The Sharanowski lab of Insect Systematics and Evolution examines the phylogenetic and evolutionary history of Hymenoptera, with a focus on parasitoids. Our main focus is on the superfamily Ichneumonoidea. Our latest work takes a comparative macroevolutionary approach to examine trait evolution in morphospace and genomic diversity and structure. We are also examining how virus integration in parasitoid genomes impacts genomic evolution.  Previously, we have developed mobile solutions for integrated pest management (IPM) and conservation through citizen science. See the research page for more details.

The Sharanowski Lab of Insect Systematics and Evolution supports and creates diverse and inclusive research labs. Reach out if you have interest in joining our lab group.





  • Welcome Christina Watkins and Katie Johnsen to the Sharanowski Lab. Christina is starting her MSc examining trait evolution across Braconidae. Katie is working on the Braocndiae of Mozambique


  • Rachel Behm presented her research on transposable elements in Ichneumonoidea at the International Congress of Hymenopterists in Iasi, Romania.


  • Rachel and Barb collected in Gorongosa National Park. Amazing habitats and material and the people were truly lovely, and welcoming. Can’t wait to go back.
  • I remembered we have a website


August 2020

  • Welcome Rachel Behm to the Sharanowski Lab. Rachel is starting her Ph.D. in comparative genomics of Ichneumonoidea.

May 2020

  • We just released our free app, LawntoWildflowers. See Lawntowildflowers.org to get information for helping conserve pollinators and links to download the app. This is so exciting!
  • Congratulations to Ryan Ridenbaugh for graduating in May 2020 with his M.Sc. Ryan received the Order of Pegasus, the most prestigious and significant award a student can attain at the University of Central Florida. Order of Pegasus recognizes exemplary performance by UCF  students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership, and community service.  Ryan will be attending the University of Kentucky (my alma matter) for his Ph.D. We are so proud fo you.

March 2020

  • We welcome Amanda Mikyska, B.Sc to our SLICE team !


  • September
    • Dr. Sharanowski receives NSF Rules of Life Grant with Gaelen Buke (UGA) and Scott Geib
      (USDA), entitled: RoL: Collaborative Research: When a pathogen becomes a mutualist: discovery, evolution and rules that govern function and acquisition in wasp-viral symbiosis.

    Our project addresses a fundamental gap in our knowledge of biodiversity by investigating the evolution and interactions between one of the most astonishing radiations on Earth (braconid parasitoid wasps) and the massive untapped diversity of their viral symbionts. Our long-term goal is to discover, document and describe two dark areas of the tree of life (Braconidae and their endogenous viruses) and develop a phylogenetic framework to understand the timing and evolution of both lineages. Further, we functionally characterize the roles of viral symbionts in parasitoid biology and assess how they have evolved to be beneficial and essential for parasitism success.

  • August
    • Josh Hogan, undergraduate in the Sharanowski lab for the last 3 years publishes his first paper. See: Hogan, J., Bass, A.I.H. Zhang, Y.M., Sharanowski, B.J. (2019). Integrating multiple sources of biodiversity information greatly expands the range of a rare species of Hymenoptera (Vanhorniidae), Biodiversity Data Journal. 7: e37569. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.7.e37569.
  • January
    • Ryan Ridenbaugh returns from his second Australian fieldwork adventure. Ryan is examining tri-trophic relationships across Eadya parasitoids, paropsine beetles, and Eucalyptus trees.
  • 2018

    • December
      • Amber Bass successfully defended her thesis in December and moved back to Canada. Congratulations Amber, we will miss you!
      • See several new publications out for 2018 on the publications page.
    •  August
      • Davide Dal Pos joins the lab from Italy! Welcome Davide
      • Miles Zhang has graduated and started a post-doc at the University of Florida. Congratulations and we will miss you Miles!
    • July
      • Sharanowski Lab hosted four high school interns as part of the Orlando Science Center Catalyst program. Links to their species pages can be found here.
      • Amber Bass, Miles Zhang, Davide Dal Pos, and Worapong (Beer) Atsawasiramanee attended the 9th International Congress of Hymenopterists in Matsuyama, Japan.
      • Dr. Sharanowski became the 2nd woman president of the International Society of Hymenopterists at the Congress!
    • June
      • New publications from Ryan Ridenbaugh, Erin Barbeau, Patrick Piekarski, Dr. Miles Zhang, Jacqueline Meyer, Leanne Peixoto, and Dr. Sharanowski. Check them out on our publications page!
      • The lab gave a tour to campers from the Orlando Science Center’s Citizen Science Academy.
    •  May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    •  January
      • Image taken by Nash was selected as the cover for the lastest dynastine scarab beetles identification book. Click here to order your copy!