiptera, especially the Membracoidea. 


Postdoctoral Alumni


Dr. Dirk Gassmann

Ph.D. Naturalis Biodiversity Center, 

Leiden, Netherlands


        Dirk is an odonatologist from Bonn,

Germany that is currently supervising undergraduate students working on Odomatic, a system that accurately classifies Odonata from images of their wings, and the Targeted Odonata Wing Digitization (TOWD) initiative aimed at digitizing the wings of North American odonate taxa, as well as some Central and South American species.

Dr. Phil Barden

B.S. School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Ph.D. Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History

Phil's work deals with the intersection of paleontology and bioinformatics, focusing on social insects: primarily ants and termites. Through comparative taxonomic work, ecological studies, and phylogenetics, he is interested in detailing the evolutionary history of eusocial organisms while at the same time testing methodological limits of fossil and molecular data integration.

Dr. Merlijn Jocque

B.S., M.S and Ph.D. - Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven


Merlin passionately studies mechanisms driving biodiversity patterns over spatial and temporal scales. A large part of his research centers on aquatic invertebrates in small cryptic habitats (e.g., bromeliads and freshwater rock pools) and cloud forest ecosystems. He also specializes in biodiversity assessment and has build up substantial hands-on experience with a wide range of organisms.


Email: merlijnjocque [at]

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