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INHS Seminar - Reconciling neontology and paleontology in plant-sap feeding scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha): divergence time, diversification rates and life history evolution in the light of amber inclusions

Event Type
Illinois Natural History Survey Seminar Committee
Feb 1, 2022   4:00 pm  
Dr. Isabelle Vea, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago
Dr. Sam Heads
Originating Calendar
INHS Events

Join Zoom at | Meeting ID: 824 7583 5937 | Password: 995066

Integrating fossils into a phylogenetic framework is the pinnacle of divergence time analyses. Despite the growing view that this step is essential before addressing further evolutionary questions, the ideal conditions to carry out such studies are rarely met. The phytophagous scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha), notorious for their impact on human activities, provide an excellent example to combine paleontological and neontological data. The comprehensive fossil record of diverse and uniquely preserved amber inclusions offers the ideal situation to directly integrate extinct taxa for total-evidence analyses. I will further demonstrate what types of inferences can be made on the evolution of phenotypes and life history strategies. This study highlights the importance of how a cross-disciplinary perspective, by undertaking comprehensive fossil descriptive work in parallel to understanding extant morphology, can illuminate extinct phenotypes and inform us on the evolution of lineages through time.

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