M.S. thesis focused on abdominal color variation in syrphid
flies and its possible connection with mimicry. He spent several
months at the Smithsonian Institution entering their syrphid
collection into a database under the direction of F.
Christian Thompson. Mr.
Metz continues his interest in syrphid flies and has just
recently published a joint paper with F. Christian Thompson,
"A revision of the larger species of Toxomerus
(Diptera: Syrphidae) with description of a new species."
in Studia Dipterologica 8(1) 225-256 (abstract).
Metz finished course requirements for a Ph.D. in the Department
of Entomology at UIUC and has supplemented his curriculum
with coursework ranging in subjects from evolutionary ecology
to mathematical modeling. He advanced to Ph.D. candidacy by
passing his oral examinations in the Department of Entomology,
but transferred to the Department
of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences where
he expects to obtain his Ph.D. degree by spring 2002.
aspects of training have included, but have not been limited
to, field collecting techniques, insect identification, grant
proposal composition, and meeting presentation and organization
skills. Computer skills have been emphasized and both coursework
and on hand experience in databasing, GIS, HTML construction,
and other basic computer programs have been acquired. In addition,
Mr. Metz has translated over 50 species descriptions from
the original German and Latin texts and is improving his proficiency
in German by taking coursework at UIUC.
Metz' first therevid publication with Irwin as co-author,
"Revision of Lindneria Kröber, with the Description
of Two New Genera Insulatitan and Ambradolon,
a Fossil from Dominican Amber (Diptera: Therevidae:Therevinae)"
was published in September 2000 in the Annals of the Entomological
Society of America, 93(5): 977-1018. In this paper, Metz &
Irwin diagnosed a new genus of Therevidae from Dominican amber.
Cladistic analysis of the species possessing putative synapomorphies
with the fossil resolved three additional monophyletic therevid
genera. Overall, the revision introduced two new genera, eleven
new species and a new combination to science. Metz and Irwin's
second article, "Microtrombidiid mite parasitization
frequencies and attachment site preferences on brachyceran
Diptera with specific reference to Therevidae (Asiloidea)
and Tachinidae (Oestroidea)" is scheduled to be published
in the October 2001 issue of Environmental Entomology.
Metz continues research on the relationship of male and female
Ozodiceromyia nanella (Cole) genitalia. He has two
years of data on a population from a site in New Mexico and
wrote two small proposals to continue this work in 1998. Mr.
Metz also initiated the study of the association of the families
of Diptera with parasitic mites from the same site in New
his Ph.D dissertation, Mark is revising the higher therevine
genera. Some monophyletic units within the fly family, Therevidae,
await characterization using modern phylogenetic techniques.
Putative synapomorphies have been suggested for the two described
subfamilies, Phycinae and Therevinae, but the relationships
of the genera have not been determined cladistically. The
higher Therevinae consist of 55+ described and manuscript
genera from every biotic region. An establishment of monophyletic
groups using modern cladistic techniques will more easily
enable future generic revisions within this poorly known family.
Currently, his dissertation study continues to expand as the
relationships between therevid subfamilies remains unresolved,
disallowing any monophyly on which to base a subfamilial analysis.
the summer of 2000, Mr. Metz was a teaching associate and
guest lecturer in the general entomology course (Ent 301)
with Dr. Samuel Beshers. Mark won an award for his teaching
by being nominated by his students for the partial list of
teachers regarded as outstanding for the summer term.
Therevid PEET Degree Candidates