Project proposal details

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Project title
The phylogeny of hoverflies from whole mitochondrial genomes
Contact name
Alfried Vogler
Project based at
Natural History Museum
Project description
Hoverflies (Syrphidae) have received renewed interests as a major group of pollinators. They share similar appearance with the other group of major pollinators, the bees and wasps in the order Hymenoptera, which they mimic, but they are members of the Diptera (true flies). The Syrphidae are ecologically highly diverse, particularly in the larval stages, whose lifestyle ranges from saprophagy, phytophagy, mycophagy to insectivory, frequently associated with ants, and many species are aquatic in the larval stages. Hoverflies are also widely tagged in metabarcoding studies of pollinators that need a precise identification against a reference set of well characterised mitochondrial genomes. This project will build on a set of ~100 mitogenomes, most of them unpublished, that cover most major groups of Syrphidae. The phylogenetic tree will be used to map larval life history characters and the molecular-clock dating of major transition in the evolution of the lineage. In addition, the tree will be used to place existing (meta)barcode sequences in a solid phylogenetic framework, for a much needed reference system to characterise the diversity and distribution of UK pollinators.
Date uploaded

Project proposal limitations

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Project length limitations
3.5 months, 5 months
Available date limitations
Spring (April-May)
Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Taxonomy and Biodiversity [NHM MSc], Biosystematics [NHM MRes]