Evan P. Economo

I am a biologist with broad interests in the ecology and evolution of biodiversity.  I was born in Montreal and grew up in Virginia and North Carolina before pursuing undergraduate work at the University of Arizona and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin.  I was a fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan from 2009-2012 where I remain a Visiting Assistant Professor.  Recently I moved to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology as an Assistant Professor where I lead the Arilab.

Please visit our lab website for more on the projects we are working on in the lab.


  • 2009  Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin.  Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior.

  • 2002  B.S. University of Arizona. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

Other Training:

  • 2005  California Academy of Sciences ‘Ant Course.’ Cairns, Australia.

  • 2004  Santa Fe Institute ‘Complex Systems Summer School.’ Qingdao University, China


University of Michigan

  • 2009-2012      Postdoctoral Fellow - Michigan Society of Fellows, Assistant Professor (non tenure-track), Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

  • 2012-present   Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

  • 2011-2012        Visiting Assistant Professor

  • 2012-present    Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator: Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit


  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G., Liu, C., Audisio, T., Economo, E.P.(In Press). Next-generation morphological character discovery and evaluation: an X-ray micro-CT enhanced revision of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae) in the Afrotropics. Zookeys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Sarnat, E.M., Friedman, N.R., Fischer, G., Lecroq, B., Economo, E.P. (In Press) Rise of the spiny ants: diversification, ecology, and function of extreme traits in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.                                                                                                                                
  • Friedman, N., Harmáčková, L., Economo, E.P, Remeš, V. (2017) Smaller beaks for colder winters: Beak size of Australasian songbirds evolves in response to thermoregulatory challenges. Evolution. doi:10.1111/evo.13274                                                                                                                                
  • Dawson, W., Moser, D., van Kleunen, M., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Pysek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Lenzer, B., Blackburn, T., Dyer, E., Cassey, P., Scrivens, S., Economo, E.P., Guénard, B., Capinha, C., Seebens, H., Nentwig, W., Berthou, E., Casal, C., Essl, F. (2017) Global hotspots and drivers of alien species richness across taxonomic groups. Nature Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0186                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Choo, J., Carasco, C., Alvarez-Loayza, P., Simpson, B.B., Economo, E.P. (2017) Differential distance and density-dependent impacts over the life history of two Amazonian palms. Annals of Botany.                                                                                                                                
  • Liu, C., Dudley, K., Xu, Z., Economo, E.P. (2017) Mountain metacommunities: climate and spatial connectivity shape ant diversity in a complex landscape. Ecography.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G., Liu, C., Audisio, T.L., Alpert, G.D., Fisher, B.L., Economo, E.P. (2017). X-ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: an evaluation and case study of two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) species from Madagascar. PLoS ONE.12(3): e0172641. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172641                                                                                                                                
  • Guénard, B., Weiser, M., Gomez, K., Narula, N., Economo, E.P. (2017) The Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics (GABI) database: a synthesis of ant species geographic distributions. Myrmecological News 24: 83-89.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Economo, E.P., Janda, M., Guénard, B., Sarnat, E.M.(2017) Assembling a species-area curve through colonization, speciation, and human-mediated introduction. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12884                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Lasky, J., Keitt, T.H., Weeks, B., Economo, E.P. (2016) A hierarchical model of whole-assemblage island biogeography. Ecography. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.02303.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Jaitrong, W., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P., Buddhakala, N., Yamane, S. (2016) A Checklist of Known Ant Species of Laos (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 8: 1-32. DOI: 10.20362/am.008019.                                                                                                                                   
  • Fischer, G., Sarnat, E.M., Economo, E.P. (2016) Revision and microtomography of the Pheidole knowlesi group, an endemic ant radiation from Fiji (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158544.                                                                                                                                   
  • Sarnat, E.M., Fischer, G., Economo, E.P. (2016) Inordinate spinescence: taxonomic revision and microtomography of the Pheidole cervicornis group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). PLoS ONE 11(7): e0156709.                                                                                                                                   
  • Wepfer, P., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2016) Influences of climate and historical land connectivity on ant beta diversity in East Asia. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.1276.

  • Liu, C., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2016) Reorganization of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic ant biodiversity patterns after conversion to rubber plantation. Ecological Monographs,  86: 215-227. 

  • Sukumaran, J., Economo, E. P., Knowles, L.L. (2016). Machine learning biogeographic processes from biotic pattern: a trait-driven dispersal and diversification model with model-choice by simulation-trained discriminant analysis of Principal Components Classification. Systematic Biology, 65(3): 525-545. 

  • Janicki, J., Narula, N., Ziegler, M., Guénard, B. Economo, E.P. (2016). Visualizing and interacting with large-volume biodiversity data using client-server web mapping applications: The design and implementation of antmaps.org. Ecological Informatics, 32: 185-193.

  • Economo, E.P., Hong, L., Page, S.E. (2016). Social Structure, Endogenous Diversity, and Collective Accuracy. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 125: 212-231.

  • Bharti, H., Guénard, B., Bharti, M., Economo, E.P. (2016). An updated checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of India with their specific distributions in Indian states. ZooKeys.

  • Sarnat, E.M., Fischer, G., Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2015). Introduced Pheidole of the world: taxonomy, distribution, and biology. ZooKeys, 543: 1-109.

  • Guénard, B., Economo, E.P. (2015). Additions to the checklist of the ants of Peru. Zootaxa440: 225-235.

  • Liu, C., Fischer, G., Economo, E.P. (2015) A rare ant on Samoa: first record of the cryptic subfamily Proceratiinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) and description of a new Proceratium Roger species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 46:35-44

  • Fischer, G., Azorsa, F., Hita Garcia, F., Mikheyev, A.S., Economo, E.P. (2015). Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood. ZooKeys 525: 77-105. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.525.6057

  • Guénard, B., Perrichiot, V., Economo, E.P. (In Press) Integration of global fossil and modern biodiversity data reveals dynamism and stasis in ant macroecological patterns. Journal of Biogeography.

  • Economo, E.P., Sarnat, E.M., Janda, M., Clouse, R., Klimov, P., Fischer, G.,  Blanchard, B.D., Ramirez, L.N., Andersen, A., Berman, M., Guénard, B., Lucky, A., Rabeling, C., Wilson, E.O., Knowles, L.L. (2015) Breaking out of biogeographic modules: range expansion and taxon cycles in Indo-Pacific Pheidole.  Journal of Biogeography.

  • Triantis*, K., Economo*, E.P., Guilhammon, F., Ricklefs, R. (2015). Diversity regulation at the macro-scales: the case of Oceanic archipelagoes. Global Ecology & Biogeography. (*equally contributing first authors)

  • Liu, C., Hita Garcia, F., Peng, Y., Economo, E.P. (2015)  Aenictus yangi sp. n. – a new species of the A. ceylonicus species group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) from Yunnan, China.  Journal of Hymenoptera Research.

  • Liu, C., Guénard, B., Hita Garcia, F., Yamane, S., Blanchard, B., Yang, D.R., Economo, E.P. (2015) New records of ant species from Yunnan, China.  Zookeys.

  • Hita Garcia, F., Sarnat, E.M., Economo, E.P. (2015). A revision of Fijian Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Proceratiinae) with description of a new species.  Zookeys.

  • Economo, E.P. Klimov, P., Sarnat, E., Guénard, B., Lecroq, B., Knowles, L.L. (2015). Global phylogenetic structure of the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole reveals the repeated evolution of macroecological patterns.  Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 282: 20141416.

  • Sarnat, E.M., Rabeling, C. Economo, E.P., Wilson, E.O.  (2014) First record of a species from the New World Pheidole flavens-complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) introduced to the southwestern Pacific.  BioInvasions Records. 3: 301-307.

  • Clouse, R. M., Janda, M., Blanchard, B., Sharma, P., Hoffmann, B.D., Andersen, A.N., Czekanski-Moir, J.E., Krushelnycky, P., Rabeling, C., Wilson, E.O., Economo, E.P., Sarnat, E.M., General, D.M., Alpert, G.D., Wheeler, W.C. (2014) Molecular phylogeny of Indo-Pacific carpenter ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae, Camponotus) reveals waves of dispersal and colonization from diverse source areas. Cladistics.

  • Tin, M.Y., Economo, E.P., Mikheyev, A.S. 2014 Sequencing degraded DNA from non-destructively sampled museum specimens for RAD-tagging and low-coverage shotgun phylogenetics. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96793.

  • Guénard, B., Blanchard, B.D., Liu, C., Yang, D., E.P. Economo. 2013. Rediscovery of the rare ant genus Bannapone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae) and description of the worker caste. Zootaxa 3734 (3): 371-379.

  • Sarnat, E.M., Benjamin Blanchard, Benoit Guenard, John Fasi, Evan P. Economo. 2013. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Solomon Islands with new records from Makira Island.  Zookeys (257): 47-88.

  • Sarnat, E.M.,  &  Evan P. Economo. 2012. The Ants of Fiji. University of California Press.

  • Economo, E.P., & Eli M. Sarnat. 2012.  Revisiting the ants of Melanesia and the taxon cycle: historical and human mediated invasions of a tropical archipelago. The American Naturalist 180 (1): E1-E16. (Presidential award from ASN for best paper of 2012 in Am. Nat.)

  • Economo, E.P. 2011. Biodiversity conservation in metacommunity networks: linking pattern and persistence. The American Naturalist. 177: E167-180. (highlighted by Faculty of 1000)

  • Leibold, M., Evan P. Economo, Pedro Peres-Neto. 2010. Metacommunity Phylogenetics: Separating the roles of environmental filters and historical biogeography. Ecology Letters. 13 (10): 1290-1299

  • Economo, E. P., & Timothy H. Keitt. 2010. Network isolation and local diversity in neutral metacommunities. Oikos 119: 1355-1363.

  • Cowperthwaite, M., Evan P. Economo, William Harcombe, Eric Miller, Lauren A. Meyers. 2008.  T Ascent of the Abundant: How mutational networks constrain evolution.  PLoS Computational Biology 4(7) e1000110.

  • Economo, E. P., & Timothy H. Keitt. 2008. Species diversity in neutral metacommunities: a network approach.  Ecology Letters 11(1): 52-62. (highlighted by Faculty of 1000)

  • Enquist, B. J., Andrew J. Kerkhoff, Travis E. Huxman, and Evan P. Economo. 2007. Adaptive differences in plant physiology and ecosystem paradoxes: insights from metabolic scaling theory. Global Change Biology 13: 591-609.

  • Economo, E.P., Andrew J. Kerkhoff, Brian J. Enquist. 2005. Allometric growth, life history invariants, and population energetics. Ecology Letters 8: 353-360.

  • Enquist, B.J., Evan P. Economo, Travis E. Huxman, Andrew P. Allen, Danielle D. Ignace, James Gillooly. 2003. Scaling metabolism from organisms to ecosystems. Nature 423: 639-642.


  • 2012 Presidential Award from American Society of Naturalists (Best paper published in The American Naturalist in 2012)

  • 2011 Economo, E. (PI), L. Knowles (co-PI). NSF DEB 1141989.  $378,522.  "Evolving hyperdiversity in phenotypic, ecological, and geographic networks: testing the taxon cycle and alternatives in Indo-Pacific Pheidole."

  • 2009 Selected for Michigan Society of Fellows (one of 8 out of 500+ applicants)

  • 2009 Nominated for Distinguished Dissertation Award, University of Texas

  • 2009 Marion Elizabeth Eason Scholarship, University of Texas

  • 2005-2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

  • 2004-2005 NSF IGERT Graduate Training Fellowship in Computational Phylogenetics

  • 2007 EEB Research Fellowship

  • 2006 EEB Research Fellowship

  • 2005 EEB Research Fellowship

  • 2004 Teaching Award, School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas

  • 2004 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention

  • 2003 University of Texas Dean's Excellence Preemptive Fellowship

  • 2001 Honors College Undergraduate Research Grant, U. of Arizona

  • 2001 Research Training Grant in the Analysis of Diversification, U. of Arizona



  • 2011 “EEB Senior Capstone”, primary instructor. U. of Michigan.

  • 2011 “Insect Ecology & Evolution” graduate seminar, primary instructor. U. of Michigan.

  • 2010  “General Ecology”, primary instructor, U. of Michigan

  • 2009  TA for “Ecology”, 2 guest lectures. U. of Texas at Austin.

  • 2004  TA for “Ecology, Evolution and Society”, 3 guest lectures. U. of Texas at Austin.  Won graduate teaching award from the School of Biological Sciences


  • 2011-2012 Supervised two independent study undergraduates for credit.  U. of Michigan.

  • 2010-2011 Supervised five undergraduates on independent research projects. U. of Michigan.

  • 2009-2010 Supervised four undergraduate students on independent research projects for independent study credit. U. of Michigan.

  • 2005-2006 Supervised or co-supervised six undergraduate researchers on entomological and computational projects.  U. of Texas at Austin


  • 2002-2003 Research Technician, University of Arizona, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, lab of Brian J. Enquist.


  • 2012 Ecological Society of Japan Meeting (Symposium)

  • 2011 Society of Population Ecology Meeting (Symposium)

  • 2011 University of Alabama

  • 2011 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

  • 2011 University of Queensland

  • 2011 International Biogeography Society Meeting (Symposium)

  • 2010 University of British Columbia

  • 2010 Field Museum of Natural History

  • 2010 UM/SFI Complex Systems Symposium.

  • 2004 University of New Mexico.


  • 2013 Evolution Annual Meeting2012 International Congress of Entomology

  • 2012 Ecological Society of Japan

  • 2011 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.

  • 2011 Society of Population Ecology (Japan)

  • 2011 International Biogeography Society Meeting.

  • 2010 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.

  • 2009 Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity Synthesis Meeting, Fiji.

  • 2003 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.

  • 2002 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.


  • 2011 Contributer to “Umvelt: Subjective Worlds” art exhibition, The Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI.

  • 2010 Organized EEB/Biokids field trip for 80 Detroit elementary school students.

  • 2009 Outreach lecture, “The ways of the Ant”, Science Under the Stars.

  • 2009 Founded and organized the still active Science Under the Stars, outreach lecture series, Austin, Texas.

  • 2008 Outreach Lecture: “The Ants of the Pacific.” Pacific Conference of Theologists, Suva, Fiji

  • 2006-2008 Outreach activities on ants for schools: Matthews Elementary School, Austin, University of South Pacific open day, Hauta School, Solomon Islands.

  • 2005 Pre-lecture presenter: ESI (UT) outreach lecture series (Lauren Meyers).

  • 2002 Student Volunteer: Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.

  • Co-authored outreach website with Eli Sarnat (www.fijiants.org), and antweb.org Fiji page.

  • Reviewer for The American Naturalist, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Conservation Letters, Oikos, PLoS One, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Functional Ecology, Diversity and Distributions, Global Ecology & Biogeography, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Biological Invasions, Aquatic Ecology, American Journal of Botany, Biological Reviews.