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.

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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!


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

By Joshua King (not verified) on 17 Dec 2009 #permalink

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?

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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!