Systematic works with representatives of the Neotropical chrysidine wasps have been scant. Many of the recognized groups in the Neotropical region lack comprehensive taxonomic revisions, and dozens of species are known only by the original description dated from the beginning of the last century. There is an urgent demand for taxonomic research to be done with various taxa of Chrysididae. Additionally, phylogenetic investigations addressing relationships among chrysidid wasps have been limited. There are no hypotheses proposed for the clade other than the classic cladogram published in the 1990's by Kimsey and Bohart. The goal of this BEPE internship project is to promote advances in the systematics of Chrysididae based on the phylogenetic investigation of the group using phylogenomic and morphological datasets. During this proposed six-month internship at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (USA), the candidate of this proposal will assemble a molecular dataset using Ultra Conserved Elements (UCEs) in collaboration with the research team of Dr. Seán Brady. The impressive collections housed at the Smithsonian Institution-U.S. National Museum of Natural History will also allow the student to conduct taxonomic and comparative morphological studies of Chrysididae, with emphasis on the cuckoo wasps Chrysidinae taxa. This research will represent the first attempt to integrate a comparative morphological study with an extensive molecular analysis for representatives of the Chrysididae. This research will enable a broader and more refined understanding of the morphology and taxonomy of many groups of the Neotropical Chrysidinae, and it will be also a fundamental step towards a better comprehension on the historical biogeography and the systematics of the group grounded on morphological and molecular bases.
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