Palm weevils and insect eggs at Evolution Meeting 2019

I realized talking to a friend today that this is my first Evolution Meeting in the USA. Previously, I've attended only the ones held in Ottawa, Canadá and in Guarujá, Brazil! It is a really fun meeting, great to catch up with friends and colleagues studying all sorts of creatures to understand their evolution.

This time I will be talking about my work on the early stages of diversification of palm weevils, where I found very similar patterns regardless of the outcomes of interactions with their host plants. That is, it does not matter if a weevil is a beneficial, harmful or harmless to the plant: patterns of genetic differentiation between populations are very similar. This indicates that maybe we should shift the focus away from plant defenses when thinking about the origins of the outstanding diversity of plant-feeding insects, and consider other aspects of host plant use that lead to specialization.

I will also be presenting a poster detailing the methods that we have used to build a phylogenetic tree to study the evolution of insect eggs. The paper will come out in the next few days, and hopefully the methods (especially Tax Reformer) or the tree will also be useful to others! Here is the poster attached for those who cannot make it to Evolution: