Welcome to the Hope Laboratory at K-State!
This is an interdisciplinary lab group focused on understanding the evolutionary and ecological responses of biodiversity to environmental change. We incorporate theory and practice from the diverse fields of climate change, comparative phylogeography, conservation genetics, dynamics of hybridization, emerging infectious disease, host-parasite coevolution, natural history of mammals and their parasites, phylogenetic systematics, and speciation.
Our research has global scope, although there is a strong emphasis on northern hemisphere small mammal and parasite assemblages, conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and the dynamics surrounding ecotones between major biomes such as the boreal forest-tundra suture zone at northern high-latitudes and the Great Plains-eastern forest suture that bisects North America from west to east.
The techniques we use include molecular methods (Sanger sequencing, microsatellites, and next-generation sequencing of DNA), morphometrics, stable isotope evaluation of diet, and modeling of potential environmental niche through time. Our research relies heavily on specimen archives held in natural history museum research collections. Through extensive and ongoing field sampling efforts we strive to practice ethical holistic collection of all associated specimen parts to maximize future research potential for the broader scientific community, for informing wildlife managers, and for both public and academic education.