Patrice Showers Corneli


Here you will find links to my academic papers starting with my brief career as a wildlife biologist, then through my biostatistics career and to my newest focus as a molecular phylogeneticist.

My primary interest is in mammalian evolution and phylogenetic methods for resolving very deep, short radiations. Another major focus is unraveling the  evolution of cone snails (Conus sp.) in collaboration with the Baldomero Olivera lab at the University of Utah where the lab studies conotoxins. Recently I have been working with Martin Kaltenpoth at the Univeristy of Regensberg in Germany on Hymenopteran evolution.

I regularly teach phylogenetics to graduate students and advanced undergrads and I consult with faculty, graduate students and post doctoral fellows in the Departments of Biology and Anthropology at the University of Utah.

Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis, Evolution and Statistics

The figure is an unlabeled phylogenetic “tree” of many species of Insects inferred from DNA sequences.  Each line corresponds to a species (left out here for esthetics, see Kaltenpoth et al. 2012 for the full figure).These species are joined together in order of their evolutionary relatedness. Here the orange lines are species of wasps, bees, and ants (Hymenoptera), the blue lines are butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), the green are  flies and mosquitos (Diptera) and the brown are mostly beetles (Coleoptera) with a few true bugs like boxelders (Hemipterans) sprinkled in.

You can see that the bee family appears most closely related to the butterfly family because their lines join together first. The bees are least related to the beetles because several other groups attach closer than the beetles do. The length of the lines (branches) of the phylogenetic tree describe the amount of evolution that has occurred during the histories of the species. So the bees and wasps have evolved far more from their ancestral state than have any of the other Insect species.