John Stireman, in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the lead P.I. on a $620,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The three year project, entitled “Phylogeny and evolution of world Tachinidae (Diptera)" is a collaboration with researchers at the University of Tennessee and the Canadian National Collection of Insects. The grant will provide support for both graduate students and post-docs.
To quote from the grant summary: "Tachinidae are the most important group of insect parasitoids outside of the wasps. A sound grasp of their history and a reliable taxonomic infrastructure are necessary to understand their roles as enemies, the evolution of their diverse attack strategies, and the causes of their rapid and rampant diversification. Such an understanding can guide the selection of the most effective tachinid biological control agents in agricultural and forest systems and limit the potential negative impacts upon non-targets. It will also inform broad issues in biology such as biogeography, ecological specialization, and the causes of adaptive diversification."
Congratulations to John!