Staff Profiles

Jessica Ware

Post-doctoral Researcher

  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      I am interested in evolutionary biology, entomology, phylogenetic methodology and organismal biology. My research focuses on the evolution of behavioural and physiological adaptations in insects, with an emphasis on how these occur in dragonflies and Dictyoptera. In particular, I combine molecular tools with morphological, behavioral, biogeographical, and physiological information to develop a holistic understanding of each group. Dragonflies and damselflies are enigmatic, commonly observed insects with a wide range of unique behaviors. I explore two of the main activities in a dragonfly’s life: flying and mating. Dictyoptera are a well studied but unresolved group, with behaviors and symbioses that are highly unique. For these taxa, I am interested in popular questions such as the how the evolution of social behavior occurred as well as in family-level phylogenetics.

      Professional history:I completed her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada. I obtained a PhD in Entomology from Rutgers University, where my thesis work focused on dragonfly systematics but also included the study of dragonfly flight, dictyopteran systematics and phylogenetic methodology. I am currently an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working on the systematics of lower termites. Current projects:1. Dragonflies: Flight behavior and wing venation2. Dragonflies: Evolution of female reproductive morphology (in collaboration with Kamilla Koch, Goran Sahlen and Maria Karlsson)3. The endemic South African genus, Syncordulia (in collaboration with John Simaika and Michael Samways)4. Phylogeny of the family Synlestidae (in collaboration with John Simaika and Michael Samways)5. A new subgenus of Somatochlora or a new genus of dragonflies? (in collaboration with Milen Marinov)6. Hybridization in Stylogomphus (in collaboration with Carl Cooke and Ellis Laudermilk)7. Lower termite systematics in the context of isopteran phylogeny8. The effects of fossils on phylogeny, specifically divergence time estimation9. Evaluating the future of rare Petaltails (Petaluridae) (in collaboration with Chris Beatty and others) Scientific accomplishments:

      • Snodgrass Memorial Award, Entomological Foundation, November 2008
      • Comstock Award, Entomological Society of America, November 2008
      • Student and Young Professional Participation Award, Entomological Society of America: January 2008
      • Rutgers Travel Award: December 2007
      • 2007-2008 Bevier Fellowship
      • Excellence in Science membership, AAAS: September 2007
      • Outstanding Presentation Award, World Dragonfly Association: April 2007
      • Compton Markle Award, Rutgers Department of Entomology: April 2007
      • Rutgers Travel Award: April 2007
      • Ernst Mayr Finalist, Society for Systematic Biology: June 2006
      • Runner up, Entomological Society of America, Student Competition for the President’s
      • Prize: December 2005
      • NJWRRI Travel Award: December 2005
      • Honorable mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: Spring 2005
      • Honorable mention, NSF Graduate Research fellowship: Spring 2004
      • Honorable mention, Ford Fellowship: Spring 2004
      • 2004-2003 Cook Excellence Fellowship
  • Publications