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
My fascination for entomology and collections-based research sparked my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in assassin bug (Reduviidae) systematics at UCR. Here, my research focuses on taxonomy and phylogenetics, specifically within 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.
My curriculum vitae (CV) can be viewed here
I am an Associate Specialist, working on a variety of projects including the Dipsocoromorpha, Reduvioid, and Miridae. 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 have published taxonomic revisions 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.
My CV can be viewed here.
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!