Matthew Van Dam
Dr. Matthew Van Dam
California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, United States of America
I am an insect systematist with a keen interest in the biogeography of continental island systems. Being a museum based researcher, all aspects of my research are built on using natural history data found in collections. I have used a variety of molecular techniques (next generation sequencing) and analytical tools to reveal evolutionary processes governing the patterns of diversity at different time scales.
I am also part of a team that developed new techniques for integrating phenology into species distribution modelling. My focal taxa of choice are weevils (Curculionoidea), they are one of the most diverse insect groups (~50,000 species), encompassing a huge range of life history strategies, there is hardly a plant or plant part that is not utilized by a species of weevil. I am currently working on integrating host selection and biogeographical processes to evaluate their effects on the diversification of select weevil lineages. My current project focuses on the phylogenomics of a hyperdiverse weevil group found in New Guinea.