How can we use natural history museums to further our understanding of life?

This is perhaps the question I spend the most time thinking about. I am amazed by the collections held by natural history museums and see immense amounts of untapped potential as digitization efforts are still in their early stages and we still have yet to unlock all of the genetic data these museums also contain. In the Esposito lab, I am currently working on projects pertaining to spiders and scorpions in this respect.

How does phylogenetics inform our understanding of life-history evolution?

Both research projects I was involved with at Cornell involved investigating how to examine life-history strategies in the light of evolution. I worked on the micromoth genus Argyresthia in the Dombroskie lab to conduct ancestral state reconstructions of recorded hostplants and found that within the genus there is a predominantly gymnosperm-feeding lineage and a predominantly angiosperm-feeding lineage. In the Rayor and Moreau labs, I worked on inferring a more complete phylogeny of huntsman spiders (Sparassidae) and examined trends in life-history pertaining to egg sacs, social behavior, and retreat construction in an evolutionary context. Examining these trends through the lens of evolution continues to fascinate and interest me and I am excited for this to continue to be a part of my work.

How can we use population genetics to answer basic questions about population structure and applied questions about threats due to wildfires, human development, and climate change?

The California Floristic Province (CFP) is considered one of the most biodiverse regions in the world but as wildfires become intensified, human development increases, and climate change becomes a crisis, it isn't clear how resilient natural populations will be to these threats. As part of my master's work in the Esposito lab, we are examining this in a common scorpion species found throughout much of California.

How does niche partitioning impact the ecological dynamics of terrestrial predators?

Niche partitioning is the concept that, as a result of competition, organisms are under pressure to occupy specific niches, with the separating factor often different species, sexes, or developmental stages. Scorpions are an excellent terrestrial model for investigating niche partitioning because they are abundant, can easily be detected in situ with ultraviolet light,  are opportunistic predators willing to cannibalize one another, and are also under predation pressure by larger terrestrial animals. Understanding these dynamics in the context of niche partitioning allow us to observe what competitive factors may be at play and on a broader level contribute to a better understanding of natural history.


Publications

5. Gorneau, J.A., Rayor, L.S., Rheims, C.S., & Moreau, C.S. 2023. Molecular, morphological, and life history data to support research of huntsman spiders (Araneae: Sparassidae). Data in Brief.

4. Gorneau, J.A., Rheims, C.A., Moreau, C.S., & Rayor, L.S. 2022. Huntsman spider phylogeny informs evolution of life history, egg sacs, and morphology. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

3. Losey, J.E., Chen, C., Davis, A.E., Deitsch, J.F., Gertin, J.G., Gorneau, J.A., Hallock, E.M., Jordán, J.P., Kim, Z.J., Kubinski, E.G., Laurenz, N., Li, S.B., Mullen, E.K., O’Brien, A., Richardson, L.I., Vincent, S., Wang, S.Y., Yarhouse, E.L., Schydlowsky, A., & Curtis, P.D. 2022. Insect and spiders on the web: Monitoring and mitigating online exploitation of species and services. Global Ecology and Conservation.

2. Gorneau, J.A., Ausich, W.I., Bertolino, S., Bik, H., Daly, M., Demissew, S., Donoso, D.A., Folk, R., Freire-Fierro, A., Ghazanfar, S.A., Grace, O.M., Hu, A.Q., Kulkarni, S., Lichter-Marck, I.H., Lohmann, L.G., Malumbres-Olarte, J., Muasya A.M., Pérez-González, A., Singh, Y., Siniscalchi, C. M., Specht, C.D., Stigall, A.L., Tank, D.C., Walker, L.A., Wright, D.F., Zamani, A., & Esposito, L.A. 2022. Framing the Future for Monography: Improving Recognition, Support, and Access. Bulletin of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

1. Esposito, L.A., Daly, M., Fujita, M.K., Gorneau, J.A., Rapacciuolo, G., Rocha, L., Scheinberg, L., Ware, J., Welch, C.K., Young, A., & Bell, R.C. 2022. A New Framework for Assessing the Contributions of Professionals in the Natural Sciences. Bulletin of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

Gorneau, J.A., Kulkarni, S., Cala-Riquelme, F., & Esposito, L.A. (In Press). Measuring what we don’t know: biodiversity catalogs reveal bias in taxonomic effort.

Gorneau, J.A., Jones, L.D., Monzón-Sierra, J., & Dombroskie, J.J. (In Press). Three new species of Argyresthia Hübner 1825 from Guatemala, with notes on host plant evolution and Nearctic taxa (Lepidoptera: Argyresthiidae).


Presentations

* Indicates presenter, † indicates oral paper, § indicates poster presentation

Gorneau, J.A.*, Cala‐Riquelme, F., Crews, S.C., Kulkarni, S., Montana, K., Esposito, L.A. Webs of intrigue: museum genomics elucidate relationships of the marronoid spiders (Araneae). Joint Annual Entomology Meeting, Vancouver, Canada. 2022.

Gorneau, J.A.*, Kulkarni, S., Cala‐Riquelme, F., Esposito, L.A. Biodiversity catalogs reveal taxonomic effort and geographic bias: a case study. SACNAS National Diversity in STEM, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA. 2022.

Gorneau, J.A.*, Kulkarni, S., Cala‐Riquelme, F., Esposito, L.A. Biodiversity catalogs reveal taxonomic effort and geographic bias: a case study. American Arachnological Society, Davis, California, USA. 2022.

Gorneau, J.A.*, Ausich, W.I., Bertolino, S., Bik, H., Daly, M., Demissew, S., Donoso, D.A., Folk, R., Freire-Fierro, A., Ghazanfar, S.A., Grace, O.M., Hu, A.Q., Kulkarni, S., Lichter-Marck, I.H., Lohmann, L.G., Malumbres-Olarte, J., Muasya A.M., Pérez-González, A., Singh, Y., Siniscalchi, C. M., Specht, C.D., Stigall, A.L., Tank, D.C., Walker, L.A., Wright, D.F., Zamani, A., & Esposito, L.A. Framing the Future for Monography: Improving Recognition, Support, and Access. Entomological Society of America, Denver, Colorado, USA. 2021.

Gorneau, J.A.*, Rayor, L.S., Moreau, C.S. The evolution of huntsman spiders (Araneae: Sparassidae): insights into life history. American Arachnological Society Virtual Summer Symposium. 2020.

Gorneau, J.A.*, Tartaglia, E. National Moth Week: Leveraging Citizen Sxcience Data to Understand Bias and Biodiversity. Ninth Annual Cornell Entomology Symposium at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA. 2020.

Gorneau, J.A., Goodman, A.M.*, Esposito, L.A. Niche partitioning among three vaejovid scorpions near the San Francisco Bay Area (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Mary Bowerman Research Symposium, California, USA. 2019. †

Gorneau, J.A.*, Goodman, A.M., Esposito, L.A. Niche partitioning among three vaejovid scorpions near the San Francisco Bay Area (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Cornell Undergraduate Research Board (CURB) Fall Forum at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA. 2019. §

Gorneau, J.A.*, Goodman, A.M., Esposito, L.A. Niche partitioning among three vaejovid scorpions near the San Francisco Bay Area (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. 2019. §

Rayor, L.S.*, Gorneau, J.A., Moreau, C.S. Trait-mapping sociality and life-history adaptations in social and solitary huntsman spiders. Animal Behavior Society in Chicago, Illinois, USA. 2019. †