Back from ESA

We’ve returned from the 2009 Entomological Society of America meeting in Indianapolis. More on this later.

For now, here are slides from two presentations I gave yesterday:

Character Evolution in Heterospilus

Origin of Pheidole obscurithorax

Both talks report from ongoing research, so I should caution that neither of the studies has seen peer-review.


  1. #1 Morgan Jackson
    December 17, 2009

    I enjoyed your first talk on Wednesday, but couldn’t stick around for your second talk. I just looked through your slides for it however and was wondering how you built that cool phylogram onto Google Maps? That is one of the coolest ways to present a tree I think I’ve ever seen! Awesome stuff!

  2. #2 James C. Trager
    December 17, 2009

    Interesting! Hope a few people hung around till the “eleventh hour” to attend your presentations.

  3. #3 Joshua King
    December 17, 2009


    Very sorry to have missed the P. obscurithorax talk – I was waiting on a plane at the time. Good meeting otherwise, though.

  4. #4 myrmecos
    December 17, 2009

    Hi Morgan- it was great to meet you, if only briefly!

    That figure was made using the cartographer plugin for Mesquite. Cartographer exports a kml file to google earth. All you need is a tree file and a matrix with geographic coordinates. It’s all freeware, too.

    Is that a Xylomyiid fly on your web page?

  5. #5 myrmecos
    December 17, 2009

    I was pleasantly surprised at the attendance for both talks. Your son, by the way, is a really nice guy. I’d not met him before this meeting.

  6. #6 myrmecos
    December 17, 2009

    That’s a shame you weren’t able to make it, considering that your work on the sudden range expansion of the Pheidolewas what inspired that project in the first place.

  7. #7 Morgan Jackson
    December 17, 2009

    Huh, I hadn’t explored Mesquite that deeply, but now I’ll have to look into that! And yes, that’s a Xylomyiid that one of our undergrad workers found and I was able to stage in the lab.

  8. #8 Charlos
    December 18, 2009


    I was able to catch the Heterospilus talk, but not the Pheidole talk. I was reminded who it is that comes to these things when your joke about ‘finding a Heterospilus with all its antennal segments in tact is like finding a crane fly with all six legs!’ totally *killed*! 😉 Thanks for posting the Pheidole talk. And it was great to see you both.

  9. #9 Ant
    December 18, 2009

    Any audio/video recording?

  10. #10 myrmecos
    December 19, 2009

    Some conferences record the talks and post them online, but not this one, unfortunately.

  11. #11 myrmecos
    December 19, 2009

    Igualmente, Charlos.

  12. #12 Ant
    December 19, 2009

    Bummer. 🙂 Is it a legal issue?

  13. #13 myrmecos
    December 19, 2009

    No, I think it’s just a cost issue.

  14. #14 James C. Trager
    December 21, 2009

    Nice, and a scholar, too. Not sure if he mentioned to you he went back to Florida to graduate and receive his Ph. D. on the 18th, on research not exactly about, but involving ants. Go figure!

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