Caroline Chaboo, curator, focuses on the biology, behavior and systematics of chrysomelid leaf beetles. After developing a hypothesis of broad evolutionary relationships, she is looking more closely at small groups, collecting and incorporating data from beetle life history, host plant choices, and insect defenses. Her research program goals are to refine evolutionary relationships, improve current classification schemes, and examine the evolution of various features, e.g., host plant choice, maternal care, gregariousness, construction behavior and morphology. Students interested in developing a project within this research program or in an allied area are encouraged to contact Dr. Chaboo or view her EEB page.
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I am a systematist with specialization in chrysomelid leaf beetles. Chrysomelidae (∼40000 species) forms one of the largest radiations of animals, and they present many interesting research problems. The significant gap in knowledge of chrysomelid evolutionary relationships motivates my effort to collect the total data of individual species, develop character hypotheses that can be tested in phylogeny reconstruction, and help build strong classifications. My approach is holistic, with extensive fieldwork to explore life histories, ecology, behavior, and laboratory study of morphology and molecules.
Current Research Topics:
- Biology of immature stages of Chrysomelidae.
- Origin and diversification of subsociality in Chrysomelidae.
- Construction of domiciles and defensive shields.
- Tri-trophic interactions between host plants, chrysomelid herbivores, and their carabid beetle parasitoids.
- Diversity and community structure of arthropods in amazonian Peru.
2005 Ph.D., Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca (Co-advisors: Q.D. Wheeler & D. Grimaldi)
1995 M.A., Entomology, University of Kansas, Lawrence (Advisor: J.S. Ashe)
1987 B.Sc., Zoology & Botany, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
1995-1997 Scientific Assistant, Diptera and Insect fossil collections, American Museum of Natural History - Invertebrate Zoology
1992-1993 Curatorial Assistant, University of Kansas, Snow Entomology Museum
1989-1992 Collections Conservation Assistant, American Museum of Natural History - Invertebrate Zoology
1995-1997 Curatorial Assistant, Entomology & General Collections, University of the West Indies - Zoology
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Entomological Society of America
Kansas Entomomological Society
New York Entomological Society
Society of Systematic Biologists
2011 NSF-ABDC TCN: Collaborative Research: Plants, Herbivores, and Parasitoids: A Model System for the study of Tri-Trophic Associations; Schuh, R.T. et al. $1.2 million; Chaboo subcontract: $78000).
2011 NSF-DBI: A specimen-level database of the world’s bees (Apoidea) at the University of Kansas. Engel, M.S., C.S. Chaboo, Z.H. Falin, and A.E.Z. Short. $495,426.
2010-2011 NSF Kansas-EPSCoR First awards, Phylogenetic Research in the hyperdiverse leaf beetle family, Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera); $142,000.
2011 150 most influential Kansas scientists, Ad Astra Kansas
2008 Jean Theodore Lacordaire Prize, Best publication from Ph.D. research, Coleopterists Society
2005 Snodgrass Memorial Prize, Ph.D. research in Morphology, Entomological Society of America
2002 Paper of the Year, Coleopterists Society
2001 2nd Place, Student presentations in Morphology, Systematics and Evolution, Entomological Society of America
1987 1st Place, Zoology Field Course, University of the West Indies, Trinidad
Dr. Daniel Bennett (2011-2012)
currently Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, Stephen Austin State University, Texas
Dr. Mathew Gimmel (2011-2012)
currently Post-doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Biology, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic (Lab of Dr. Milada Bocakova)
Dr. Jennifer Zaspel (2013)
Dr. Patricia Alvarez (2011)
Dr. Fred Vencl, Stony Brook University (2011)
Dr. Muhammed Haseeb (2011)
Dr. Michael Schmitt (2011)
Dr. Shawn Clark (2010)
Mr. Luis Figueroa (2012)
Dr. Mary Liz Jameson (2012)
Ms. Sara Lopez (2012)
Dr. R. Wills Flowers (2010, 2011)
Mr. Chul woo Shin (2009-2012), presently in Dr. Kirsten Jensen's lab, Haworth Hall, University of Kansas
Mrs. Mabel Alvarado (2011-present)
Mrs. Sofia Muñoz (2012-present)
Ms. Marianna Simoes (2012-present)
Graduate research assistants:
Shan-hui Su (2011)
Yong-chao Su (2011)
Chul woo Shin (2010-2011)
Michael Andersen (2011)
Fernando Andrade (2013-present)
Nield A. Buitrago (2013-present; volunteer)
Michael French (2010)
Josh Cunningham, Haskell Indian Nations University (2012)
Haley Fetters Crouch (2012-present)
Timo Foerster, University of Greiswald, Germany (2012-present)
Gray Gustafson (2009-2010), presently in Ph.D. program, University of New Mexico, NM
Lydia Adubea Gyamfi (2013-present)
Joe J. Jalinsky (2010-present), presently in M.Sc. program, Kansas State University, KS
William Kilbel (2010 - volunteer)
Sameera Mangena (2010 - volunteer)
Reed S. Niemack (2010)
Shayna Poole (2010-present)
Tom A. Radocy (2011), presently in Ph.D. program, Rutgers University, NJ
Jesica Rhodes (2009-2010)
Aimee Roberts (2010-present)
Anssi Santanen (2011 - volunteer)
Racheal Sites (2013-present)
Riley Wertenberger (2011)
Kaitlyn West (2010 - 2012)
Emily Wilcox (2010)
Helen Jin (2010), currently in Americorps, Boston, MA
Sofia Muñoz (MA student, mentor Chaboo), is one of 20 students in the U.S. selected to participate (fully funded) in a NSF-funded Thematic Collections Network Short Course on Biological Specimen Informatics, at the Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History, New York, in May 2013.
Sofia, Marianna Simões, and Mabel Alvarado presented their research at last weekend's annual meeting of the Kansas Entomological Society, Pittsburg, KS. Caroline and Matt Gimmel also presented a poster, "Beetle families of Peru."
Mabel (co-mentored by Michael Engel) and Victor Baruch Arroyo-Peña (mentor Jorge Soberón ) won third place for their poster, "Problems in the usage of historical data: experiences based on modeling data of the genus Alophophion Cushman, 1947 (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ophioninae)."
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