Christiane joined the faculty in Entomology at UCR in early 2007 as a systematic entomologist. Her interest is in systematic research of Heteroptera, with an emphasis on Reduviidae, Miridae, and Dipsocoromorpha, on combining morphological and molecular data, and on integrating our systematic knowledge with the evolution of exciting character systems (such as glands), the evolution of prey capture strategies in Reduviidae, and biogeography.
Christiane received a “Diplom” in biology form Eberhard Karls Universitaet in Tuebingen (working on the assassin bug fauna of a small nature reserve in Southern Brazil) and obtained her PhD from Freie Universitaet Berlin studying systematics of Reduviidae. She then moved to New York and became a post doc in the PBI (Planetary Biodiversity Inventory) project on Plant Bugs, where she focused on systematics of the mirid subfamily Phylinae.
List of publications on Google Scholar.
Current Lab Members
I joined the Heteropteran Systematics lab in the summer of 2019 as an undergraduate researcher through an NSF-REU to describe new species in a small genus within the millipede assassin bugs (Reduviidae: Ectrichodiinae: Ectrichodiella). I was excited to start research on new species and learn how they fit into today’s phylogenies. Since then, I have graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Entomology from UCR and began work as a Master’s student with the Entomology department’s BS+MS program. My current research focuses on the phylogeny of the diverse plant bug subfamily Phylinae. Though a phylogeny currently exists, it is still under-sampled when compared to the large number of taxa found within the subfamily. With a better representative phylogeny, analyses such as divergence dating and biogeography will be possible, and we can also better understand the evolution of host associations across the group.
I joined the Ph.D. program in the Heteropteran Systematics Lab in July 2017 after receiving my Biology B.S. degree at San Diego State University. As an undergraduate, I worked on Travunioidea (Arachnida: Opiliones) phylogenetics in Dr. Marshal Hedin’s lab with support from the NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program. I also participated in two NSF REU sites at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). At CAS, I used scanning electron microscopy to understand species limits in Nippononychidae (Arachnida: Opiliones) with Dr. Charles Griswold and Darrell Ubick. Under the mentorship of Dr. Torsten Dikow at the NMNH, I revised and described two new species of Plyomydas (Diptera: Mydidae). My fascination for entomology and collections-based research sparked my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in assassin bug (Reduviidae) systematics at UCR.
My research focuses on the taxonomy and phylogenetics of the corsair or pirate assassin bugs (Peiratinae) and the lobe-headed assassin bugs (Pseudocetherinae). I use molecular and morphological techniques to understand the evolutionary history of assassin bugs and their unique traits, e.g., genital asymmetry, aposematism, and salivary proteins. Through my research, I aim to increase our understanding of assassin bug diversity and evolution to form the foundation for reliable classifications and studies investigating sexual selection and defensive adaptations.
Madison pursued a B.S. in entomology at UCR and is currently a Lab Assistant in the Weirauch Lab. I joined the Heteropteran Systematics Lab in June of 2016, as part of a research program hosted for stem students. I am currently studying the diets of reduviids, with a particular interest on local assassin bugs, especially Phymata pacifica. I've always loved insects, and loved studying them (the stranger, the better), so choosing a career in the entomology field seemed like the best fit for me.
I am Assistant Specialist, working on a variety of projects but more specifically on the Dipsocoromorpha project. I graduated from UCR with my Master's degree in Entomology December 2012. For my thesis work I studied the biology, ecology, and behavior of velvety tree ants, Liometopum spp. I joined the Heteroptera Systematics Lab at UCR May 2013. I assist with many different tasks, including: image management and processing (including SEM and confocal microscopy), dissection of specimens, specimen curation and loan management, molecular procedures, and specimen databasing.
I am currently working on a molecular phylogeny of Hypselosomatinae (Dipsocoromorpha:Schizopteridae) and a taxonomic revision of the New World Hypselosomatinae.
I also have taxonomic experience with ants and attended The Ant Course organized by the California Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Comparative Zoology. I also have experience in insect pest control and worked for 4 years studying control tactics and pesticide efficacy on carpenter ants.
I joined the lab in the summer of 2021 as an undergrad. I transferred to UCR in the Fall of 2020 as a senior from Fullerton College with an AA in Biology, Math & Science, and Bio technician.
As an insect aficionado I found myself starting out by taking a general entomology course at Fullerton College. I was left feeling energized that I could follow my passion and curious to see where it would lead me. Coming to UCR during the pandemic, online classes didn’t dampen my spirits and being a part of the lab team really solidified that I was on the right path. I am now also part of the BS+MS program in Entomology.
My current research includes the phylogeny of the assassin bug subfamily Epiroderinae, focusing specifically on the genus Porcelloderes. Currently, we are investigating undescribed species using different approaches, including molecular work. This will aid in testing the phylogenetic position of Porcelloderes within Epiroderinae. I’m really looking forward to what findings our data will tell us!
Summer 2017 I joined the Heteropteran Systematics lab at UC Riverside to begin work on my PhD. Prior to my time at UCR I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Brigham Young University August of 2017. My undergrad research within Odonata opened my eyes to the immense number of questions waiting to be answered with a study of systematics. This drove my interest towards continuing research in insect systematics. My current research focuses on using molecular and morphological data to revise the phylogeny of thread legged assassin bugs (Reduviidae: Emesinae). Thread legged assassin bugs have a variety of fascinating behaviors, with some hunting spiders by manipulating webs to lure the spiders within striking range, and other bugs stealing prey caught in spider webs. We hope that with a better understanding of the relationships between both species and closely related genera we can delve deeper into these and other fascinating behaviors.