Emily L. Sandall

Postdoctoral Associate
Area of Interest: 
odonate diversity, morphology, biomechanics, natural history collections

I am interested in the functional morphology and mechanics, biodiversity, and distributional traits of dragonflies and damselflies, the insect order Odonata. My research methods typically combine specimen-based trait analysis and digital biodiversity data to identify ecological and evolutionary patterns in Odonata. I grew up on the Illinois prairies in the midwestern US, spending a lot of time steeped in natural history as I was growing up. At Loyola University Chicago, I earned my B.S. in Biology and carried out research on mycorrhizal fungi in green roof soils in the School of Environmental Sustainability. I worked in academic libraries and then the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State University before pursuing my graduate degree in insect diversity and systematics. In 2020, I earned my Ph.D. in Entomology at Penn State, where my research explored the biology, evolution, and natural history of clubtail dragonflies. My dissertation work primarily involved examining the morphology and mechanics of larval dragonfly burrowing, aquatic habitat traits for these larvae, and phylogeny of the snaketail dragonflies using morphological and molecular data. I’m also passionate about research ethics and open access in science, particularly in natural history collections. While at Penn State, I was also the Entomology Department outreach coordinator and president of the university’s community garden. My passions are at the intersection of biodiversity, sustainability, and public engagement.

Lab Specialty Group: 
Taxon Experts
Selected Publications: 

Sandall EL & Fischer B (2019) Be a Professional: Attend to the Insects. American Entomologist 65(3): 176–179. https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmz044.

Chaudhary VB, Sandall EL, Lazarski MV (2019) Urban mycorrhizas: predicting arbuscular mycorrhizal abundance in green roofs. Fungal Ecology 40: 12-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2018.03.002

Seltmann K, Lafia S, Paul D, James S, Bloom D, Rios N, Ellis S, Farrell U, Utrup J, Yost M, Davis E, Emery R, Motz G, Kimmig J, Shirey V, Sandall E, Park D, Tyrrell C, Thackurdeen R, Collins M, O’Leary V, Prestridge H, Evelyn C, Nyberg B (2018) Georeferencing for Research Use (GRU): An integrated geospatial training paradigm for biocollections researchers and data providers. Research Ideas and Outcomes 4: e32449. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.4.e32449

Mikó I, Trietsch C, Sandall EL, Yoder MJ, Hines H, Deans AR (2016) Malagasy Conostigmus (Hymenoptera: Ceraphronoidea) and the secret of scutes. PeerJ 4: e2682. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2682

Sandall EL (2016) Bringing the George H. & Alice F. Beatty Collection Into the Digital Age. Argia 28: 4. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4490552.v1.

Major Taxa: 
Major Study Region: 
North America
Where You're From: 
United States of America
long distance running, baking, reading