Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Phylogeny of Acoustic Orthoptera and the Effects of Microhabitats on Acoustic Phenotypes

EPA Grant Number: U915815
Title: Phylogeny of Acoustic Orthoptera and the Effects of Microhabitats on Acoustic Phenotypes
Investigators: Jost, Manda C.
Institution: Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Edwards, Jason
Project Period:    
Project Amount: $71,345
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Zoology , Academic Fellowships , Biology/Life Sciences



The main objective of this research project is to test the hypothesis that morphological phenotypes in acoustic Ensifera (Orthoptera) are subject to ontogenetic heterochrony, and may be regulated by the environmental parameters of insect microhabitats.


Phylogenies of the Ensifera and True Crickets will be generated using molecular DNA sequences and by a review of morphological traits. Morphological data about acoustic traits and functionally unrelated adult traits will be mapped onto the trees with information about microhabitat conditions. Comparative tests such as Maddison's Concentrated Changes and Felsenstein's Independent Contrasts will uncover whether or not there is significant correlation between paedomorphic (juvenile) acoustic phenotypes, paedomorphic phenotypes in other characters, and microhabitat parameters such as photoperiod and temperature. Fieldwork has been completed in Madagascar, the Amazon Basin, and Southern Africa (March and April 2001). DNA sequences for approximately 50 diverse taxa have been generated, for a total of 5 genes, both nuclear and mitochondrial. These sequences have undergone extensive analysis to produce a phylogenetic estimate of relatedness.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, invertebrates, insects, hemimetabola, orthoptera, ensifera, crickets, phylogeny, systematics, DNA, DNA sequencing, DNA sequences, ontogeny, heterochrony, juvenile hormone, JH, hormones, ecdysteroids, photoperiod, temperature, ecdysis, molt, molting, microhabitats.