As an associate researcher I have limited possibilities and need to focus on topics which do not require labs or advanced equipment. Hence you will see some shifts to topics that can be done off-museum sites and within the limited financial resources available.
In general my interest is broad, but with taxonomy (also named systematics) as the main topic. From early on I have been interested in the distribution of species (i.e. biogeography) and evolutionary aspects (i.e. phylogenetics since DNA research became broadly available). Conservation issues, which mainly involve habitat destruction, are also a topic of interest. And finally, I’m interested in the history of biology as we all are ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’.
Oh, and did I already say it is mainly about the superfamily Orthalicoidea? This is a dominant group in the Neotropics, also occurring in South Africa, Australia and parts of Melanesia (i.e. a Gondwana distribution).
Current topics in focus
Systematics, ecology and evolution of Australian orthalicids
This is a project about systematics (morphology, anatomy), ecology, and molecular studies on the genus Bothriembryon. In cooperation with the Western Australian Museum (Corey Whisson and Lisa Kirkendale). Several papers are in progress or planned.
Anatomy in 3D
This project, in cooperation with the Natural History Museum in London (Jonathan Ablett, Dan Sykes), is using modern micro-CT techniques to study the anatomy of snails without invasive techniques, and is therefore very suited to apply to museum collections.
These (identical) files are an example of what is possible to attain:
(Keynote format) Satagembryon_video_uCT_KEY
(Powerpoint format) Satagembryon_video_uCT_PPT
Once downloaded, open the file of your choice with software that supports the format.
Land snails of Peru
The aim of this project is to present an overview of known data of Peruvian land snails, with emphasis on Orthalicoidea. In cooperation with Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal (Valentín Mogollón).
Subproject’s of this project are focussing on mini-revisions of groups of species, or smaller genera, making use of an integrative approach of morphology, anatomy and, if material supplies allow, molecular studies.
Type material in historical collections
This is a project which resulted in several papers about the collections in Berlin, Brussels, and London, Geneva, plus one about the Australian species of Orthalicoidea. My research in Paris did not end up in a publication as the curator prefers to update their holdings online. Parts of this project have been funded under the EU-SYNTHESYS program. Studies in other museums are ongoing and (partly) privately funded.
Handwritings of malacologists
Closely linked to the topic of the historical collections, this project has been only scratched upon so far. As it is not very interesting for most researchers (“not hypothesis driven”) this project is doomed to be executed once the occasion arises.
Snails in art
Grown out of a serendipity search, this project has resulted in my blog huntingforsnails.wordpress.com and several publications.
Speciation ‘at work’
Under this heading my research is grouped on sudden morphological shell shape differences (‘carination’) in e.g. coastal areas of Peru, and speciation on isolated tepui areas in Venezuelan Guayana.