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Phylogenomic species delimitation and mosaic evolution in the genus Hylomyrma Forel, 1912: revealing species and understanding morphological novelties from museum collections material using ultraconserved elements

Grant number: 19/24810-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão
Grantee:Mônica Antunes Ulysséa
Supervisor: Corrie Saux Moreau
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cornell University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/11453-0 - Ants of São Paulo: State of the art and establishment of priority areas for research and conservation actions, BP.PD


Hylomyrma, a Neotropical ant genus that includes 31 species, represents a challenge to systematics. The traditional approach that brings together alpha taxonomy and morphological phylogeny has left some questions unanswered due to the existence of mosaic specimens and complexes of cryptic species within the genus. Thus, in order to understand better the speciation, the arisal of morphological novelties, and the evolution of the genus Hylomyrma as a whole, I am submitting this postdoctoral research proposal in collaboration with Dra. Corrie S. Moreau. The research will be carried out at the Cornell University, on Moreau Lab. We will use cutting-edge technology and next-generation sequencing approach to achieve our goals. One of it, as important as Hylomyrma systematic, is testing which fungal decontamination protocol for MZUSP collections material maintains the DNA integrity. This investigation will contribute to my postdoctoral project (FAPESP 2018/11453-0) as it is inserted in a context of a FAPESP Thematic Project called "Collect, identify, process, diffuse: the curatorial cycle and the production of knowledge". Also, this goal is especially relevant in the scenario where habitat destruction, species loss and funding contingency for science make museum collections the main sources of data. (AU)

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