While on the Big Island we stayed at Hamp Carson's cabin in Glenwood. It has been several years since I was there and it still looks pretty much the same. It's great to have the resource available and we owe Ken Kaneshiro and the Center for Conservation Research and Training a huge mahalo for letting us stay there. The Big Island work stated in the Volcano area and along Stainback Highway. We also made collections for canacids along the Hamakua Coast, in Kau and in North Kona. We also spent a day helping Alli Quan collect Drosophila mimica and D. kambysellisi in Kipuka Puaulu. The rest of the time was spent on the Saddle Road collecting in kipukas along the Puu Oo Trail.
We went to the Big Island and Maui to collect material for a couple different projects. My primary goal was to obtain samples of spoon tarsus species for our Dimensions in Biodiversity grant. I also wanted to obtain some more material from Scaptomyza cyrtandrae and a new species in that group from Maui that I'm describing with former student Jessica Craft. Finally, Nina and I were looking for canacids to expand the sampling within her phylogeny of Hawaiian Canacidae. It was a very successful trip and we got everything we needed for all the projects.
We flew over to Maui for a short two day trip. The flight over was very smooth but there were some problems with the plane before we took off. We spent the first day collecting canacids and ephydrids along the Hana Highway. The second day was spent in the Waikamoi Forest Reserve. East Maui Irrigation gave us access and helped out with logistics. We ended up leaving some of our collections in the rental car but the folks at National sent them to us in Hilo via Air Cargo.
In addition to all the hard work we also go to do some touristy stuff. The Halemaumau Crater was very impressive at night and Haleakala Crater is always amazing.
The lab has been funded as part of a large grant (led by Rosie Gillespie) to examine the origins of Hawaiian biodiversity. Here's a link to the announcement on the ESPM web page.
Teri Markow and I have a chapter comparing patterns of diversification in Hawaiian Drosophila and the cactophilic repleta species group.
Our paper on "Fungal diversity associated with Hawaiian Drosophila host plants" has been accepted in PLoS ONE. Congratulations to Brian Ort for leading this effort, along with two undergraduate researchers in the lab, Norma Pantoja and Roxanne Bantay!
Over the weekend we heard that two papers had been accepted. One, lead by Darren Obbard at the University of Edinburgh, examines dating in the Drosophilidae using several Hawaiian calibration points. It will be appearing in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
The other is a survey of Wolbachia in endemic Hawaiian insects (see Figure) that will be out in Fly. The paper was coauthored by Gordon Bennett and former undergraduate Norma Pantoja.
We were invited to submit a full NSF proposal on the ecology and phylogenetics of the genus Scaptomzya. We're working with Noah Whiteman and Rick Lapoint at the University of Arizona. This work will examine the biogeography and phylogeny of Scaptomyza in Hawaii and throughout the world.
Check for updates on our new project site: http://scaptomyza.drosophilaevolution.com/