insect color, evolution, and systematics

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Our lab, based in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University, focuses on insect systematics and visual systems evolution, specializing in beetles. 

We are fundamentally interested in what drives diversity, from the molecular level all the way through interactions among individuals across populations. Our current research lies at the interface of systematics, evolutionary biology, and visual ecology, and employs elements of genomics, phylogenetics, bioinformatics, physiology, and biochemistry. 

In particular, we are interested in the systematics and evolution of color within the charismatic and economically important family Buprestidae — the Jewel Beetles. Our research aims to understand a major biological process — vision — by investigating the relationships between body color, visual pigment protein structure and variability, and lineage diversity within this spectacular group. 


Meet The Team

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A gallery of our current research projects. For more information, click here , or see our publications here



Coming Up

June 2020: Sierra Weir will be joining the Lord Lab as a MS student. Her project will involve investigating the pigmentary colors of jewel beetles. Welcome, Sierra!

Fall 2020

- Ella Robison joins the Lord Lab as an undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Ella!

Winter 2019

-  Ms. Hannah Weller (Brown University) visited to work with the lab on image and color analysis in jewel beetles.

- Dr. Bob Anderson (Canadian Museum of Nature) visited to sort through some unidentified LSAM weevils.

- Ilgoo Kang won first place in the SysEB poster section at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Great work, Ilgoo!

- Ridley Graugnard won a Youth Incentive Award (Senior Level), sponsored by the Coleopterists Society and BioQuip. Congrats, Ridley!

- Able Chow and Ilgoo Kang were both awarded LSU Graduate Student Association Travel Awards to present their research at ESA. Congrats, guys!

- Ilgoo Kang won first place in the Ph.D. student poster competition at the 10th Annual Dept. of Entomology Graduate Student Symposium. Congrats, Ilgoo!

- Able Chow and Nathan Lord traveled to Prague, Czech Republic and Paris, France. Able studied the type specimens for his taxonomic revision and took reflectance measurements of jewel beetles.

- Trey Guillot joined the Lord Lab as an undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Trey!

- Devon Brits joined the lab, where he will be investigating the visual and chemical signals of the black soldier fly. Welcome, Devon!

Meet The Team

© 2020 by Nathan P. Lord