Heather Widmayer

MS Student

My project is focused on the history of speciation of a genus of neotropical fruit flies (Blepharoneura) and the parasitic wasps that attack them. I am using Double Digest Restriction Associated DNA (ddRAD) sequencing to identify thousands of genetic markers that can be analyzed to find patterns of migration and gene flow in populations across South America. These markers can also be used to create fine-resolution phylogenetic trees for a more in-depth understanding of species relationships. My work is one piece of a collaborative National Science Foundation “Dimensions of Biodiversity” project, led by a team of researchers from several universities.