November 18, 2010
Felix Sperling is a Professor at the Department of Biological Science at the University of Alberta and a Curator for the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum.
Research in Dr. Sperling’s lab encompasses processes of evolution ranging from the diversification of major insect lineages to the formation of species boundaries. His work on patterns of arthropod biodiversity also provides basic training for taxonomists at a time when their numbers are declining but their expertise is more important than ever before. In addition to extensive use of DNA sequences, he uses morphological data and phylogenetic analysis, complemented by internet-accessible keys and databases. He is building a foundation for understanding phenomena like plant-insect co-evolution, the historical biogeography of endangered communities, and the interaction of genomic architecture with speciation. He also contributes to faunal inventories that are designed to support conservation, agriculture and forestry by facilitating more responsible use of natural resources.