- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Her seminar title is "Taxonomy of Stenomorpha Solier, 1836 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Asidini." Her major professor, Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and UC Davis professor of entomology, will host her.
“My research focuses on a very large genus which historically had 88 species and no modern species level work for several taxa for nearly 175 years,” Keller said. “Part of my research focuses on a group of flightless species restricted to the Sierra Transvolcanica or southern Transverse range in Mexico. Using biogeography, morphological analyses and the examination of over 10,500 specimens, I recognize 51 valid species of Stenomorpha Solier, 1836, with seven newly recognized subgenera, while 37 formerly recognized species are synonymized or newly combined."
One of the species that she studies is Stenomorpha costata, which occurs in Mexico and is flightless.
“Certain Stenomorpha species occur in California vernal pools but are not listed as vernal pool species,” she said. She also will discuss the importance of taxonomy in conservation.
If time allows, Keller will discuss her other projects, working in the Bahamas and mentoring students, as well as her recent research on morphology and developmental patterns of gene expression.
Keller received her associate science degree in biology and chemistry, with highest honors from Sacramento City College in 2001 and then transferred to UC Davis where she received her bachelor’s degree in evolution and ecology (2004), and her master’s degree in entomology (2007). She was selected student commencement speaker at her 2004 graduation.
She served as a teaching assistant for a number of courses at UC Davis and has also presented guest lectures, including “Insect Sex and Mating Systems” and “Insects and the Environment—Ecological Physiology.”
As an outreach education project, she authored a children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” about the California state insect. The book is available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Among her many awards at UC Davis:
- Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, May 2008
- Division of Biological Sciences (DBS) Commencement Speaker, June 2004
- DBS Departmental Citation for Outstanding Achievement in Academics and Research in Evolution and Ecology, Spring 2004
- Outstanding Senior 2004
- Undergraduate Research Conference, Oral Presentation, April 2004
- President’s Undergraduate Fellowship, Spring 2003
Keller has given scores of talks at entomological society meetings, including “Richard M. Bohart: One Hundred Years of Entomologists in the Pacific Northwest,” at the March 2007 meeting of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (ESA). She organized and chaired or co-chaired three section symposia (2006-2008) at the ESA annual meetings. One of these was on “Systematics and Diversity of Coleoptera” at the ESA meeting in 2008 in Reno.