Welcome! My name is Garrett Hughes and this website is dedicated to my professional activities. I am a Ph.D. student in entomology at the University of Arizona. Although my degree program is in entomology, I consider myself an arachnologist -- one who studies arachnids (spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, etc.).
With changing weather patterns and other environmental concerns, there has been an increasing urgency to describe all life on our planet before it goes extinct. I contribute to knowledge of our planet's biodiversity through my research on the taxonomy and systematics of arachnids. Part of this work involves naming and describing new species of arachnids, but I am also interested in higher-level systematics including research on the relatinoships between genera and families. I use molecular phylogenetic methods to infer these relationships.
I am also very interested in identification. Identification of arthropods has historically been done by experts only, but an increasing number of people need to be able to identify arachnids and their kin for biological surveys and other jobs involving management of natural resources. My goal is to create identification keys that even non-experts can use to identify organisms to species.
My current projects are centered on a group of small arachnids konwn as pseudoscorpions. Pseudoscorpions inhabit many habitats throughout the world. There small size makes it a challenge to collect and work with them, but pseudoscorpions are so fascinating, they are worth the extra effort. You can learn more about pseudoscorpions here.
A pseudoscorpion of the genus Globocreagris collected from pine litter in Arizona. This specimen also had a phoretic mite on its right chelicera.