Reseach

Our lab tries to solve questions of arthropod phylogeny and biogeography. We use data from DNA sequencing, Scanning Electron Micrography (SEM), light imaging, and GPS. We analyze these data with computer phylogenetics software, and other computer analysis tools.

Students who are interested in working with us need to be aware that our lab cannot manage short-term projects in which the student only has a semester to complete, and a few hours a week to work in the lab. A research project in our lab usually starts with a trip to collect specimens, which in itself can take many months to fund and arrange. After we collect specimens, it can take months to familiarize oneself with the relevant literature, and then some more months to learn the taxonomy of a particular group. Only then can students start isolating DNA and learn about phylogenetic analyses. Because there are so many steps, we only accept students who can commit to more than one semester, can travel, can commit many hours per week, and are self-directed.

Here are some of our publications:

Vélez, S, Fernández R, Giribet G (2014) A Molecular Phylogenetic Approach to the New Zealand Species of Enantiobuninae (Opiliones: Eupnoi: Neopilionidae). Invertebrate Systematics. 28, 565–89.

Fernández R., Vélez S, Giribet, G (2014) Linking genetic diversity and morphological disparity: biodiversity assessment of a highly unexplored family of harvestmen (Arachnida : Opiliones : Neopilionidae) in New Zealand. Invertebrate Systematics 28, 590

Vélez S, Mesibov R, Giribet G (2011) Biogeography of a continental island: faunal breaks and population structure of a relict endemic, the annectant centipede Craterostigmus tasmanianus. Journal of Heredity. 103, 80-91.

Feder JL and Vélez S (2009) Intergenic exchange, geographic isolation, and the evolution of bioluminescent color for Pyrophorus click beetles. Evolution 63, 1203-1261.

Xie X, Michel AP, Schwarz D, Rull J, Vélez S, Forbes AA, Aluja M, Feder JL (2008) Radiation and divergence in the Rhagoletis pomonella species complex: inferences from DNA sequence data. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21, 900-913.

Xie X, Rull J, Michel AP, Vélez S, Forbes A, Lobo NF, Aluja M, Feder JL (2007) Hawthorn – infesting populations of Rhagoletis pomonella in Mexico and speciation mode plurality. Evolution 61, 1091-1105.

Vélez S (2006) The Evolution of Insects. Écoscience 13, 290.

Vélez S, Feder JL (2006) Integrating biogeographic and genetic approaches to investigate the history of bioluminescent color alleles in the Jamaican click beetle Pyrophorus plagiophthalamus. Molecular Ecology 15, 1339-1404.

Vélez S, Noor MAF, Lobo NF, Feder JL (2006) Development of novel microsatellite loci for the apple maggot fly Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Thriptidae). Molecular Ecology Notes 6, 90-92.

Vélez S, Feder JL (2005) Isolation and characterization of novel dinucleotide repeat microsatellites in the Jamaican click beetle Pyrophorus plagiophthalamus (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Molecular Ecology Notes 5, 899-901.

Feder JL, Xie X, Rull J, Vélez S, Forbes A, Leung B, Dambroski H, Filchak KE, Aluja M (2005) Mayr, Dobzhansky, and Bush and the complexities of sympatric speciation in Rhagoletis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102, 6573-6580.

Stolz U, Vélez S, Wood KV, Wood M, Feder JL (2003) Darwinian natural selection for orange bioluminescent color in a Jamaican click beetle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 100, 14955-14959.