We work to discover, describe, and understand the diversity of invertebrate animal life. For the past several years we have been documenting new species of arachnids from the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics and testing hypotheses about their evolutionary history. Many Macalester undergraduates have traveled to this beautiful corner of the world (pictured above) as part of this project; you can read about some of their adventures here, here, and here. We also work on the ecology and evolution of local Minnesota daddy long-legs, as well as local freshwater mussels. Our research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, and the National Park Service.
News from the Boyer Lab
- We have a new paper out in Zootaxa, documenting species of daddy long-legs not previously known to occur in Minnesota. This work was the senior capstone project of lab member Kenji Shoemaker '16, who is the first author on the paper. Huge thanks to our coauthor Mercedes Burns, who acted as our taxonomic guide.
- Big congratulations to the Boyer Lab seniors, who graduated on May 13th! Above, all of them are looking fine at Macalester's annual Founder's Day party earlier this year. From left to right: Alex Lewanski, Eva Larsen, Sarah, Raine Ikagawa, Maddy Olson (down in front), Dan Klonowski (in the back), and Penny Kahn.
- Seniors Penny Kahn and Raine Ikagawa successfully defended their honors theses on April 13th!
- Congratulations to lab alum Jill Oberski '16, who will be enrolling in the PhD program in Entomology at UC Davis this fall! She will be working on ant evolution in Phil Ward's lab.
- We attended SICB 2017 in New Orleans in January and had a brilliant time. We enjoyed the fabulous city, catching up with old colleagues, meeting new people, and, of course wonderful presentations on daddy long-legs biology from students in the Boyer Lab. Senior members of the lab gave posters on various topics: Eva Larsen presented on mating behavior, Penny Kahn presented on nuptial gifts, and Raine Ikagawa presented on microhabitat use. Lab alum Jill Oberski '16 gave her first talk at a national conference, on a project she is working on in Prashant Sharma's lab.
- Our collaborator Prashant Sharma just published this excellent paper on podoctid harvestmen in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. This paper was accepted without revisions - yes, Prashant is just that good. I am a coauthor on the work, and Boyer Lab alumni Caitlin Baker '12, Zach Popkin-Hall '13, Domi Laukó '14, and Hannah Wiesner '14 get a shout-out in the acknowledgements for their work in spotting and collecting these critters.
- We made our presence known at the 2016 International Congress of Arachnology in Golden, Colorado! Lab alumni Jill Oberski and Kenji Shoemaker (both Macalester '16) presented posters on their senior capstone work, and Caitlin Baker '12, currently a PhD candidate in the Giribet Lab at Harvard University, gave her first talk at an international meeting and was awarded one of the student prizes for her efforts.
- Macalester rising seniors Penny Kahn, Eva Larsen, and Raine Ikagawa comprised the Boyer Lab crew in Summer 2016. They worked on a variety of projects on local daddy long-legs, including studies of mating behavior - in collaboration with Kasey Fowler-Finn (St Louis University), and chemical ecology - in collaboration with Dennis Cao (Macalester Chemistry Department) and Mercedes Burns (Macalester '06, now on faculty at University of Maryland - Baltimore County). You can read about their work here.