Diarmaid Ó Foighil
Director and Curator, Museum of Zoology
Associate Chair for Museum Collections
- Ph.D. Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), 1987
- University of Michigan
1025 Museums Building
1109 Geddes Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079
- Phone: (734) 647-2193
- Fax: (734) 763-4080
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is an exciting time to be a biologist. Ongoing theoretical and technical advances across broad areas of biological research are greatly expanding the scope of investigation for evolutionary studies and numerous classic questions concerning the origin and maintenance of biotic diversity are now being meaningfully tested for the first time.
The Mollusca are enormously diverse, have an excellent fossil record, and play central roles in almost all of the earth’s ecosystems. As a result, outstanding exemplar molluscan taxa can be targeted for most primary questions in the overlapping disciplines of evolution, systematics and biogeography. Although my background has been in marine systems, since moving to Ann Arbor I have also become very interested in freshwater and terrestrial taxa and presently have research projects on marine, terrestrial and freshwater taxa. See below a brief summary of our ongoing research project on endangered Pacific Island land snails.
Historical Phylogeny of Tahitian Partula, an Almost Extirpated Land Snail Fauna
Surveying remnant Partula hyalina populations in Tahiti with Trevor Coote in March 2005.
Partula hyalina and P. clara show enhanced resistance to the introduced predator Euglandina. Our results suggest that these two nominal Partula species represent a single polymorphic lineage stemming from a distinct Tahitian colonization event.
Jack Burch, Taehwan Lee and I are presently engaged in collaborative project with the Zoological Society of London on the conservation biology and systematics of this highly endangered malacofauna.
Thanks to Jack’s historical samples, we aim to reconstruct the evolutionary history of this fauna and provide a phylogenetic perspective to guide ongoing conservation efforts. See the popular Whyfiles article on this research.