My research focus on ants spans from describing species to understanding global drivers of ant diversity and their functional roles. At the BGC Center, my research addresses the global diversity, geographic distribution, and conservation of ants. At heart I am a community ecologist and interested in understanding the processes that drive diversity patterns and structure ant assemblages across very small to very large spatial scales. My PhD and postgraduate research on functional morphology and evolution of miniature trap jaw ants revealed how biomechanically complex systems can repeatedly evolve, driving diversity and seemingly deterministic assemblage patterns. At the BGC this work has expanded to understanding drivers of species diversity and traits of all ant species. Central to all of my research are natural history museums, and they are where I want to be if I’m not getting lost in some tropical forest. Most recently I used museum records to examine the long term impact introduced species have on native ant communities. As a taxonomist I am always excited to discover and describe new species and when naming them after people I have the broader goal of increasing gender and human diversity inclusion.
ResearchGate Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Doug-Booher
2021 Booher, D.B., Gotelli N.J., Nelsen M.P., Deyrup, M., Moreau C.S. & Suarez A.V., Six decades of museum collections reveal disruption of native ant assemblages by global invaders. PNAS in review.
2021 Gotelli, N. J., Booher, D. B., Urban, M. C., Ulrich, W., Suarez, A. V., Skelly, D. K., Russell, D. J., Rowe, R. J., Rothendler, M., Rios, N., Rehan, S. M., Ni, G., Moreau, C. S., Magurran, A. E., Jones, F. A. M., Graves, G. R., Fiera, C., Burkhardt, U., & Primack, R. B. Estimating species relative abundances from museum records. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1– 13. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13705
2021 Booher, D. B., J. C. Gibson, C. Liu, J. T. Longino, B. L. Fisher, M. Janda, N. Narula, E. Toulkeridou, A. S. Mikheyev, A. V. Suarez and E. P. Economo. Functional innovation promotes diversification of form in the evolution of an ultrafast trap-jaw mechanism in ants. Plos Biology 19(3) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001031
2021 Booher, D. B., The ant genus Strumigenys Smith, 1860 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in western North America North of Mexico. Zootaxa accepted with revision
2021 Booher, D.B., Hoenle P.O. A new species group of Strumigenys (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Ecuador, with a description of its mandible morphology. ZooKeys 1036: 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1036.62034