February 2019: A fun article about a recent paper of mine appeared on the UH Hilo website, highlighting the importance of collaboration in taxonomy.
October 2018: Spent a week in the Schoville Lab at UW Madison, learning phylogenomic analysis techniques as part of the NSF’s Research Experiences for Teachers program.
September 2018: Was invited to give the keynote lecture at the “Grand Re-Opening” of Malheur Field Station in SE Oregon. This is the place where, back in high school, I originally decided to become a biologist, so it was wonderful to be back.
July 2018: Attended the “Origins of Adaptive Radiation” conference in Waimea, HI, put on by the American Genetic Association.
July 2018: Spent a week in Yosemite with Sean Schoville, collecting Grylloblattidae and carabid beetles.
June 2018: Joined the Don Price lab at UNLV!
January 2018: Sean Schoville and I were awarded a RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) grant supplement through the National Science Foundation. We will use the award to design a Next-Gen Sequencing learning module for high school students, and to do additional data analysis for projects involving Sean's work on Grylloblattidae.
November 2017: I presented research about the abundance of insects in impacted areas of Pōhakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, in Denver, CO. Many Urban School students contributed to this research as part of their Service Learning obligation. A manuscript summarizing these results in currently in preparation.
August 2017: At long last, a paper describing nine new species of Hyposmocoma moths came out in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. My co-authors and I (including student Mia Carleton) worked on this project for many years, and all started when I visited the uninhabited Hawaiian island of Kaho'olawe back in 2008. We are very excited to have finished this project, and thank several donors who make the work possible!
June 2017: A paper with Frank Howarth, long-time mentor to me, was just published in Zootaxa. Therein we describe two new species of moths found in Hawaiian caves. These are the first new cave moths described from Hawaii since 2009.
May 2017: A paper with Sean Schoville and myself, documenting range expansions for two wing-reduced craneflies, was just published in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. These are very strange insects indeed - "mosquito eaters" without the wings!
January 2017: In Defense of Science. Please read an open letter at available at this link.
November 2016: A moth I described last year, Pseudoschrankia brevipalpis, turns out to play a significant role in the pollination of a rare Hawaiian flower. See the following paper for details: Weller et al. 2016. An enigmatic Hawaiian moth is a missing link in the adaptive radiation of Schiedea. New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.14254
September 2016: I attended the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL. It was a great meeting - lots of time with old friends, new friends, and planning of future collaborations. Thanks to the Urban School for the time off and the financial support.
May 2016: A second paper co-authored with high school students just published. We reviewed what’s known about polynesian Carposina moths, and described four new species. One of them is named Carposina urbanae, after the Urban School of SF, where much of the research took place. See “publications” link for details.
April 2016: Attended the International Symposium of Gracillariidae on the Big Island of Hawaii. Had a great time interacting with colleagues and sharing my knowledge of the Hawaiian moth fauna. Many thanks to Akito Kawahara for this amazing opportunity.
March 2016: A week of field work, collecting moths, on Maui. Big Island is up next month.
February 2016: A paper describing nine new species of Hyposmocoma moths from an uninhabited island in Hawaii, with three co-authors, just went to review. More to come.
November 2015: Paper on Carposina went to press; two co-authors are students at The Urban School of SF. Field work in Hawaii coming up in March and April.
August 2015: New paper published on niche conservatism of Hawaiian Thyrocopa moths.
July 2015: Pseudoschrankia brevipalpis was just published, as well as Thyrocopa keliae. Spent several nights collecting beetles and butterflies with Sean Schoville in the Wallowa range of NE Oregon.
June 2015: The description of a new Pseudoschrankia, mentioned below, was just accepted to Zootaxa. The new name will be available shortly.
May 2015: The manuscript mentioned below, on dispersal of Thyrocopa moths, was just accepted to Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Summer field work with Sean Schoville is coming up soon!
March 2015: Field work on the Big Island in Hawaii. Conditions were cold and wet, but still got some good new material for the Carposina study.
February 2015: A new species of Pseudoschrankia was recently collected on Oahu by botanists L. Weisenberger, A. Sakai, and S. Weller. A species description is in the works - this genus has not been collected since 1983!
December 2014: Starting DNA extractions for a whole bunch of new Hawaiian Carposina moths, with my genetics students at Urban. Once we have new sequences next month, we’ll add them to the growing data set, and will be many steps closer to revising the genus and resolving its phylogeny.
October 2014: In the final stages of preparing a manuscript exploring the dispersal ability of Thyrocopa moths in Hawaii. See the photo gallery for an image illustrating the results of an ecological niche modeling project; this image predicts where suitable habitats for the group of moths occur. The search will be on next summer for new species.
September 2014: Robert Dudley’s new webpage is up!
August 2014: Summer field work in BC, the Yukon, and Alaska, with Sean Schoville, looking for Grylloblattidae (ice-crawlers).
July 2014: I was recently photographed in Panama for an article about Dr. Robert Dudley’s “Drunken Monkey” hypothesis. See here: