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Our collaborative paper on the origin of larval and adult firefly bioluminescence just came out. 

Powell, G. S., Saxton, N. A., Pacheco, Y. M., Stanger-Hall, K. F., Martin, G. J., Kusy, D., Silveira, L. F., Branham, M. A. & Bybee, S. M. (2022). Beetle bioluminescence outshines extant aerial predators. Proceedings of the Royal Society B289 (1979), 20220821.  (July 2022)


International Firefly Symposium 2022: So much fun to see old friends and meet new collaborators!

Our lab had a strong showing with 4 talks at the International Firefly Symposium in Porto, Portugal (June 15-18, 2022). Congratulations to Margot for her honorable mention in the student talk competition! 



We published a PLOS ONE Favorite! PLOS ONE celebrates its 15 year anniversary. Over this period the journal has published over a quarter of a million articles. Staff editors from different subject areas choose their favorites and one of these 18 articles is an article by Kathrin Stanger-Hall in the subject area Public Health and Medicine! How cool is that!?!

Congratulations Yelena! Yelena passed her oral exam and is now an official PhD candidate! (October 2021).


 Congratulations Yelena! Yelena is the recipient of a 2021 Coleopterists Society’s Graduate Student Research Enhancement Award! (June 2021)


Congratulations to Nicole Steel, Emma Ellis and Mary Roach for being awarded a Spring 2021 CURO Research Assistantship. For their research projects Nicole will work on Firefly gene evolution and Mary and Emma will work on a Student sexual health behavior and knowledge needs assessment for UGA.


 Luiz's paper on firefly diversity in one of the "hottest firefly hotspots" in Brazil just came out.

  • Silveira, L.F., Khattar, G., Vaz, S., Wilson, V.A., Souto, P.M., Mermudes, J.R., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Macedo, M.V. and Monteiro, R.F., 2020. Natural history of the fireflies of the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range (Brazil: Rio de Janeiro)–one of the ‘hottest’firefly spots on Earth, with a key to genera (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). Journal of Natural History54(5-6), pp.275-308.


Congratulations Margot! Margot was recognized with the Mary Case Award for Excellence in Teaching (April 2020).


Congratulations Margot! Margot received a 2020 Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant from the UGA Graduate School, which supports innovation and interdisciplinary research by doctoral students (April 2020).


 Viviane's paper on Antennomere numbers in fireflies just came out in Zoologischer Anzeiger. 

  • Nunes, V.C.S., Souto, P.M., Minelli, A., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Silveira, L.F.L. (2020). Antennomere numbers in fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae): unique patterns and tentative explanations. Zoologischer Anzeiger.                                 


Congratulations Margot! Margot passed her oral exam and is now an official PhD candidate! (December 2019).


Our paper on Higher-Level Phylogeny and Reclassification of Lampyridae (Coleoptera: Elateroidea) just came  out in Insects Systematics and Diversity.            

  • Gavin J Martin, Kathrin F Stanger-Hall, Marc A Branham, Luiz F L Da Silveira, Sarah E Lower, David W Hall, Xue-Yan Li, Alan R Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Seth M Bybee, Higher-Level Phylogeny and Reclassification of  Lampyridae (Coleoptera: Elateroidea), Insect Systematics and Diversity, Volume 3, Issue 6, November 2019. 


Stanger-Hall Lab, November 2019


Congratulations Yelena! Yelena won first prize at the 2019 ESA (Entomological Society of America) Poster competition for the Presidents Prize in Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity for her poster on Sexual  dimorphism of antennal sensory structures in Photinus pyralis. Nov 17-20, St Louis, MO.

Congratulations Yelena! Yelena received a Research, Teaching, and Outreach Award from the Plant Biology Graduate Student Association to present her research at the 2019 Entomological Society of America conference (November, 2019). 

Congratulations Margot! Margot received a Joshua Laerm Award from the Georgia Museum of Natural History to help fund her research (October 2019). 



Happy Birthday!


Kathrin was featured in the AAAS Member spotlight (June 2019):

Visit in Sarah's lab at Bucknell University, July 2019:


Field work in Virginia and New Jersey, June 23-30, 2019:

Field work at the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Mississippi, June 13-14, 2019:


We will miss you, Luiz and Camilla! Going-away party, April 2019:

Congratulations Luiz! Luiz accepted a faculty position at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. It will be great to have him close and to continue our collaboration. He will start in Fall 2019.

Margot Popecki joined the lab as a new graduate student. Welcome Margot!

Kathrin's review on Bioluminescent signals just came out: Stanger-Hall, K.F., Oakley, T.H. (2019). Bioluminescent Signals. In: Choe, J.C. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, (2nd ed.). vol. 1, pp. 449–461. Elsevier, Academic Press.

Daniel and Richard represented the lab at this year's CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research  Opportunities) symposium with a poster (Daniel) and a talk (Richard). 


At the AAAS Fellow Awards in Washington, DC on Feb.16, 2019.


Kathrin was named AAAS Fellow on Nov. 27 - What a great honor!


Stanger-Hall Lab, Fall 2018

Entomological Society of America, International Meeting, Vancouver, November 2018:


 Our lab had a strong showing with 5 talks at the International ESA meeting in Vancouver, BC (Nov 9-14,   2019). Group picture with all presenters at the 1st Elateridae Symposium.

Congratulations Sarah! After a postdoc at Cornell University, Sarah Lower started her faculty position at Bucknell University! She will continue her research on fireflies!

Yelena Pacheco joined the lab as a new graduate student. Welcome Yelena!

Congratulations, DanielDaniel was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for his research (Fall 2018) on the expression of pigment pathway genes in P. australis


Fieldwork in Vietnam, July 2018:





Sarah's and Tim Fallon's (et al.) paper on the genome of P. pyralis was accepted in eLife!

  • Fallon, Timothy R., Sarah E. Lower, Ching-Ho Chang, Manabu Bessho-Uehara, Gavin J. Martin, Adam J. Bewick, Megan Behringer, Humberto J Debat, Isaac Wong, John C Day, Anton Suvorov, Christian J Silva, Kathrin F Stanger-Hall, David W Hall, Robert J Schmitz, David R Nelson, Sara M Lewis, Shuji Shigenobu, Seth M Bybee, Amanda M Larracuente, Yuichi Oba, Jing-Ke Weng "Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles." eLife 7 (2018): e36495.

Sarah's paper on molecular variation across populations of P. pyralis just came out in BMC Evolutionary  Biology! 

  • Lower, S.E., Stanger-Hall, K.F. and Hall, D.W., 2018. Molecular variation across populations of a widespread North American firefly, Photinus pyralis, reveals that coding changes do not underlie flash color variation or associated visual sensitivity. BMC evolutionary biology18(1), p.129.


PI meeting (Stanger-Hall/UGA, Bybee/BYU and Branham/UF labs) for the NSF DEB worldwide phylogeny grant; with Jim Lloyd in Gainesville, Florida, April 13-15, 2018.

Luiz and Camila

Postdoc Luiz Silveira and his wife Camila arrived in Athens on April 10, 2018. Welcome to the Lab!


Allison presented her research at the UGA CURO research symposium on April 9, 2018.



Our paper on eye and antenna evolution in fireflies came out and we made the cover!   ** undergraduate student researchers                   

  • Kathrin F. Stanger-Hall, Sarah E. Sander Lower, **Lauri Lindberg, **Andrew Hopkins, **Jenna Pallansch and David W. Hall (2018). The evolution of sexual signal modes and associated sensor morphology in fireflies (Lampyridae, Coleoptera). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Proc. R. Soc.B 20172384. 


Congratulations, AllisonAllison was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for her research during Spring 2018 on the phylogenetic relationships of European fireflies.


Stanger-Hall Lab, Fall 2017

Sarah's paper on genome size evolution is out: ** undergraduate student researchers

  • Lower, S.S., Johnston, J.S., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Hjelmen, C.E., Hanrahan, S.J.,  **Korunes, K., Hall, D.W. (2017). Genome size in North American Fireflies: Substantial variation likely driven by neutral processes. Genome Biology and Evolution (in press). Early access: 

Our lab and collaborators had a strong showing at the International Firefly Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan  April 23-27, 2017

  • Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2017). The evolution of sexual signal modes and associated sensor morphology in fireflies.
  • Lower, S.E., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Hall, D.W. (2017). Genetic variation within Photinus pyralis reveals positive selection on luciferase, but not opsins. International Firefly Symposium Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Martin, G.J., Silveira, L., Hall, D.W., Li, X., Branham, M., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Bybee, S.M. (2017). Anchored hybrid enrichment analysis of Lampyrid phylogeny. International Firefly Symposium Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Bybee, S.B., Martin, G.J., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Branham, M.A., Fallon, T.R., Sanders, S.E., Silveira, L. (2017). Firefly Genomics: why it matters. International Firefly Symposium Taipei, Taiwan.

Funding: The lab was awarded a collaborative NSF grant to generate a worldwide phylogeny of fireflies to address evolutionary questions in collboration with the Bybee Lab at Brigham Young University and the Branham Lab at the University of Florida.

Just published on Genbank: Mitochondrial genome assembly of the firefly Photinus pyralis. Genbank KY778696.

UGA Health Center meeting: Andrea presented her research findings at a meeting of UGA faculty teaching   sex education classes organized by the UGA Health Center.

Strong showing at the CURO Research Symposium: Garrett, Pearl and Brandon presented posters and Andrea gave an oral presentation at the 2017 Symposium.

  • Shah, P., Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2017). Characterizing the species distributions of North American Pyractomena fireflies. CURO Symposium, Athens, GA.
  • Volino, J.G., Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2017). A phylogenetic analysis of Pyractomena fireflies. CURO Symposium, Athens, GA.
  • Davis, B., Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2017). The biogeography of North American Photinus fireflies. CURO Symposium, Athens, GA.
  • Morrison, A.L., Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2017). Pregnancy planning and prevention. CURO Symposium, Athens, GA.

Congratulations to Pearl, Brandon and Andrea:

Pearl Shah was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for her research during Spring 2017 on the biogeography of Pyractomena fireflies.

Brandon Davis was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for her research during Spring 2017 on the biogeography of Photinus fireflies.

Andrea Morrison was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for her research during Spring 2017 on Sexual Health Knowledge related to pregnancy planning and prevention among UGA undergraduate students.


Congratulation to Garrett: Garrett Vollino was awarded a Research Assistantship from CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) at UGA for his research during Fall 2016 on characterizing the signaling environment of fireflies.

    Our paper on light color evolution just came out:

  • Hall, D. W., Sander, S.E., **Pallansch, J.C. , Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2016). The evolution of adult light emission color in North American fireflies. Evolution, 70: 2033-2048. DOI: 10.1111/evo.13002. ** undergraduate student researchers

This article was featured by the Journal of Experimental Biology in OUTSIDE JEB. Outside JEB is a monthly feature that reports the most exciting developments in experimental biology. Articles that have been selected and written by a team of active research scientists highlight the papers that JEB readers can’t afford to miss. 

 Kathrin gave a talk at the Evolution Society, Austin, TX, June 17-21: Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2016). The   evolution of sexual signal mode and associated sensor morphology in fireflies. 


Kathrin's paper with Jim is out:

  • Stanger-Hall, K.F. and Lloyd, J.E. (2015). Flash signal evolution in Photinus fireflies: Character displacement and signal exploitation in a visual communication system. Evolution 69(3): 666-682. 

Yoonsun Jang presented her research on learning with case studies at SABER:

  • Jang, Y., Cohen, A., Stanger-Hall, K.F. (2015 ): Learning Biological Processes with Animated Case Studies. SABER (Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research), Minneapolis MN,  July 30-Aug 2, 2015.

Kathrin had a great visit to Clemson and gave a seminar on Flash signal evolution in fireflies: Clemson  University, February 9.

Shannon's paper is out:

  • Sung, S., Shen, J., Stanger-Hall, K.F., Wiegert, C., Li, W., Brown, S., Robertson, T. (2015).   Toward Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Using Osmotic Pressure as an Example for Analyzing Textbook Explanations. J. College Science Teaching, 44(4): 76-87.



Sarah, Katherine and Megan at the Evolution Meeting 2014 in Raleigh, NC.

 International Firefly Symposium Gainesville, FL August 11-15, 2014: Kathrin gave a talk on Signal evolution   in Photinus fireflies. 

Julianne's paper is out:

  • Stanger-Hall, K.F., Wenner, J. (2014). Self-reported religious conflict and learning of Evolution. The American Biology Teacher 76 (2): 101-108.

Stanger-Hall & Hall Labs, Summer  2014