The branchiopod crustaceans comprise approximately 500 species, primarily in aquatic habitats.
Current Research Focus on Branchiopods
Dr. D. Christopher Rogers studies the evolution, biogeography, systematics, phylogeny, ecology, behavior, and conservation of the branchiopod crustaceans (fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, and clam shrimp). Specific studies include uncovering of relationships between branchiopod crustacean distribution and substrate geochemistry (which has conservation implications); demonstrating the presence of complex chemical communication in branchiopods; discovering predator specific growth responses in prey branchiopod species; co-creating the strongest molecular phylogenies for crustacean evolutionary relationships, and elucidating unclear specific relationships within the Decapoda and Branchiopoda.
Current Research Focus on Other Invertebrates
More recently, D. Christopher Rogers’ research has expanded to include investigations into the population dynamics of mosquitos and ticks. This research specifically focuses on the dispersal and population dynamics of arboviral vectors (mosquitoes and ticks). D. Christopher Rogers has been developing a database of Kansas mosquito and tick biodiversity, in order to develop a localized theory of biogeography and dispersal among these taxa, and towards understanding the direct implications to human health.