Our laboratory investigates the evolution and diversity of invertebrates, especially the butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). We integrate many approaches, including phylogenomics, behavior, functional genomics, and biodiversity informatics to test hypotheses pertaining to the evolution of invertebrates, such as historical shifts in life histories, host-use evolution, caterpillar vibratory communication, and the evolution of hearing organs and bat evasion in nocturnal arthropods. We also tie our work to biogeography and conduct comparative genomics to identify genes that are responsible for particular traits or behaviors. Our large-scale projects often utilize an informatics approach by including traits and linking them to phylogenies and geographic data.
The Kawahara Lab is actively recruiting motivated students at High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate levels. Visit the Research Opportunities page if you are interested in joining.