We work to discover, describe, and understand the diversity of invertebrate animal life. Our main focus is documenting new species of arachnids from the beautiful forests of New Zealand and testing hypotheses about their evolutionary history. We recently wrapped up several years of work in the Australian Wet Tropics; you can read about our adventures Down Under here, here, and here. We also work on the ecology and evolution of local Minnesota daddy long-legs and freshwater mussels. Our research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, and the National Park Service. Check us out on Instagram at #boyerlabmacalester!
News from the Boyer Lab
- I am recruiting students for the Summer 2020 research season! Macalester undergraduates are invited to apply to work in my lab on projects related to our ongoing research on the diversity and evolution of New Zealand's harvestmen. Students will learn scanning electron microscopy, and lab and data analysis methods for next-generation sequencing. If you think you might be interested, please set up a meeting with me either by emailing me or through my office hours calendar.
- This fall I was gratified to receive one of Macalester's Trustees' Awards, recognizing my contributions in the areas of scholarship, service, and teaching during the 2018 calendar year.
- We have been engaging in personnel exchanges with our collaborators in the Giribet Lab at Harvard University. In April Gonzalo and PhD student Caitlin Baker (Macalester class of 2012) visited the Boyer Lab, and in May and September we enjoyed hosting postdoc Shahan Derkarabetian. In addition, Macalester senior honors student Rina Morisawa '20 headed to the Giribet Lab for a week at the end of the summer to work towards generating sequence data from New Zealand mite harvestmen using a UCE (ultra-conserved elements) approach.
- Maddison Tuffield '20 and Shannon Dohr '21 joined our group for the summer, and it was great to have them on board! They worked with veteran Boyer Lab members Kata Hahn '20, Rina Morisawa '20, and Eliza Pessereau '19 on next-generation sequencing projects on New Zealand harvestmen as well as a study of daddy long-legs phenology based at Macalester's Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area.
- Congrats to senior lab members Eliza Pessereau, Pietro Tardelli Canedo, and Rainah Ward - they all graduated from Macalester in May and will be missed! Eliza is joining the Peace Corps, Pietro will be working in the Laboratories of Analytical Biology at the Smithsonian, and Rainah is going to be a sea kayaking guide in the San Juan Islands.
- Big congratulations to Pietro Tardelli Canedo on passing his senior honors thesis defense on April 9! Pietro has done beautiful work on phylogeography and male polymorphism in a widespread New Zealand mite harvestman, part of ongoing research funded by our current National Science Foundation grant.
- We have a new paper out on mating behavior in daddy long-legs! Students Raine Ikagawa, Penny Kahn, and Eva Larsen (all Macalester class of '17) worked with our collaborator Kasey Fowler-Finn to expand our knowledge of basic reproductive biology in these familiar but under-studied animals. Videotaping harvestmen mating was a lot of fun - the jokes wrote themselves every day.