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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

  • Branstetter, M. G., J. T. Longino, P. S. Ward, and B. C. Faircloth. in press. Enriching the ant tree of life: enhanced UCE bait set for genome-scale phylogenetics of ants and other Hymenoptera. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
  • Kendall, B., V. Tkach, Y. Gutierrez, J. Longino, and M. Couturier. in press. Motile structures in the stool of a field biologist. Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
  • Nepel, M., H. Voglmayr, R. Blatrix, J. T. Longino, K. Fiedler, J. Sch�nenberger, V. E. Mayer. 2016. Ant-cultivated Chaetothyriales in hollow stems of myrmecophytic Cecropia sp. trees - diversity and patterns. Fungal Ecology 23:131-140.
  • Colwell, R. K., N. J. Gotelli, L. A. Ashton, J. Beck, G. Brehm, T. M. Fayle, K. Fiedler, M. L. Forister, M. Kessler, R. L. Kitching, P. Klimes, J. Kluge, J. T. Longino, S. C. Maunsell, C. M. McCain, J. Moses, S. Noben, K. Sam, L. Sam, A. M. Shapiro, X. Wang, and V. Novotny. 2016. Midpoint attractors and species richness: Modelling the interaction between environmental drivers and geometric constraints. Ecology Letters 19:1009-1022.
  • Longino, J. T., R. K. Colwell. 2011. Density compensation, species composition, and richness of ants on a Neotropical elevation gradient. Ecosphere 2:art29.
  • Longino, J. T. 2010. A taxonomic review of the ant genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Central America. Zootaxa 2720:35-58.
  • Longino, J. T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 2181:1-90.
  • Longino, J. T. 2007. A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group. Zootaxa 1491:1-63.
  • Longino, J. T. 2005. Complex nesting behavior by two neotropical species of the ant genus Stenamma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biotropica 37:670-675. [Editors' Choice in Science (23 January 2006)]
  • Longino, J. T., R. K. Colwell, J. Coddington. 2002. The ant fauna of a tropical rainforest: estimating species richness three different ways. Ecology 83:689-702.

Courses Taught

  • Biol 3410: Ecology and Evolution