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Global Studies of Ephemerellidae (insecta: Ephemeroptera)EPA Grant Number: U916017
Title: Global Studies of Ephemerellidae (insecta: Ephemeroptera)
Investigators: Jacobus, Luke M.
Institution: Purdue University
EPA Project Officer: Graham, Karen
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2003
Project Amount: $83,775
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Biology/Life Sciences , Fellowship - Entomology
The objective of this research project is to establish species boundaries, revise generic classification, and gain insight into the evolutionary history of the large Laurasian mayfly group Ephemerellinae (Ephemeroptera: Ephemerellidae). The present classification is problematic, and the group has not been subjected to rigorous cladistic analysis. Therefore, generic classification may not be strictly phylogenetic. Placement of many species remains tentative, and diagnostic keys at the species level are inadequate, taking little account of intraspecific variability.
Representatives of all species, including types whenever possible, will be obtained and examined. Ultramorphology, heretofore undocumented in this group, will be explored using scanning electron microscopy, and DNA sequence data will be acquired and studied. The distribution of character states will be recorded in a computerized database, and analyzed for the generation of viable cladograms. Following the cladistic analysis and any necessary classificatory revision, illustrated descriptions and multilevel keys to the global ephemerelline fauna will be produced. The cladistic data, when dovetailed with geographic and ecological data, will allow hypotheses of historical biogeography and ecological evolution. Besides practical and theoretical systematic applications, this study is expected to have important implications for addressing issues concerning biodiversity and conservation.