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John T. (Jack) Longino


Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin

Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: Biol 225
Phone: 801-587-5220
Longino Lab:

Research Statement

We share the planet with millions of species, and many of them are insects. A childhood fascination with insects led me to an interest in ecology and the desire to explain patterns of diversity, and I settled on ants as an ecologically dominant group of insects worthy of study. As it became clear that I was living during a time of enormous biotic change caused by human activities, I developed a strong conviction that it was important not only to understand patterns of diversity but to document it in detail for this time in history. I divide my time between two research fields: taxonomy and ecology. On the taxonomy side, I have coordinated large-scale inventories of Neotropical insect biodiversity, I discover and describe new species of ants, and I further refine our understanding of species ranges and morphological variability. I make use of advanced imaging technology, specimen-level databases, and Web-dissemination to make biodiversity data available to the widest audiences. On the ecology side, I use quantitative inventory techniques that allow analysis of diversity patterns. I am interested in how species are distributed on tropical mountainsides, what ecological factors explain the elevational range limits of species, and how species might respond to climate change.

Research Interests

General Interests
Specific Interests
  • Taxonomy and Natural History of Ants
  • Ecological Diversity
  • Biodiversity Inventory
  • Elevational Patterns and Response to Climate Change

Selected Publications

  • Longino, J. T. 2019. Pheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Middle American wet forest. Zootaxa 4599:1-126.
  • Longino, J. T., M. G. Branstetter, and P. S. Ward. 2019. Ant diversity patterns across tropical elevation gradients: effects of sampling method and subcommunity. Ecosphere 10:e02798.
  • Longino, J. T., and D. B. Booher. 2019. Expect the unexpected: a new ant from a backyard in Utah. Western North American Naturalist 79:496-499.
  • Longino, J. T., and R. K. Colwell. 2020. The arboreal ants of a Neotropical rainforest show high species density and comprise one third of the ant fauna. Biotropica 52:675-685. DOI: 10.1111/btp.12772
  • Longino, J. T., and M. G. Branstetter. 2020. Phylogenomic species delimitation, taxonomy, and ‘bird guide’ identification for the Neotropical ant genus Rasopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insect Systematics and Diversity, 4:1-33. doi: 10.1093/isd/ixaa004.
  • Longino, J. T. and M. G. Branstetter. 2021. Integrating UCE phylogenomics with traditional taxonomy reveals a trove of New World Syscia species (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Insect Systematics and Diversity 5:1-51. 10.1093/isd/ixab001.

Courses Taught

  • Biol 3410: Ecology and Evolution