Derek Woller (Ph.D. 2017)

Ph.D. Candidate


  • Derek's C.V.
  • Hello! My name is Derek A. Woller and I'm a Ph.D. Candidate in the Song Lab (I joined in 2011). I received a B.S. in Biology with a minor in entomology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s from San Jose State University. I often refer to myself as an entomologist as that has long been my scientific focus, especially on the taxonomy and systematics side of things, with future aspirations to become a curator or collections manager in an institution containing an insect collection. In the past, I worked on Asilidae (Diptera: assassin flies), which still interest me, and I am now immersed in an entirely different order: Orthoptera. Often-overlooked, orthopterans are amazingly diverse, found worldwide, and very common, all of which make them a great group to work on. My research is primarily focused on unraveling the evolutionary history of a group composed of 24 flightless grasshopper species (Acrididae: Melanoplinae: Melanoplus), which are all quite tiny and inhabit scrubby, xeric habitats in the southeastern U.S. My project crosses many fields from biogeography to ecology to systematics (molecular) to geometric morphometrics to sexual selection in my quest to better understand how this group speciated (and the speciation process, in general). My wife (Elizabeth) and I live in Bryan, TX with our three cats and two dogs. If you’re ever in the area, feel free to stop by the lab and I’ll give you a tour and show you some awesome insects!