Florida Museum of Natural History

Nathaniel Evans, PhD Candidate

Nathaniel Evans

Research Statement

Broadly speaking I am interested in understanding the evolutionary history (systematics, biogeography, speciation and morphological evolution) of marine invertebrates, especially crustaceans. My dissertations research includes the combination of molecular and geometric morphometric data to explore morphological diversification within a number of lineages of portunid swimming crabs. Much of this work focuses on the diverse but poorly studied genus Thalamita (~91 spp.). However, I am also interested in understanding how morphological evolution proceeded leading up to the emergence of commensalism in other portunid clades.

Where possible I also participate in biodiversity surveys carried out by the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the FLMNH. This work is necessarily collaborative in nature and I benefit greatly from interacting with many, very experienced researchers. To this end, my PhD work has included developing a significant skill set in collection, identification, and curation of specimens (especially crustaceans) for future morphological and molecular work. In the process my understanding and appreciation of invertebrate biodiversity has rapidly expanded. I find this work incredibly rewarding particularly when I can share my knowledge with others through teaching and outreach.