I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I'm an entomologist and systematist, and I'm interested in anything to do with biodiversity and evolution - especially insect taxonomy, diversity, and biogeography. Hymenoptera are my specialty, and I have expertise in molecular evolution and bioinformatics. I'm a quick & resourceful learner, an enthusiastic problem-solver, and I have a knack for communicating knowledge in a clear, accessible, and engaging fashion.view my cv
Diversity of Northern nematine sawflies (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae)
Presently, the primary focus of my research is to document and understand the diversity of Nearctic sawflies, particularly in the genus Pristiphora. The sawfly subfamily Nematinae is more diverse in northern regions than in the tropics, and there are still many undescribed species yet to be recorded. My doctoral dissertation (completed at PCYUPacker Lab) consisted of a partial revision of the Nearctic members of the genus accompanied by a molecular phylogenetic analysis. I also analyzed genomic DNA from museum specimens in an effort to understand the phylogeographic history of the holarctic species Pristiphora cincta. My postdoctoral work (at CBGCentre for Biodiversity Genomics) is focused on building a high-quality reference library of DNA barcode records for Canadian sawflies, enabling quicker, easier, and more precise identifications for these important insects. I am also using Nanopore sequencing to explore alternative approaches to molecular taxonomy in sawflies and Hymenoptera in general.
Revision of Chilicola (Heteroediscelis), a subgenus of bees endemic to Chile (Master's thesis)
My Master's thesis focused on the systematics and biogeography of a subgenus of bees in the genus Chilicola (Colletidae, Xeromelissinae). These are small, slender bees that nest in plant stems and are found throughout much of Chile, having apparently diversified via north-south disjunctions roughly corresponding with Chile's varied biogeographic regions. I described 8 of the 17 species of Heteroediscelis, and produced a thoroughly-illustrated ID key. You can see the finished work here ZooKeys (open access).
Elm zigzag sawfly, Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera: Argidae), recorded for the first time in North America through community science
Martel, V., Morin, O., Monckton, S.K., Eiseman, C.S., Béliveau, C., Cusson, M., Blank, S.M. 2021. The Canadian Entomologist, 154: 1-18. doi: 10.4039/tce.2021.44
Parasitoids indicate major climate-induced shifts in arctic communities
Kankaanpää, T., Vesterinen, E., Hardwick, B., ... Monckton, S.K., ... Roslin, T. 2020. Global Change Biology, 26: 6276-6295. doi: 10.1111/gcb.15297
The evolutionary history of the cellophane bee genus Colletes Latreille (Hymenoptera: Colletidae): Molecular phylogeny, biogeography and implications for a global infrageneric classification
Ferrari, R.R., Onuferko, T.M., Monckton, S.K., Packer L. 2020. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 146: 106750. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106750
Validating taxonomic identifications in entomological research
Packer, L., Monckton, S.K., Onuferko, T.M., Ferrari R.R. 2018. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 11: 1-12. doi: 10.1111/icad.12284view online download pdf
A revision of Chilicola (Heteroediscelis), a subgenus of xeromelissine bees (Hymenoptera, Colletidae) endemic to Chile: taxonomy, phylogeny, and biogeography, with descriptions of eight new species.
Monckton, S.K. 2016. ZooKeys, 591: 1-144. doi:10.3897/zookeys.591.7731
Case 3670 - Chilicola vicugna Toro & Moldenke, 1979 (Insecta, Hymenoptera, COLLETIDAE): proposed replacement of the holotype by a neotype.
Monckton, S.K. 2014. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 71(4): 234-236. doi:10.21805/bzn.v71i4.a13
Fruit ripening signals and cues in a Madagascan dry forest: haptic indicators reliably indicate fruit ripeness to dichromatic lemurs.
Valenta, K., Miller, C.N., Monckton, S.K., Melin, A.D., Lehman, S.M., Styler, S.A., Chapman, C.A., Lawes, M.J. 2016. Evolutionary Biology. doi:10.1007/s11692-016-9374-7
It’s not easy being blue: a cost analysis of plant signal trade-offs.
Valenta, K., Brown, K.A., Melin, A.D., Monckton, S.K., Styler, S.A. Jackson, D.A., Chapman, C.A. 2015. PLoS ONE, 10(6): e0131725. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131725
Biology (Hon.), 2011
University of Ottawa
From Excel, to R, to the command line, I can tackle most bioinformatics problems. I'm comfortable working with high-throughput sequence data, whether short or long-read, from targeted amplicons or whole genomes. I'm also interested in coding and web development, skills I enjoy practicing as technical editor of CJAICanadian Journal of Arthropod Identification.
I am a skilled illustrator. I've produced high-quality illustrationsExample phylogeny for publicationsFigure via ZooKeys and reportsBombus illustration, eye-catching mapsExample map illustration of species distributionsExample distribution map using GIS software, and logos for research groupsRehan lab logo and conferencesESO-ESC JAM 2021 logo. I also have an Etsy shopPhytophaga on Etsy where I sell insect stickers.
Beyond talks and publications, I've led bioblitz walks, delivered lunch-and-learns, spoken in children's classrooms, and written for The Canadian EncyclopediaTCE author page and The ConversationAuthor profile for The Conversation. I enjoy finding clear and intuitive ways to explain biology to non-experts.
Having processed and curated thousands of specimens, I'm familiar with curatorial best practices and I have experience building and maintaining databases. I have also visited and worked in several large natural history collections.