Czekanski-Moir, Jesse

From MolEvol

I'm interested in the ways in which organismal morphologies interact with landscape features to yield patterns of diversity. I'm also interested in leveraging estimations of range reconstruction and trait evolution on phylogenies to help understand patterns in community assembly. To those (and other) ends, I'm studying ants and land snails in the Palau archipelago (~7N, 134E). From a pure science perspective, these systems provide complementary windows into the ways different types of assemblages arise in an old (~30million years) but recently fragmented (4 islands 14000 years before present; 500+ islands now) landscape. From an applied ecology perspective, both the ants and land snails of Palau include extremely rare endemic species, invasive species, and taxa of which we're still not sure about the biogeographic provenance. A more detailed picture of diversity patterns, informed by molecular phylogenetics, will be of immediate use by land use decision makers with whom I worked on an ecosystem-based management strategy from 2006 - 2008.

Other biology-related activities I've been involved in over the years include field work in Borneo, Panama, China, Montana, and Oklahoma. I've examined fossil reefal assemblages in the Bahamas, done plant transects and bird counts in Palau, have taken aquatic macro-invertebrate identification courses in Maine, and have monitored endangered amphibians in Massachusetts. I was a lab tech at the Field Museum in Chicago (for Dr. Corrie Moreau), and have TA'd Ecology, Evolution, Parasitology, Invertebrate Zoology, and Invertebrate Paleontology courses.

Non-biological things that I've done include falling into a crevasse on the north slope of Denali; spending the night alone, vomiting from heat exhaustion in the coastal deserts of Hawaii; and singing at friends' weddings in four different countries.

Here's the link to the snail lab at SUNY-ESF

Here's a section of the internet I help "curate" about Micronesian ants:

If there's a question about ants you always wanted to ask, please do! (e.g., here):

Here's a song I wrote about a baby pterodactyl having an existential crisis: