More information about Fredrik Ronquist
For my PhD Thesis, I studied the comparative morphology, phylogeny and evolution of gall wasps and their parasitic relatives. I still keep an active interest in the systematics and evolution of the Hymenoptera, and several of my current students work in this field. Early on, I also became interested in developing parsimony methods to analyze problems in historical biogeography and coevolution. In the last decade, much of my computational research has focused on Bayesian phylogenetic inference. I have also been an active supporter of biodiversity inventorying initiatives and the development of the informatics tools and resources needed to accelerate these efforts.
I was one of the initiators of the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative, a 20-year project to complete the taxonomic inventory of multicellular life in Sweden. Started in 2002, the project was followed by a similar initiative in Norway in 2009. Together with Dr. Thomas Pape, I started the Swedish Malaise Trap Project in 2002, aimed at inventorying poorly known insect groups in Sweden. To date, this project and other activities funded by the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative have added more than 1,800 new species to the known Swedish insect fauna, more than 600 of which are new to science. In 1998, together with Spanish and US colleagues, I also started the Morphbank project, an open image archive on the web serving comparative anatomy, morphological phylogenetics, and biodiversity research. The main node of this project is currently housed at Florida State University.
I have authored several software packages, including DIVA for biogeographic analysis and TreeFitter for parsimony-based tree fitting in historical biogeography, coevolution and species tree — gene tree analysis. I am also a co-author of MrBayes, a popular program for Bayesian phylogenetic inference using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods.
Through the years, I have had the fortune to work with many talented postdocs. Lars Vilhelmsen, an international authority on hymenopteran morphology and phylogeny, is currently at the Zoological Museum in Copenhagen. Isabel Sanmartín, well-known for her studies of historical biogeography, is currently at the Real Jardín Botanico in Madrid. Matt Buffington is an enthusiastic hymenopteran systematist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Smithsonian Institution. Among other things, he is an editor of the tremendously successful online journal ZooTaxa. Andy Deans is currently at the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University, where he is responsible for the Hymenoptera Ontology project and an active contributor to mx, a collaborative content management system for systematists. Debra Murray is currently running a molecular lab at Duke University and Paul van der Mark is a member of the HPC support team at the Department of Scientific Computing, FloridaStateUniversity.
My current students include Mattias Forshage (Hymenoptera: Figitidae systematics), Dave Karlsson (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opioninae systematics), Sibylle Noack(Diptera: Phoridae systematics), and Julia Stigenberg (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Euphorinae systematics). I am also assistant advisor to Clemens Lakner (Comparative analysis of protein evolution) at Florida State Universityand Sebastian Höhna (Bayesian MCMC phylogenetics) at Stockholm University.