geo.cbs.umn.edu

Weiblen Lab

The Weiblen lab studies plant and insect systematics, molecular phylogenetics, population genetics, ecology and coevolution. Phylogenetic theory and molecular approaches have invigorated the search for answers to broad evolutionary problems that have captivated biologists since Darwin. We combine fieldwork in tropical and temperate ecosystems with specimen-based research and DNA sequencing to study the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions. Studies of tropical forest dynamics and coevolution in fig pollination are particular areas of current research. Other interests include Cannabis genetics, phylogenetic theory, floristics, and biodiversity conservation.

Marijuana DNA Testing Services

 

Media

Saving the forest for the trees The high stakes of Weiblen's research in Papua New Guinea. Story by Meleah Maynard. Photos by George Weiblen.

George's Jungle An effort to save some of the planet’s most critical habitat leads to creating an international research station. Story by Nina Sheperd.

Wanang Elementary How did conservationists open a rural school in Papua New Guinea? PhD candidate Bridget Henning explains.

George the Scientist High school students describe Weiblen's research on fig trees. A Bell Museum production.

Weeding out marijuana George Weiblen describes research on Cannabis genetics. See also Tightrope Walker

 

Media People Resources Links Publications Reviews

People

George Weiblen (principal investigator)

Bridget Henning (PhD student)

Erin Treiber (PhD student)

John Vincent (PhD student)

Kathy Craft (post doc alumnus)

Nina Ronsted (post doc alumnus)

Nyree Zerega (post doc alumnus)

Shannon Datwyler (post doc alumnus)

Annika Moe (PhD alumnus)

Tim Whitfeld (PhD alumnus)

Gregory Setliff (PhD alumnus)

Wendy Clement (PhD alumnus)

Summer Silvieus (PhD alumnus)

Kirsten Bovee (MSc alumnus)

Erika Blackwell, Alex Hooker, &Stephanie Swenson (undergraduate alumni)

 

 Resources

•Online interactive key to woody plants of Minnesota: http://geo.cbs.umn.edu/treekey/navikey.html

•New Guinea digital herbarium: http://ng.atrium-biodiversity.org/atrium/

•Online checklist of woody plant genera of New Guinea: http://geo.cbs.umn.edu/NGwoodygenera/NGwoodygenera.html

•Tropical rain forest exhibit: figexhibit.html

Online interactive key to Borneo figs: http://geo.cbs.umn.edu/figkey/navikey.html

Online interactive key to New Guinea figs: http://geo.cbs.umn.edu/newguineafigs/navikey.html

•Caterpillars feeding on New Guinea plants (online images & host records): http://www.entu.cas.cz/png/caterpillars/

•Phil's weather roundup: http://geo.cbs.umn.edu/~phil/wx.html

 

Links

•New Guinea Binatang Research Center: http://www.entu.cas.cz/png/index.html

•University of Minnesota Herbarium: http://www.bellmuseum.org/plants/general_information.htm

•Bell Museum of Natural History: http://www.bellmuseum.org/

•Department of Plant Biology:  http://www.cbs.umn.edu/plantbio/

•The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory: http://www.rmbl.org/index.html

Angiosperm Phylogeny: http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/APweb/welcome.html

International Plant Names Index: http://www.ipni.org/ipni/plantnamesearchpage.do

•The Plant List: http://www.theplantlist.org/

Plants of Papua New Guinea: http://www.pngplants.org

•Ants of Papua New Guinea: http://www.newguineants.org/

Fig Web:  www.figweb.org

 

Publications

(Select a title to download a .pdf file)

•Basset, Y., R. Eastwood, S. Legi, D. J. Lohman, V. Novotny, T. Treuer, S. E. Miller, G. D. Weiblen, N. E. Pierce, S. Bunyavejchewin, W. Sakchoowong, P. Kongnoo, and M. A. Osorio-Arenas. 2013. Cross-continental comparisons of butterfly assemblages in tropical rainforests: implications for biological monitoring. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 6, 223233

•Dem, F. F., A. J. A. Stewart, A. Gibson, G. D. Weiblen, and V. Novotny. 2013. Low host specificity in species-rich assemblages of xylem- and phloem-feeding herbivores (Auchenorrhyncha) in a New Guinea lowland rain forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology doi:10.1017/S0266467413000540.

•Hamilton, A. J., V. Novotny, E. K. Waters, Y. Basset, K. K. Benke, P. S. Grimbacher, S. E. Miller, G. A. Samuelson, G. D. Weiblen, J. D. L. Yen, and N. E. Stork. 2013. Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. Oecologia. 171, 357–365.

•Miller, S. E., J. Hrcek, V. Novotny, G. D. Weiblen, and P. D. N. Hebert. 2013. DNA barcodes of caterpillars (Lepidoptera) from Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 115, 1-3.

•Yoder, J. B., R. Briskine, J. Mudge, A. Farmer, T. Paape, K. Steele, G. D. Weiblen, A. K. Bharti, P. Zhou, G. D. May, N. Young, and P. Tiffin. 2013. Phylogenetic signal variation in the genomes of Medicago (Fabaceae). Systematic Biology 62, 424–438.

•Beaulieu, J. M., R. H. Ree, J. Cavender-Bares, N. Deacon, G. D. Weiblen, and M. J. Donoghue. 2012. Synthesizing phylogenetic knowledge for ecological research. Ecology 93, S4-S13.

•Cruaud, A., N. Ronsted, B. Chantarasuwan, L. S. Chou, W. L. Clement, A. Couloux, B. Cousins, G. Genson, R. D. Harrison, P. E. Hanson, M. Hossaert-McKey, R. Jabbour-Zahab, E. Jousselin, C. Kerdelhue, F. Kjellberg, C. Lopez-Vaamonde, J. Peebles, Y. Q. Peng, R. A. S. Pereira, T. Schramm, R. Ubaidillah, S. van Noort, G. D. Weiblen, D.-R. Yang, P. Yan-Qiong, A. Yodpinyanee, R. Libeskind-Hadas, J. M. Cook, J.-V. Rasplus, and V. Savolainen. 2012. An extreme case of plant-insect co-diversification: figs and fig-pollinating wasps. Systematic Biology 61,1029-1047. Supplementary Material

•Klimes, P., C. Idigel, M. Rimandai, T. M. Fayle, M. Janda, G. D. Weiblen, and V. Novotny. 2012. Why are there more arboreal ant species in primary than secondary tropical forests? Journal of Animal Ecology. 81, 1103–1112.

•Moe, A. M. and G. D. Weiblen. 2012. Pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation among dioecious fig species (Ficus, Moraceae). Evolution 66, 3710–3721. Supporting Information

•Moe, A. M., Clement, W. L. and G. D. Weiblen . 2012. Rapid evolution of pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation in plants. Evolution in the fast lane: Rapidly evolving genes and genetic systems. Pages 266-273 in R. S. Singh, J. Xu and R. J. Kulathinal, editors. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, J. Hrcek, L. Baje, Y. Basset, O. T. Lewis, A. J. A. Stewart, and G. D. Weiblen. 2012. Insects on plants: Explaining the paradox of low diversity within specialist herbivore guilds. American Naturalist 179, 351-362. Appendix

•Whitfeld, T. J. S., D. L. Erickson, W. J. Kress, and G. D. Weiblen. 2012. Change in community phylogenetic structure during tropical forest succession: evidence from New Guinea. Ecography 34, 821-830. Appendix

•Whitfeld, T. J. S., V. Novotny, S. E. Miller, J. Hrcek, P. Klimes, and G. D. Weiblen. 2012. Predicting tropical insect herbivore abundance from host plant traits and phylogeny. Ecology 93, S211-S223.

•Moe, A. M., D. Rossi, and G. D. Weiblen. 2011. Pollinator sharing in dioecious figs (Ficus: Moraceae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103, 546–558.

•Moe, A. M., and G. D. Weiblen. 2011. Development and characterization of microsatellite loci in dioecious figs (Ficus, Moraceae). American Journal of Botany 98, e25–e27.

•Basset, Y., R. Eastwood, S. Legi, D. J. Lohman, V. Novotny, T. Treuer, S. E. Miller, G. D. Weiblen, N. E. Pierce, S. Bunyavejchewin, W. Sakchoowong, P. Kongnoo, and M. A. Osorio-Arenas. 2011. Comparison of rainforest butterfly assemblages across three biogeographical regions using standardized protocols. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 44, 17-28. Supporting Information

•Craft, K. J., S. Pauls, K. Darrow, P. D. N. Hebert, L. Helgen, S. E. Miller, V. Novotny, and G. D. Weiblen. 2010. Population genetics of ecological communities with DNA barcodes: An example from New Guinea Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA. 107, 5041-5046. Supporting Information

•Hamilton, A. J., Y. Basset, K. K. Benke, P. S. Grimbacher, S. E. Miller, V. Novotny, G. A. Samuelson, N. E. Stork, G. D. Weiblen, and J. D. L. Yen. 2010. Reducing uncertainty of global arthropod species richness. American Naturalist. 176, 90-95.

•Moe, A. M., and G. D. Weiblen. 2010. Molecular divergence in allopatric Ceratosolen pollinators (Agaonidae) of geographically widespread Ficus (Moraceae) species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 103, 1025-1037.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, L. Baje, S. Balagawi, Y. Basset, L. Cizek, K. J. Craft, F. Dem, R. A. I. Drew, J. Hulcr, J. Leps, O. T. Lewis, R. Pokon, A. J. A. Stewart, and G. D. Weiblen. 2010. Guild-specific patterns of species richness and host specialization in plant-herbivore food webs from a tropical forest. Journal of Animal Ecology 71, 1193-1203. Supporting Information

•Weiblen, G. D., S. Lomascolo, R. Oono, & E. R. Dumont. 2010. Nutritional dimorphism in New Guinea dioecious figs. Biotropica. DOI 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00633.x Supporting Information

•Whitfeld, T. J. S., and G. D. Weiblen. 2010. Five new Ficus species (Moraceae) from Melanesia. Harvard Papers in Botany 15:1-10

•Clement, W. L., and G. D. Weiblen. 2009. Morphological evolution in the mulberry family (Moraceae). Systematic Botany 34, 530-552.

•Lopez-Vaamonde, C., N. Wikströmb, K. M. Kjer, G. D. Weiblen, J. Y. Rasplus, C. A. Machado, and J. M. Cook. 2009. Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52, 715-724.

•Marks, M. D., L. Tian, J. P. Wenger, S. N. Omburo, W. Soto-Fuentes, H. Ji, D. Gang, G. D. Weiblen, and R. A. Dixon. 2009. Identification of candidate genes affecting delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol biosynthesis in Cannabis sativa. Journal of Experimental Botany 13, 3715-3726. Supplement 1 Supplement 2 Supplement 3 Supplement 4

•Powers, J. S., R. A. Montgomery, E. C. Adair, F. Q. Brearley, S. J. deWalt, C. T. Castanho, J. Chave, E. Deinert, J. U. Ganzhorn, M. E. Gilbert, J. P. Gonzalez, S. Bunyavejchewin, H. G. Grau, K. E. Harms, A. Hiremath, S. Iriarte-Vivar, A. de Oliveira, L. Poorter, J. B. Ramanamanjato, C. Salk, A. Varela, G. D. Weiblen, and M. T. Lerdau. 2009. Litter type, litter placement and fauna effects on short-term litter decomposition rates across a precipitation gradient in 23 tropical forests: general patterns and site-specific factors. Journal of Ecology 87, 801-811.

•Rønsted, N., G. D. Weiblen, V. Savolainen, and J. M. Cook. 2008. Phylogeny, biogeography, and ecology of Ficus section Malvanthera (Moraceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48, 12-22.

•Rønsted, N., G. D. Weiblen, W. L. Clement, N. J. C. Zerega, and V. Savolainen. 2008. Reconstructing the phylogeny of figs (Ficus, Moraceae) to reveal the history of the fig-wasp mutualism. Symbiosis 45, 45-56.

•Hulcr, J., S. E. Miller, G. P. Setliff, K. Darrow, N. D. Mueller, P. D. N. Hebert, and G. D. Weiblen. 2007. DNA barcoding confirms polyphagy in a generalist moth, Homona mermerodes (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Molecular Ecology Notes. 7, 549-557.

Silvieus, S. I., W. L. Clement, and G. D. Weiblen. 2008. Cophylogeny of figs, pollinators, gallers and parasitoids. Pp. 225-239 in K. J. Tilmon, ed. Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation: The Evolutionary Biology of Herbivorous Insects. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, J. Hulcr, R. A. I. Drew, Y. Basset, M. Janda, G. P. Setliff, K. Darrow, A. J. A. Stewart, J. Auga, B. Isua, K. Molem, M. Manumbor, E. Tamtiai, M. Mogia, and G. D. Weiblen. 2007. Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests. Nature 448, 692-695. Supplementary Material

•Weiblen, G. D., and W. L. Clement. 2007. Flora Malesiana. Series I. Volume 17 parts 1 & 2. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 64 , 431-437

•Datwyler, S. L. & G. D. Weiblen 2006. Genetic variation in hemp and marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) according to amplified fragment length polymorphisms. Journal of Forensic Sciences 51, 371-375. Response to Comment

•Novotny, V., P. Drozd, S. E. Miller, M. Kulfan, M. Janda, Y. Basset, and G. D. Weiblen. 2006. Why are there so many species of herbivorous insects in tropical rainforests? Science 313, 1115-1118. Supporting Material Response to Comment

•Weiblen, G. D. 2006. Moraceae of Papua in A. J. Marshall and B. M. Beehler, eds. The Ecology of Papua. Periplus Editions, Singapore.

•Weiblen, G. D., C. O. Webb, V. Novotny, Y. Basset, and S. E. Miller 2006. Phylogenetic dispersion of host use in a tropical insect herbivore community. Ecology 87, S62-S75. Appendix

•Novotny, V., and G. D. Weiblen. 2005. From communities to continents: beta-diversity of herbivorous insects. Annales Zoologici Fennici 42, 463-475.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, Y. Basset, L. Cizek, K. Darrow, B. Kaupa, J. Kua, and G. D. Weiblen. 2005. An altitudinal comparison of caterpillar (Lepidoptera) assemblages on Ficus trees in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Biogeography 32, 1303-1314.

•Rønsted, N., G. D. Weiblen, J. M. Cook, N. Salamin, C. A. Machado, V. Savolainen, and G. D. Weiblen. 2005. 60 million years of co-divergence in the fig-wasp symbiosis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 272, 2593-2599.

•Weiblen, G. D. 2005. Science in the village. Reed, 8-11.

Zerega, N. J. C., W. L. Clement, S. L. Datwyler, and G. D. Weiblen. 2005. Biogeography and divergence times in the mulberry family (Moraceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 402-416.

•Zerega, N. J. C., Mound, L. A. and Weiblen, G. D. 2004. Pollination in the New Guinea endemic Antiaropsis decipiens (Moraceae) is mediated by a new species of thrips, Thrips antiaropsidis sp. nov. (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 165, 1017-26.

Weiblen, G. D. 2004. Correlated evolution in fig pollination. Systematic Biology 128, 128-139.

•Yu, D. W., J. Ridley, E. Jousselin, E. A. Herre, S. G. Compton, J. M. Cook, J. C. Moore, and G. D. Weiblen. 2004. Optimal foraging, host coercion, and the stable exploitation of figs by wasps. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 271, 1185-1195.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, J. Leps, Y. Basset, D. Bito, M. Janda, J. Hulcr, K. Damas, and G. D. Weiblen. 2004. No tree an island: the plant-caterpillar food web of a secondary rainforest in New Guinea. Ecology Letters 7, 1090-1100.

Dumont, E. R., G. D. Weiblen, and J. R. Winklemann. 2004. Preferences of fig wasps and fruit bats for figs of functionally dioecious Ficus pungens. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20, 233-238.

Datwyler, S. L., and G. D. Weiblen. 2004. On the origin of the fig: phylogenetic relationships of Moraceae from ndhF sequences. American Journal of Botany 91, 767-777. Appendix 1 Appendix 2

•Basset, Y., V. Novotny, S. E. Miller, G. D. Weiblen, O. Missa, and A. J. A. Stewart. 2004. Conservation and biological monitoring of tropical forests: the role of parataxonomists. Journal of Applied Ecology 41, 163-174.

Weiblen, G. D. 2003. Interspecific coevolution. In Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Nature Publishing Group, London. http://www.els.net.

•Novotny, V., S. E. Miller, L. Cizek, J. Leps, M. Janda, Y. Basset, and G. D. Weiblen. 2003. Colonising aliens: caterpillars (Lepidoptera) feeding on Piper aduncum and P. umbellatum in rainforests of Papua New Guinea.Ecological Entomology 28, 704-716.

•Weiblen, G. D. 2002. How to be a fig wasp. Annual Review of Entomology 47, 299-330.

•Weiblen, G, D. and Bush, G. L. 2002. Speciation in fig pollinators and parasites. Molecular Ecology 11, 1573-1578. Errata

•Novotny, V., Y. Basset, S. E. Miller, G. D. Weiblen,, B. Bremer, L. Cizek and P. Drozd. 2002. Low host specificity of herbivorous insects in a tropical forest. Nature 416, 841-844.

•Weiblen, G. D. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of dioecious fig pollinators (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences and morphology. Systematic Biology 50, 243-267.

•Weiblen, G. D., D. Yu and S. A. West. 2001. Pollination and parasitism in functionally dioecious figs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 268, 651-659

•Lopez-Vaamonde, C., J.-Y. Rasplus, G. Weiblen, and J. M. Cook. 2001. DNA-based phylogenies of fig wasps: partial co-cladogenesis between pollinators and parasites. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 41, 55-71.

•Weiblen, G. D. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships of functionally dioecious Ficus (Moraceae) based on ribosomal DNA sequence variation and morphology. American Journal of Botany 87, 1342-1357 Data

•Weiblen, G. D., R. K. Oyama and M. J. Donoghue. 2000. Phylogenetic analysis of dioecy in monocotyledons. The American Naturalist 155, 46-58.

•Weiblen, G. D. 1999. Phylogeny and ecology of dioecious fig pollination. Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University.

•Weiblen, G. D. 1998. Forest composition and structure of a one hectare plot in the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Papua New Guinea. Science in New Guinea 24, 23-32.

•Laman, T. and Weiblen, G. 1998. Figs of Gunung Palung National Park (West Kalimantan, Indonesia). Tropical Biodiversity 5, 245-297.

Thomson, J. D., G. Weiblen, B. A. Thomson, S. Alfaro, and P. Legendre. 1996. Untangling mutliple factors in spatial distributions: lilies, gophers, and rocks. Ecology 77:1698-1715.

Weiblen, G. D., and B. G. Brehm. 1996. Reproductive strategies and barriers to hybridization between Tellima grandiflora and Tolmeia menziesii (Saxifragaceae). American Journal of Botany 83:910-918.

Weiblen, G. D. 1980. Why I like America. Essay, Tuttle Elementary School.