My research is focused on the processes that create biodiversity, especially in conditions of isolation. I am interested in the historic biogeography of the organisms that live in the Pacific Rim and its islands. Particularly, looking at the terrestrial invertebrates from remote volcanic archipelagos and islands from Patagonia.
I study the patterns and processes of evolution in scorpions and their fascinating venoms, spiders, and whip spiders. I am particularly interested in the interactions between biota, geology, and climate that have lead to the present-day assemblage of life on Earth. I feel that by understanding the history of life on Earth, we can make better informed decisions for enabling the present-day flora and fauna to continue to adapt and evolve.
My research focuses on leveraging new technologies and tools to discover, document, and understand the diversity on earth and ensure these results are available and used immediately for conservation action.
As collection manager I'm generally responsible for all entomology and arachnology collections, but have particular research interests in the Lepidoptera. Most of my work is focused on the southwest USA, but focus on the Pyraloidea and assorted basal lineages. I teach annually at the Lepidoptera Course in Portal, Arizona.
Systematics, biogeography, evolution, and natural history of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).
Changes in the altitudinal distributions of montane carabid beetles as indicators of climate change.
Biogeography, ecology, and evolution of high-altitude, montane organisms and faunas.
General aspects of biogeography and evolution.
General principles and methods of systematics.
My specialty is the systematics and evolution of solitary wasps family Sphecidae since 1955. In addition to minor papers, I have published essential monographs of Palearctic Tachytes (1962), Palearctic Tachysphex (1971), Palearctic Ammatomus (1973), Neotropical Tachysphex (1974), Australian Tachysphex (1977), Old World Parapiagetia (1977), World Prosopigastra (1979), North American Tachysphex (1988), World Kohliella (1991), World Holotachysphex (1992), World Gastrosericus (1995), African Tachysphex (2007), a book of 698 pages, world Palarini (2008, coauthored with Michael A.