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Award Abstract #0955849

Systematics and Biogeography of the Family Cicadidae Worldwide: Subsampling the Tree of Life

Division Of Environmental Biology
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Initial Amendment Date: July 15, 2010
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Latest Amendment Date: August 15, 2013
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Award Number: 0955849
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Simon Malcomber
DEB Division Of Environmental Biology
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
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Start Date: September 1, 2010
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End Date: August 31, 2015 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $664,150.00
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Investigator(s): Chris Simon chris.simon@uconn.edu (Principal Investigator)
Thomas Buckley (Co-Principal Investigator)
Martin Villet (Co-Principal Investigator)
Max Moulds (Co-Principal Investigator)
David Marshall (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Connecticut
438 Whitney Road Ext.
Storrs, CT 06269-1133 (860)486-3622
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Program Reference Code(s): 1355, 9178, 9251, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 1171


The NSF Tree of Life project has made substantial contributions to establishing the major branches of the tree of life dating back hundreds of millions of years; this project will focus on the most recent branches. The major goal of the current proposal is to reconstruct and interpret the evolution of the family Cicadidae worldwide as a model for the origin and transcontinental spread of insect biodiversity over the last 65 million years. Most of the plants and animals populating the earth today arose during this era. Genetic data will be used to test five hypotheses concerning the timing and diversification of this remarkable group of more than 3000 insect species. To accomplish this new molecular and analytical tools for genealogical tree building, biogeography and speciation/extinction studies will be incorporated. Fossil and geological calibrations will be applied to groups that no one has previously attempted to date. Cicadas have natural advantages because they are distributed worldwide and their natural history creates strong genetic/geographic patterns.

In the course of our research a new generation of systematists will be trained and trees, maps, keys, photographs, and databases will be created and made available through the worldwide web. A strong international team of researchers and collaborators with complementary expertise in natural history, acoustic analyses, morphological taxonomy, and molecular systematics as well as detailed knowledge of local biogeographic regions has been assembled. The phylogenies produced will help systematists to group undescribed species and genera for which morphological characters are elusive or contradictory. New biodiversity is guaranteed to be discovered. Higher-level taxonomy that has been confused for more than 100 years will be re-evaluated in light of new molecular and morphological data.


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Ahmed Z, Sanborn AF, Hill KBR.. "A new species of the cicada genus Cicadatra from Pakistan.," Zoology in the Middle East, v.51, 2010, p. 75.

Goemans, G.. "A historical overview of the classification of the Neotropical tribe Zammarini (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) with a key to the genera.," ZooKeys, v.43, 2010, p. 1.

Maccagnan, D.H.B., Martinelli, N.M., Goemans, G., Guilherme, E.. "Zammara smaragdula Walker, 1858 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae): First record for Brazil.," Check List, v.7, 2011, p. 563.

Marshall DC, Hill KBR, Cooley JR, Simon C.. "Hybridization, mitochondrial DNA taxonomy, and prediction of the early stages of reproductive isolation: Lessons from New Zealand cicadas of the genus Kikihia.," Systematic Biology, v.60, 2011, p. 482.

Moulds, M.S.. "Platypleura tepperi Goding & Froggatt, 1904 (Cicadoidea: Cicadidae), a Madagascan cicada erroneously recorded from Australia.," Australian Entomologist, v.37, 2010, p. 11.

Moulds, M.S.. "A review of the genera of Australian cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea).," Zootaxa, v.3287, 2012, p. 1-262. 

Marshall, D.C., K.B.R. Hill, K.A. Marske, C. Chambers, T.R. Buckley, and C. Simon.. "Limited, episodic diversification and contrasting phylogeography in a New Zealand cicada radiation.," BMC Evolutionary Biology, v.12, 2012, p. 1471-2148. 

Cooley, John R., Gene Kritsky, Marten J. Edwards, John D. Zyla, David C. Marshall, Kathy B. R. Hill, Gerry Bunker, Mike Neckermann, Roy Troutman, Jin Yoshimura, and Chris Simon.. "Periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.): A GIS-based map of Broods XIV in 2008 and ?XV? in 2009.," American Entomologist, v.57, 2011, p. 144-150.

Moulds, M.S. and Owen, C.L.. "Pauropsalta walkeri, a new species of cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae) from northern Australia.," Australian Entomologist, v.38, 2011, p. 145-154.

Maes, J-M., Moulds, M.S. and Sanborn, A.F.. "Cicadidae (Homoptera) de Nicaragua: catalogo ilustrado, incluyendo especies exoticas del Museo Entomologico de Leon.," Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia, v.72, 2012, p. 1-138.

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