Research for Undergraduate Students (ENTM 190/197)

Research for Undergraduate Students (ENTM 190/197)
Undergrad research projects in the lab mostly focus on projects on systematics, biodiversity, ecology, and evolution of assassin bugs (Reduviidae), plant bugs (Miridae), and minute litter bugs (Dipsocoromorpha). We are also thrilled if you have ideas for a research project. This is a great opportunity for you to gain research and hands on experience and develop technical skills, e.g. molecular lab and bioinformatics protocols, sorting and imaging of insect specimens, online biodiversity tools, and more. Contact me ( for open projects.

Some of the projects below were also carried out under the NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) to the Reduviid PEET, ARTS Dipsocoromorpha, and NSF Reduvioid Evolution projects.

Current and past projects

Exploring the diversity of assassin bugs in California through iNaturalist. Stephanie Bremer, David Lee, Christian Viduya. 
Subfamily treatments for a revised classification of Reduviidae. David Lee, Justin Luy. 
Molecular phylogenetics of Epiroderinae. Jamie Ramirez.

Machine learning approaches for identification of plant bugs. Samantha Hoang. 

Exploring the biodiversity of assassin bugs in Madagascar. Emily Potter, Hao Thi, and Leena Otero. 
Taxonomic revision of EctrichodiellaTatiana Bush. 

Description of a new genus of schizopterid minute litter bugs. Kyle Whorrall.
Investigating the diet of assassin bugs and phylogeny of Stenopodainae. Madison Hernandez.
Investigating the phylogenetic placement of unusual assassin bugs.  Michael Anyakora, Calvin Sun, and Cynthia Monteiro. 

Species diversity in an undescribed genus of Schizopteridae. Juanita Rodriguez. 
Using PCR methods to detect vertebrate hosts of blood-feeding kissing bugs (Reduviidae: Triatominae). Anna Georgieva. 

Predicting kissing bug distributions in California using ecological niche models. Alec Yzaguirre Williams.
Systematics and biodiversity of minute litter bugs in the genus Ptenidiophyes Reuter. Jacob Tarango.
Evolution of exaggerated head shape in minute litter bugs. Christy Hoong.

Ambush bugs: predator-prey interactions and camouflage. Jacob Tarango and Qui Truong.
Identification of Coreidae in the Heteroptera Systematics Lab collection. Bryan Vanderveer.
Investigating kissing bug microbiomes (Reduviidae: Triatominae). Kimberley Garcia.
Using PCR methods to detect vertebrate hosts of blood-feeding kissing bugs (Reduviidae: Triatominae). Anna Georgieva.

Using morphometrics and genitalic dissections to inform species delimitation in Western Nearctic ambush bugs (Reduviidae: Phymatinae). Michael Appel.
Systematics of Neotropical Physoderinae. Leonidas Davranoglou. Publication
Systematics of Peloridinannus Wygodzinsky. Sarah Frankenberg. Publication
Taxonomy of Eastern Arc Mountain tribelocephalinae assassin bugs (Reduviidae). Jonathan McGhee.
Illustrated identification keys to Corixidea group genera and subgenera of Schizoptera (Schizopteridae). Mariana Romero.

Illustrating diagnostic features for a key to assassin bug subfamilies. Andrew Freedman. 

Taxonomic revision of a genus of Australian Phylinae. Stephanie Leon.

California Reduviidae: working towards and identification key to California subfamilies, genera, and species of assassin bugs.  Tina Kim.
California ambush bugs: molecular approaches to unravel species concepts of California PhymataSarah Frankenberg.
California Reduviidae: updated species list, distribution maps, and species pages. We are also describing a new species of Reduvius from California. Kaleigh Russell, Sarah Frankenberg, Tina Kim. Publication
Description of a new genus of Australian plant bugs, the toothbrush feeders. Kaleigh Russell. 
A new genus of Australian Phylini feeding on Restionaceae. Stephanie Leon. Publication 
Ontogeny of raptorial glands in sticky bugs. Thien-Kim Nguyen.
Biodiversity of Hemiptera in SE Peru. Jessica Rosales.
Consolidating Malagasy assassin bugs. Steven Crum. 

Molecular phylogeny of Peiratinae. Elizabeth Romero.
Meloidae in California. Vincent Strode. 
Imaging for an identification key to assassin bug subfamilies. Cole Watson.
Parasitism rates of a plant-feeding assassin bug. Da Tien. 

Triatoma protracta - Distribution modeling of kissing bugs in Southern California. Percy Wong.  
Zelus tetracanthus - Documenting the reproductive biology. Claudia Alvarez.
Kissing bugs in Southern California - public health risk and trypanosome detection. Brittany Smith. Publication

Morphology of Bat Bugs (Polyctenidae) using macrophotography and SEM techniques. Maria Gutierrez.
Biodiversity of Reduviidae in Madagascar. Grace Radabaugh.
Systematics of Ulpius Stal, a genus of Harpactorinae from Madagascar. Grace Radabaugh. 

Identification of Emesinae in Southern California and analysis of pretarsal structures. Kyle Risser.
Molecular work on Californian Triatominae and their trypanosomes. Kyle Risser.

Collecting data for a molecular phylogeny of Apiomerus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Harpactorinae). Diane Soto.
Pretarsal structures in spider-web inhabiting Emesinae or thread-legged bugs (Hemiptera, Reduviidae). Kyle Risser.






Let us help you with your search