Welcome

My name is Sandra R. Schachat. Broadly speaking, I am fascinated by the ways in which evolutionary history either constrains or facilitates ecological adaptations.

The aim of my research is to disentangle the relationship between phenotypic evolution and patterns of diversification in insects. I collect original data on morphology and ecology (pertaining to specific lineages or time intervals) and I analyze larger datasets in order to understand broad patterns of change over many millions of years. So far, I have mainly focused on three areas of scientific inquiry: the evolution of wing pattern in early-diverging moths, the evolution of insect herbivory during the Permian period, and the evolution of eyespot patterns on butterfly wings. In additional projects I have studied color patterns in ticks and extinction risk in toads. I also maintain an active interest in art history that dates back to my undergraduate research.

I am a Research Student at the Smithsonian Institution and I am currently back at the Australian National Insect Collection, where I began working as a visiting scientist last year. I hold a B.A. in Art History & Archaeology from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Entomology from Mississippi State University.

The name of this site is an homage to Annette Frances Braun, whose 1914 publication “Evolution of the color pattern in the microlepidopterous genus Lithocolletis” paved the way for my graduate research. The images in the header are from Combinaisons ornementales (ca. 1901) by Maurice Pillard Verneuil, George Auriol, and Alphonse Mucha.

Thank you very much for visiting my website. You can contact me at schachat@stanford.edu.