Primary Research Interests

My research interests include phylogenetics and systematics of the superfamily Majoidea (spider crabs), alpha taxonomy of Majoidea and included families, biodiveristy and biogeography of marine decapod crustaceans, and evolution of early brachyura.


Since 2011 I have been involved in a undergraduate field course in Bali, Indonesia. Through this program I have been part of a teaching faculty that has instructed over 100 Indonesian and American undergraduates students and Indonesian faculty in basic crustacean identification and field sampling methods. The collections made during this course are currently being analyzed for publications that will include all the course participants. Additionally, I have mentored three Indonesian students in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia and one American undergraduate during a field excursion in 2012. Most recently, I have mentored three Indonesian interns at the Smithsonian in DNA sequencing, DNA analysis, and data management for this project. To learn more about this project click here

Additional Interests

Proper curation of specimens for use in genetic studies is another area of interest. All too often genetic sequences cannot be traced back to an individual specimen. This can lead to many problems in cases where the sequence is not congruent with hypothesized relationships. For this reason, all of the sequences included in my dissertation research and subsequent publications can be traced back to a single individual. The importance of voucher specimens is a central focus of the field course in Bali. 


In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
— Baba Dioum