Andrew Short

Andrew Short

Associate Curator
785.864.2323
6002 Haworth Hall

The research program of Andrew Short, curator, centers on elucidating the diversity, biology, and evolutionary history of aquatic beetles, an aggregate group of ca. 20 families with more than 11,000 described species. He focuses on the superfamily Hydrophiloidea (the ‘water scavenger’ beetles), one of the few lineages of insects to have diversified in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Strong emphasis is placed on 1) descriptive, alpha-level taxonomy through collaborative biodiversity surveys and inventories, and 2) developing robust phylogenetic hypotheses for clades of aquatic beetles utilizing data from varied sources, with a focus on morphological data sets. Of particular interest is combining ecological data generated through biotic surveys with phylogenetic hypotheses to examine the patterns and prevalence of morphological adaptations associated with various aquatic ways of life and shifts between aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Dr. Short's website provides information on his main area of research, water scavenger beetles.

Research: 

My research program centers on elucidating the diversity, biology, and evolutionary history of aquatic beetles, an aggregate group of ca. 20 families with more than 12,000 described species. I focus on the superfamily Hydrophiloidea (the ‘water scavenger’ beetles), one of the few lineages of insects to have diversified in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. I place strong emphasis on 1) descriptive, alpha-level taxonomy through collaborative biodiversity surveys and inventories, and 2) developing robust phylogenetic hypotheses for clade of aquatic beetles utilizing data from varied sources, with a focus on morphological data sets. I am particularly interested in combining ecological data generated through biotic surveys with phylogenetic hypotheses to examine the patterns and prevalence of morphological adaptations associated with various aquatic ways of life and shifts between aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Graduate Student Opportunities:

Potential graduate students with research interests that fall into at least one (usually two) of the following areas: 1) Coleoptera, 2) Aquatics, and 3) the Neotropic are encourage to apply.  Although this research program is varied, specimen and field-based research are emphasized. All students conduct fieldwork and collections/museum-based activities as part of their degree. Students interested in pursing a PhD should have a strong foundation in biology and already have experience working in a particular group.  Unwavering passion for an insect group and/or question(s) of interest are of paramount importance.

Interested students should contact Dr. Short before applying. The deadline for applications (coordinated through the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) is December 15 for admission the following fall semester. Funding for accepted PhD students is guaranteed for 5 years.

Learn more about the application process at the EEB website.

Undergraduate Student Opportunities:

Dr. Short seeks motivated undergraduate students to join his research program. Opportunities for independent research projects and fieldwork are particularly strong at present. Prior work in entomology/systematics is not necessary. Emphasis is placed on goal-oriented projects that result in tangible results and publications in addition to practical experience. Interested students should contact Dr. Short.


Education: 

2007. Ph.D., (Entomology), Cornell University Ithaca NY.
2002. B.Sc. with Distinction (Entomology), Cum Laude, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

Current Academic Appointments: 

Curator, Entomology — Biodiversity Institute
Assistant Professor — EEB

Previous Academic Appointments: 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California, USA (2007-2008)

Research Affiliate, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas (2007-2008)

Research Scientist, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas (2008-2009)

Adjunct Asst. Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas (2008-2009)

Grants: 

2011. US National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Infrastructure. “Collaborative Research: Digitization TCN: InvertNet--An Integrative Platform for Research on Environmental Change, Species Discovery and Identification” [2011-2015]. Non-lead PI (with 14 others); $5,000,000 (KU portion: $208,000).

2011. US National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Infrastructure: DBI-1057366. A specimen level database of the world’s bees (Apoidea) at the University of Kansas [2011-2014]. $495,000. CoPI (with 3 others).

2011. US National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology. REU Supplement: $7,433.

2009. US National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology. REU Supplement: $6,750.

2009. Smithsonian Institution Short-term Visiting Scientist fellowship: $2,000.

2008. US National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology. DEB-0816904. Survey of the aquatic insects of northern Venezuela with an emphasis on Coleoptera [2008-2012]. PI (with one CoPI). $500,000.

Teaching: 

HNRS 190:  Discovering Species (Fall 2009, Fall 2010)
BIOL 500:  Biology of Insects (Fall 2010, Fall 2011)
BIOL 599:  Senior Seminar in Ecology (Spring 2011

Graduate Student Advising: 

K. Taro Eldredge  (PhD; 2009-present)
Crystal Maier (PhD; 2010-present)
Marianna Simoes (2012-2013)

Undergraduate Student Advising: 

Frazier Graham (2010-present)
Grey Gustafson (2008-2010)
Clay McIntosh (2010-present

Professional Presentations: 

*Short, A.E.Z. 2011. Behind the Waterfall: Ecological Diversification in Aquatic Beetles. Department of
Entomology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. [Invited talk]
Short, A.E.Z. 2010. The Venezuela Aquatic Insect Survey: Progress and preliminary results for Coleoptera.
Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. San Diego, CA. [submitted talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2010. Navigating trees: Habitat and morphological evolution in aquatic beetles. Department
of Biology, Wichita State University. Wichita, KS. [invited talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2009. Of Myxophaga and Wet Rocks: Scrubbing for Beetles in Venezuela. Coleopterists
Society Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.  [invited talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2009. Inventario de insectos acuaticos neotropicales: Metodos y la importancia. National
Institute for Scientific Research, Caracas, Venezuela [invited talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2008. Making the most of Google Earth: before, in, and after the field. Entomological
Collections Network, Reno, NV [invited talk]

*Short, A.E.Z. 2008. Evolution of the Giant Water Scavenger Beetles. Pontificia Universidad Católica del
Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.  [invited seminar]
Short, A.E.Z. 2007. Evolution of the Giant Water Scavenger Beetles. Annual Meeting, Entomological
Society of America.  San Diego, CA. [submitted talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2007. Climbing Trees: Ecomorphological Evolution of the Hydrophiline Water Scavenger
Beetles. Eastern Branch Meeting, Entomological Society of America.  Harrisburg, PA. [invited talk].
Short, A.E.Z. 2007. Ecomorphological Evolution of the Hydrophiline Water Scavenger Beetles. Jugatae
Seminar Series, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
*Short, A.E.Z. 2007. Morphological Evolution and Habitat Shifting in Aquatic Beetles: Bridging the
Aquatic-Terrestrial Divide. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Colloquium, University of
Kansas. Lawrence, KS. [invited department seminar]
Short, A.E.Z., J.K. Liebherr, & M. Caterino 2006. Into the trees: phylogeny and ecomorphological
transformations of the hydrobiusine water scavenger beetles (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae). Annual Meeting,
Entomological Society of America.  Indianapolis, IN. [submitted talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2005. In  & Out of Water: Habitat shifts in aquatic beetles. Department of Entomology &
Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. [invited department seminar]
Short, A.E.Z. 2005. The Endemic Hydrophilidae of Hawaii: Habitat, Morphology, and Systematics. Annual
Meeting, Entomological Society of America. Fort Lauderdale, FL [submitted talk]
*Short, A.E.Z. 2005 Hydrophilidae of Florida. Florida Association of Benthologists. Gainesville, FL.
[invited seminar and taxonomic workshop]
Short, A.E.Z. 2004. Systematic Fieldwork in Practice. Cornell Entomology Graduate Student Organization
Seminar. Ithaca, NY. [talk]
Short, A.E.Z. 2004. The Hydrophilidae of Costa Rica: Collection Methods and Habitat Preferences. Eastern
Branch Meeting, Entomological Society of America.  New Haven, CT. [submitted talk].
Short, A.E.Z. 2003. The Hydrophilinae of Costa Rica. Annual Meeting, Entomological Society of America. 
Cincinnati OH.  [submitted poster]

Major Field Experience: 

*Costa Rica, July 2011 (2 weeks)
*Venezuela, January 2011 (1 week)
Suriname, August-Sept 2010 (4 weeks)
*Venezuela, July 2010 (4 weeks)
*Costa Rica, March 2010 (2 weeks)
*Venezuela, January 2010 (3 weeks)
*Venezuela, July 2009 (5 weeks)
*Venezuela, January 2009 (5 weeks)
*Venezuela, July-Sept. 2008 (6 weeks)
Panama, June 2008 (3 weeks)
Ecuador, May 2008 (3 weeks)
*Venezuela, September 2007 (3 weeks)
*Ecuador, August 2007 (5 weeks)
*Costa Rica, May 2006 (2 weeks)
*Venezuela, January 2006 (4 weeks)
Hawaii, (Kaua'i,) May 2005 (2 weeks)
*Costa Rica, January 2005 (3 weeks)
Mongolia, July 2004 (5 weeks)
*Costa Rica, June 2004 (3 weeks)
*Costa Rica January 2004 (3 weeks)
Costa Rica, January 2003 (4 weeks)
Austria, September 2003 (3 days)
Texas & Arizona, July-August 2003 (3 weeks)
California, August 2002 (1 week)
Dominican Republic, November 2000 (1 week)
Costa Rica, January 2000 (4 weeks)
(*Expeditions led)

Collections Visited: 

Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada
Cornell University Insect Collection, Ithaca, NY
Czech National Insect Collection, Prague, Czech Republic
Enns Entomological Museum, University of Missouri, Columbia, MS
Essig Museum of Entomology, UC-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL.
Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville, FL
Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), Santo Domingo, Costa Rica
Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
Museo de Artrópodos de la Universidad de Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela
Museo del Instituto de Zoologia Agrícola, Maracay, Venezuela
Museo de Artrópodos, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.
Museo de Zoologia, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France
Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University), Cambridge, MA
Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
National Zoological Collection of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname.
Natural History Museum (British Museum), London, UK
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria
North Carolina State University Entomological Museum, Raleigh, NC
Ohio State University Insect Collection, Columbus, OH
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA
Snow Entomological Museum, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
United States National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
Universidad de los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela
University of Delaware Reference Collection, Newark, DE
Zoologische Staatssammlung, Munich, German

Blog Posts: 

rotat

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Andrew Short
Our driver, Leroy, slammed on the brakes. The large Bedford truck behind us carrying our gear and most of our crew ran into a patch of think mud and was now sunk up to its axels and listing to one side. Up to now, our three-truck caravan had snaked its way towards to our first base camp without any problems.

We are here in southern Guyana to conduct a rapid biological inventory of the Southern Rupununi Savannah (Read more). Luckily, after some digging, wedging, jacking, pushing, and winching, we were able to get it unstuck and get to the Kusad Mountains by mid-afternoon. An advance team with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) had arrived several days before to clear a spot for our base camp, which was mostly set up when we arrived.

Not wasting any time, the aquatics team headed out to do our first sampling at 6am just as the sun crested over the Kusad Mountains the next morning. The 10 of us were piled into a 4×4 pickup and headed to take water quality and fish and aquatic insect samples from the Takatu River, which forms the border between southern Guyana and Brazil. Fortunately this 2-hour drive was much less eventful than our arrival from Lethem.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Andrew Short


Our driver, Leroy, slammed on the brakes. The large Bedford truck behind us carrying our gear and most of our crew ran into a patch of thick mud and was now sunk up to its axel and listing to one side. Up to now, our three-truck caravan had snaked its way towards to our first base camp without any problems.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Andrew Short
Today, an international team arrived in southern Guyana, near the boarder with Brazil, to conduct a rapid biological assessment of the Rupununi Savannah, a sprawling tropical grassland peppered with rock outcroppings and forested mountains. Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with assistance from Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), our expedition will spend the next couple weeks capturing a snapshot of the immense biodiversity that occurs in this poorly known region

Our group has about 35 people, including scientists, students from the University of Guyana, and support staff (a cook, drivers, representatives from local indigenous peoples). We have 10 scientific teams covering a broad array of biodiversity: large mammals, small mammals, fishes, amphibians and reptiles, birds, plants, aquatic insects, ants, water quality, and indigenous resource use (I’m in charge of the aquatic insects).

After assembling in Georgetown, we flew down to Lethem this morning, Tomorrow, we’ll load up into large Bedford trucks (so we can ford the rivers) and head out into the savannah to our first site at the foot of the Kusad Mountains.