Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Moore, M. P., Hersch, K., Sricharoen, C., Lee, S., Reice, C., Rice, P., … Fowler-Finn, K. D. (2021). Sex-specific ornament evolution is a consistent feature of climatic adaptation across space and time in dragonflies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(28), e2101458118. doi:10.1073/pnas.2101458118 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2101458118

Adaptation to different climates fuels the origins and maintenance of biodiversity. Detailing how organisms optimize fitness for their local climates is therefore an essential goal in biology. Although we increasingly understand how survival-related traits evolve as organisms adapt to climatic condi…

Hemberger, J., Crossley, M. S., & Gratton, C. (2021). Historical decrease in agricultural landscape diversity is associated with shifts in bumble bee species occurrence. Ecology Letters. doi:10.1111/ele.13786 https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13786

Agricultural intensification is a key suspect among putative drivers of recent insect declines, but an explicit link between historical change in agricultural land cover and insect occurrence is lacking. Determining whether agriculture impacts beneficial insects (e.g. pollinators), is crucial to enh…

Orr, M. C., Hughes, A. C., Chesters, D., Pickering, J., Zhu, C.-D., & Ascher, J. S. (2020). Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Ezray, B. D., Wham, D. C., Hill, C. E., & Hines, H. M. (2019). Unsupervised machine learning reveals mimicry complexes in bumblebees occur along a perceptual continuum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1910), 20191501. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1501 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1501

Müllerian mimicry theory states that frequency-dependent selection should favour geographical convergence of harmful species onto a shared colour pattern. As such, mimetic patterns are commonly circumscribed into discrete mimicry complexes, each containing a predominant phenotype. Outside a few exam…