BIOL 312: Evolution (Spring semesters)
BIOL 312L: Evolution Lab (Spring semesters)
BIOL 480: Biology Senior Capstone Seminar (Spring semesters)
I am interested in the evolution of complex behaviors and phenotypes, particularly in tiger moths and other insects. I am also interested in molecular evolution of genes that control the expression of these behaviors and phenoptypes. I use phylogenetic approaches (evolutionary trees) to understand how charactersitics and loci change over time, resulting in the wide array of biological diversity found on Earth.
* = undergraduate co-author
2020 Dowdy, N, S. Keating, A. Lemmon, E. Lemmon, W. Conner, S. Weller, R. Simmons, M. Sisson, J. Zaspel. A deeper meaning for shallow-level phylogenomic studies: Nested anchored hybrid enrichment offers great promise for resolving the tiger moth tree of life (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Erebidae). Systematic Entomology 45: 874-893.
2020 Darby, B., R. Bryant, A. Keller*, M. Jochim*, J. Moe*, C. Pratt*, N. H. Euliss, Jr., M. Park, R. Simmons, C. Otto. Molecular sequencing and morphological identification reveal similar patterns in native bee communities across private and public grasslands of eastern North Dakota. PLoS one 15(1): e0227918.
2018 B. E. McCann, T. J. Smyser, B. S. Schmit, R. A. Newman, A. J. Piaggio, M. J. Malek, S. R. Swafford, R. A. Sweitzer, and R. B. Simmons.Identification of molecular population structure for feral swine in the United States. J. of Wildlife Management 82: 821-832.
2016 Connahs, H., T. E. Rhen, and R. B. Simmons. Physiological perturbation reveals modularity of eyespot development in the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. PLoS one 11(8): e0161745.
2016 Connahs, H., T. E. Rhen, and R. B. Simmons. Transcriptome analysis of the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa carduiduring wing color pattern development. BMC Genomics.17: 270. DOI 10.1186/s12864-016-2586-5.
2015 Sweitzer, R. A., B. E. McCann, R. L. Loggins, and R. B. Simmons. Mitochondrial DNA perspectives on the introduction and spread of wild pigs in California. California Fish and Game101: 131-145.
2014 McCann, B., M. Malek*, R. Newman, B. Schmit, S. Swafford, R. Sweitzer, and R. B. Simmons. Mitochondrial DNA relationships of wild-living pigs in the United States. J. Wildlife Management. 78: 202-213.
2012 Simmons, R. B.,S. J. Weller and S. J. Johnson*. The evolution of androconia in mimetic tiger moths (Noctuoidea: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Ctenuchina and Euchromiina). Annals of the Ent. Soc. Amer. 105: 804-816.
2008 Pogue, M. G. and R. B. Simmons. A new pest species of Copitarsia(Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) from the Neotropical region feeding on Asparagusand cut flowers. Annals of the Ent. Soc. Amer.101: 743-762.
2006 Simmons, R. B. A revision of Psoloptera Butler, including a re-description of its species (Arctiidae: Arctiinae: Euchromiini). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society60: 121-125.
2006 Simmons, R. B. and S. J. Weller. Review of the Sphecosomagenus group using adult morphology (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Thomas Say Monograph Series, 108 pp., 108 figs.
2004 Simmons, R. B.and M. G. Pogue. Redescription of two often confused noctuid pests, Copitarsia decolora(Guenée) and C. incommoda(Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Cuculliinae). Annals of Ent. Soc. Amer.97: 1159-1164.
2004 Simmons, R. B.and S. J. Scheffer. Evidence of cryptic species within the pest Copitarsia decolora (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Annals of Ent. Soc. Amer.97: 675-680.
2004 Simmons, R. B.Description of Sphecosoma pattiannaeSimmons, a new euchromiine species, with comments on novel male androconia (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Arctiinae: Euchromiini). Zootaxa 519: 1-12.
2004 Weller, S.J., R. B. Simmons, and A. Carlson*. Empyreuma species and species limits: Evidence from morphology and molecules (Arctiidae: Arctiinae: Ctenuchini). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 58: 21-32.
2002 Simmons, R. B. and S. J. Weller.What kind of signals do mimetic tiger moths send? A phylogenetic test in tiger moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Euchromiini). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series B269: 983-990.
2001 Simmons, R. B.and S. J. Weller. Preliminary phylogeny of mimetic tiger moths (Lepidoptera) and evolution of cyt bin Insecta. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution20: 196-210.
2000 Weller, S. J., R. B. Simmons, R. Boada, and W. E. Conner. Abdominal modifications occurring in wasp mimics of the ctenuchine-euchromiine clade. Annals of Ent. Soc. Amer.93(4): 920-928.
1998 Simmons, R. B., W. E. Conner, and R. B. Davidson. Identification of major components of the female pheromone blend of Euchaetes egle Drury(Arctiidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society52(4): 356-363.
1996 Simmons, R. B.and W. E. Conner. Acoustic cues in the defense and courtship of Euchaetes egleDrury and E. bolteri Stretch (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). Journal of Insect Behavior9: 909-919.
B.S., Biology, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater VA
M.S., Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Ph.D., Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Collaborative Fellow, USDA/ARS/Systematic Entomology Laboratory and Dept. of Entomology, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History