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Alex Wild 
Department of EntomologyFormica aserva
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721


Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests
Systematics, natural history, and evolution of insects.  Current research projects include a higher-level phylogenetic study of the Coleoptera, a taxonomic revision and molecular phylogeny of the ant genus Linepithema, and a faunistic study on the ants of Paraguay.   Additional interests include the use of photography for biodiversity outreach and the role of alpha taxonomy in an increasingly genomic and bioinformatic world.

Professional Preparation

2005 University of California at Davis.  Ph.D. in Entomology.
1995 Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME.  A. B. summa cum laude in Biology and Environmental Studies.

Academic and Professional Appointments

2006 - present Research Associate, Department of Entomology, University of Arizona.  Currently working in a postdoctoral position on an Assembling the Tree of Life (NSF - ATOL) grant to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Coleoptera.  Responsibilities include assisting in the development of a bioinformatics workflow system, the development of new protein-coding nuclear genes for phylogenetic analysis, and specimen curation and imaging.
1999 – 2005 Doctoral Student, Department of Entomology, U. C. Davis.  Conducted externally funded phylogenetic and revisionary research in the ant genera Linepithema and Pachycondyla, carried out molecular work for an NSF - ATOL project to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Formicidae, and worked in the curation of the entomology collections at the Bohart Museum of Entomology and the California Academy of Sciences.
1998 – 1999 Agriculture Sector Coordinator, U. S. Peace Corps/Paraguay.  Activities included re-designing the Peace Corps agriculture plan to boost emphasis on no-till agriculture and to increase Peace Corps’ coordination with local organizations, interacting with Paraguayan communities to determine placement of incoming volunteers, organizing several week-long workshops in sustainable agriculture for Paraguayan subsistence farmers and Peace Corps volunteers, providing logistical support to volunteers, and editing a monthly newsletter.
1995 – 1998 Apiculture Extensionist, U. S. Peace Corps/Paraguay.  Responsibilities included teaching beekeeping with Africanized honeybees in several subsistence farming communities and performing extension in agroforestry and sustainable agriculture.
1995 – 1999 Associate Curator, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay.  Curated the ants in the Paraguayan National Museum on a part-time basis.
1995 Invertebrate Laboratory Intern, Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, Florida.  Assisted in the curation of the Archbold insect collection under the supervision of Dr. Mark Deyrup. 

Selected Publications 

  • Wild, A. L. 2007. Taxonomic revision of the ant genus Linepithema (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Publications in Entomology 126. [download PDF]
  • Roura-Pascual, N., A. V. Suarez , K. McNyset, C. Gómez, P. Pons, Y. Touyama, A. L. Wild, F. Gascón, and A. T. Peterson. 2006. Niche differentiation and fine-scale projections for Argentine ants based on remotely sensed data. Ecological Applications 16(5): 1832–1841. [pdf available on request]
  • Donoso, D. A, J. M. Vieira, & A. L. Wild. 2006. Three new species of Leptanilloides Mann from Andean Ecuador (Formicidae: Leptanilloidinae). Zootaxa 1201: 47-62. [download PDF]
  • Wild, A. L., and F. Cuezzo. 2006. Rediscovery of a fossil dolichoderine ant lineage (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and a description of a new genus from South America. Zootaxa 1142: 57-68. [pdf available on request]
  • Wild, A. L. 2005. Observations on larval cannibalism and other behaviors in a captive colony of Amblyopone oregonensis.  Notes from Underground 11: 9.  [Online article]
  • Wild, A. L. 2005. Taxonomic revision of the Pachycondyla apicalis species complex  (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).  Zootaxa 834: 1-25. [pdf available on request]
  • Roura-Pascual, N, A. V. Suarez , C. Gómez, P. Pons, Y. Touyama, A. L. Wild, & A. T. Peterson. 2004. Geographic potential of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile Mayr) in the face of global climate change.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 271:2527-2534. [download PDF]
  • Wild, A. L. 2004. Taxonomy and distribution of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).  Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97(6): 1204-1215. [download PDF]
  • Wild, A. L. 2003. Digital Macro Photography of Ants in the Field.  Notes from Underground 10 (1): 4.  [Online article]
  • Wild, A. L. 2003 (“2002”). The genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Paraguay. Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay 14: 1-18.  [download PDF]
  • Suarez, A.V., M. Benard, N.D. Tsutsui, T.A. Blackledge, K. Copren, E.M. Sarnat, A.L. Wild, W.M. Getz, P.T. Starks, K. Will, P.J. Palsbøll, M.E. Hauber, C. Moritz, and A.D. Richman. 2002. Correspondence: Conflicts around a study of Mexican crops. Nature 417: 897.
  • Orians, C. M., C. H. Huang, A. Wild, K. A. Dorfman, P. Zee, M. T. T. Dao, and R. S. Fritz. 1997. Willow hybridization differentially affects preference and performance of  herbivorous beetles. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 83: 285-294.

Selected Presentations

  • Wild, A. L. 2007. Can 18th and 21st century science get along? The fate of taxonomy in the genomic era.  Invited talk, University of Texas Population Biology seminar series, Austin, Texas.
  • Wild, A. L. 2006. Multi-locus molecular phylogeny and the “Species Problem”: insights from Linepithema ants. Invited talk, Symposium 12, International Union for the Study of Social Insects conference, Washington D.C.
  • Wild, A. L. 2006. Beyond the Argentine Ant: Evolution of the Neotropical ant genus Linepithema.  U.C. Davis Department of Entomology Seminar Series.
  • Wild, A. L. 2005. Panelist, “Monographs in the 21st Century”, Bay Area Biosystematists November meeting.
  • Wild, A. L. 2005. Entomologizing in South America. Panel presentation on international biological  collections and the permit process, Bay Area Biosystematists April meeting.
  • Wild, A. L. 2004. An Overview of Latin American Regulations. Invited Talk, Section A, Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
  • Wild, A. L. 2004. Phylogeny and Male Trait Evolution in the Neotropical Ant Genus Linepithema. Oral Presentation,  Section A, Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
  • Wild, A. L. 2004. Distribution of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in South America. Oral Presentation, Section 17, International Congress of Entomology, Brisbane Australia.
  • Wild, A. L. 1999.  No-till Agriculture in Paraguay: Balancing Indigenous Knowledge with Modern Technology. Invited Talk, CIIFAD Forum, Cornell University.

Relevant Skills

  • Over ten years of professional experience in insect collection, curation, and identification.  Curation experience includes several institutional collections in North and South America.  Identification skills span all insect and some other arthropod groups at the family or genus level, with species-level skills strongest for Nearctic and Neotropical ants.
  • Over ten years of experience in the design and implementation of scientific research in entomology and systematics. 
  • Strong grant-writing skills; received over $95,000 in funds as a graduate student from several sources, including a fellowship and a research grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • Insect photography.  Photographs have appeared in venues such as Discover Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Ranger Rick, Natural History, BBC Wildlife, Nature, PNAS, USA Today, the Washington Post, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and in numerous museum exhibits, books, newspapers, and websites.  Online gallery is viewable at
  • Molecular laboratory skills include DNA extraction, amplification, purification, primer design, and sequence analysis.
  • Bioinformatics software experience includes BioLink, EstimateS, Lucid, Auto-Montage, Cartograph, Archimed, PAUP*, Clustal, MacClade, Mesquite, Mr Bayes, Chromaseq, and Sequencher. 
  • International research experience in over 15 countries, with an emphasis in Latin America.
  • Excellent public outreach skills.  Experience includes agriculture extension, classroom and science center visits, photography workshops, and campus outreach events.
  • Fluency in English, Spanish and Guaraní, with additional communications skills in Portuguese and French.

Teaching Experience

2005 Teaching assistant for the “Ant Course” at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona, an annual intensive course on ant diversity.
2000 – 2005 Teaching assistant and lecturer for the following classes at U. C. Davis: 
          Molecular and Cellular Biology 10: Human Genetics. 
          Entomology 109: Insect Diversity in the California Sierra Nevada.
          Entomology 107: California Insect Diversity.
1995 – 1999  U. S. Peace Corps/Paraguay.  Taught classes in apiculture, soil conservation, crop 
diversification, and agroforestry to various groups of Peace Corps volunteers, Paraguayan farmers, and Aché and Guaraní indigenous communities. 

2003 National Science Foundation Dissertation Enhancement Award ($21,205)
2002  U.C. Davis Jastro Shields Research Award ($2,500)
2002  U.C. Davis Center for Population Biology, Graduate Research Award ($1,124)
2001  U.C. Davis Jastro Shields Research Award ($2,500)
2001  U.C. Davis Center for Biosystematics, Graduate Research Award ($1000)
2001  U.C. Davis Center for Population Biology, Graduate Research Award ($1000)
2001  U.C. Davis Center for Biosystematics, Graduate Research Award ($1000)
2000  U.C. Davis Jastro Shields Research Award ($1,800)
2000  National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship ($22,000/year for three years)
1995  Macomber Prize, awarded by Bowdoin College to the outstanding graduating senior in Biology

Professional Affiliations 
Member, Entomological Society of America; 2004-2005 ESA Education and Youth Committee
Member, International Union for the Study of Social Insects
Member, Society of Systematic Biologists

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