Irene Liang

Beach Flies of Hawaii

A provisional list of beach flies from Hawaii has been collected over this past summer. Improvement upon the phylogeny across Canacidae can be used as a hypothesis-testing framework on how flies have adapted to multiple ecological niches from saline environments to freshwater ecosystems. While many of these flies are found around the world, one lineage in the Hawaiian Islands has lost the ability to tolerate saline habitats and currently occupies high elevation freshwater streams. Organizing collection information, examining DNA sequences, and developing identification keys to this important group will bring my graduate student mentor and I closer to understanding the impressive biodiversity of these tropical islands.

Message to Sponsor

I am very excited and appreciative to have been selected as a fellow of the SURF-SMART program. The project that I will be working on enables me to answer numerous questions in the field of genetics and evolutionary biology and gain an insight into the industry of analytics and problem solving. Thank you for the generous sponsorship of this program, which will allow me to focus on the most important aspect of learning and conducting research.
  • Major: Undeclared
  • Sponsor: Johnson Fund
  • Mentor: Nina Pak