Phillip Barden

Phillip Barden
New Jersey Institute of Technology | NJIT · Federated Department of Biological Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

64
Publications
28,001
Reads
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879
Citations
Citations since 2016
53 Research Items
811 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2015 - August 2017
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • Fellow
May 2015 - August 2015
City College of New York
Position
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
Description
  • BIO 485: Evolution
Education
August 2010 - June 2015
American Museum of Natural History
Field of study
  • Comparative Biology
August 2005 - December 2009
Arizona State University
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution

Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants [1], and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon [2, 3]. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs livin...
Article
Full-text available
The ant fossil record is summarized with special reference to the earliest ants, first occurrences of modern lineages, and the utility of paleontological data in reconstructing evolutionary history. During the Cretaceous, from approximately 100 to 78 million years ago, only two species are definitively assignable to extant subfamilies – all putativ...
Article
Full-text available
The distinctive ant genus Leptomyrmex Mayr, 1862 had been thought to be endemic to Australasia for over 150 years, but enigmatic Neotropical fossils have challenged this view for decades. The present study responds to a recent and surprising discovery of extant Leptomyrmex species in Brazil with a thorough evaluation of the Dominican Republic fossi...
Article
Extinct haidomyrmecine ‘‘hell ants’’ are among the earliest ants known. These eusocial Cretaceous taxa diverged from extant lineages prior to the most recent common ancestor of all living ants and possessed bizarre scythe-like mouthparts along with a striking array of horn-like cephalic projections. Despite the morphological breadth of the fifteen...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the link between ecology and morphology is a fundamental goal in biology. Ants are diverse terrestrial organisms, known to exhibit ecologically driven morphological variation. While relationships between individual traits and ecologies have been identified, multidimensional interactions among traits and their cumulative predictive pow...
Article
Among social insects, army ants are exceptional in their voracious coordinated predation, nomadic life history and highly specialized wingless queens: the synthesis of these remarkable traits is referred to as the army ant syndrome. Despite molecular evidence that the army ant syndrome evolved twice during the mid-Cenozoic, once in the Neotropics a...
Article
Full-text available
The first fossil proctotrupid wasp in Lower Cretaceous Lebanese amber is described and figured. Astarteserphus grimaldii gen. et sp. nov. is distinguished from all other living and fossil Proctotrupidae and placed into its own subfamily, Astarteserphinae subfam. nov. A key is presented to the living and fossil subfamilies and tribes of Proctotrupid...
Article
Full-text available
We are honored to present this special issue of Palaeoentomology in celebration of our dear friend, mentor, and collaborator, David A. Grimaldi (Fig. 1), and on the occasion of his 65th birthday on 22 September 2022. This issue has been compiled in recognition of David’s remarkable ongoing impact on the fields of paleontology, entomology, and evolu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the paleoecology of species is fundamental to reconstructions of paleoecological communities, analyses of changing paleoenvironments, and the evolutionary history of many lineages. One method of establishing paleoecology is through comparing the morphology of extant analogs to extinct species; this method has been applied to many vert...
Article
Full-text available
Fossilized plant resins, or ambers, offer a unique paleontological window into the history of life. A natural polymer, amber can preserve aspects of ancient environments, including whole organisms, for tens or even hundreds of millions of years. While most amber research involves imaging with visual light, other spectra are increasingly used to cha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fossils provide unique opportunity to understand the tempo and mode of evolution and are essential for modeling the history of lineage diversification. Here, we interrogate the Mesozoic fossil record of the Aculeata, with emphasis on the ants (Formicidae), and conduct an extended series of ancestral state estimation exercises on distributions of ti...
Article
Full-text available
Tardigrades are a diverse group of charismatic microscopic invertebrates that are best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Despite their long evolutionary history and global distribution in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, the tardigrade fossil record is exceedingly sparse. Molecular clocks estimate that tardigrades div...
Article
Full-text available
For almost 30 years, there have been active discussions about the taxonomic impediment and the challenge this represents to address the current human-induced biodiversity crisis. From the start (Systematics Agenda 2000, 1994), the term ‘taxonomic impediment’ has been ambiguous, designating both the insufficiency and inadequacy of the resources put...
Article
Visual systems in animals often conspicuously reflect the demands of their ecological interactions. Ants occupy a wide range of terrestrial microhabitats and ecological roles. Additionally, ant eye morphology is highly variable; species range from eyeless subterranean-dwellers to highly visual predators or desert navigators. Through a comparative a...
Article
Termites and ectoparasitic fungi have been at odds for millions of years. Surprisingly, fungi rarely kill their host and termites are continuously parasitized, albeit at low rates. ‘Termitophilous’ fungi have succeeded in the difficult task of infiltrating the ecological fortress of social immunity that is the termite colony. Here we review 34 defi...
Article
The genus Synalpheus is a cosmopolitan clade of marine shrimps found in most tropical regions. Species in this genus exhibit a range of social organizations, including pair-forming, communal breeding, and eusociality, the latter only known to have evolved within this genus in the marine realm. This study examines the complete mitochondrial genomes...
Article
Full-text available
Eusociality is a highly conspicuous and ecologically impactful behavioral syndrome that has evolved independently across multiple animal lineages. So far, comparative genomic analyses of advanced sociality have been mostly limited to insects. Here, we study the only clade of animals known to exhibit eusociality in the marine realm – lineages of soc...
Article
Full-text available
In the marine realm, eusociality is only known to have evolved within a clade of sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps in the genus Synalpheus. Deciphering the genomic underpinnings of eusociality in these marine shrimps has been limited by the sparse genomic resources in this genus. Here, we report, for a eusocial shrimp Synalpheus microneptunus, a com...
Article
Haidomyrmecines (hell ants) are a group of putatively predatory ants defined by mandibles that are dorsoventrally expanded, and highly modified heads with a variety of cranial appendages. These ants are known exclusively from three Cretaceous amber deposits in France, Myanmar, and Canada. Here we describe four new genera and five new species from s...
Article
Dryinidae are parasitoid wasps within the aculeate (Hymenoptera) superfamily Chrysidoidea that are known for the pincer-like chela that most females use to restrain their hosts and prey (Auchenorrhyncha). Herein, a new species of the genus Hybristodryinus Engel, 2005 is described from mid-Cretaceous Kachin (Burmese) amber. Hybristodryinus moutesoe...
Article
Insects offer important lessons that can be applied to benefit society. The most conspicuous lessons come from living taxa, of course, but what about the dead? The insect fossil record provides a powerful window that may help society understand the gravity of, and our proximity to, biology’s irreversible pruning shears.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Dispersal is essential for terrestrial organisms living in disjunct habitats and constitutes a significant challenge for the evolution of wingless taxa. Springtails (Collembola), the sister-group of all insects (with Diplura), are reported since the Lower Devonian and are thought to have originally been subterranean. The order Symphyple...
Preprint
Background: Dispersal is essential for terrestrial organisms living in disjunct habitats and constitutes a significant challenge for the evolution of wingless taxa. Springtails (Collembola), the sister-group of all insects (with Diplura), are reported since the Lower Devonian and are thought to have originally been subterranean. The order Symphyple...
Preprint
Background: Dispersal is essential for terrestrial organisms living in disjunct habitats and constitutes a significant challenge for the evolution of wingless taxa. Springtails (Collembola), the sister-group of all insects (with Diplura), are reported since the Lower Devonian and are thought to have originally been subterranean. The order Symphyple...
Preprint
Background: Dispersal is essential for terrestrial organisms living in disjunct habitats and constitutes a significant challenge for the evolution of wingless taxa. Springtails (Collembola), the sister-group of all insects (with dipluran), are reported since the Lower Devonian and thought to have originally been subterranean. The order Symphypleona...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dispersal is essential for terrestrial organisms living in disjunct habitats and constitutes a significant challenge for the evolution of wingless taxa. Springtails (Collembola), the sister-group of all insects (with dipluran), are reported since the Lower Devonian and thought to have originally been subterranean. The order Symphypleona is reported...
Article
Full-text available
The Chickaloon Formation in south-central Alaska contains rich coal deposits dated very close to the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, immediately beneath which occur dispersed nodules of amber along with abundant remains of Metasequoia, dicots, and monocots. e nodules are small (less than 10 mm in length), nearly 10,000 of which were screened, yielding s...
Article
Full-text available
Shape is a natural phenomenon inherent to many different lifeforms. A modern technique to analyse shape is geometric morphometrics (GM), which offers a whole range of methods concerning the pure shape of an object. The results from these methods have provided new insights into biological problems and have become especially useful in the fields of e...
Data
TPS file with the Titanomyrma dataset before missing landmarks were estimated.
Data
Geometric morphometric analysis exclusively concerning giant ants from Eckfeld. (A–H) Analyses were performed in SD 12. (A) PCA of all Eckfeld specimens, females appear on the opposite extreme values in PC1 and the other specimens cluster closer together in the centre. There is no pattern of division in any of the PCs. (B) Five larger Eckfeld speci...
Data
A priori Classifiers for Titanomyrma and Formicium specimens.
Data
Classifiers for Titanomyrma and Formicium specimens after identification with GM.
Data
P-values, cross-validation results, and Mahalanobis distances from LDA performed with the data out of TPS file Data S2, the classifiers from Table S2, and within MorphoJ file Data S4.
Data
MorphoJ project file with GM analyses of ant fossils with two wings preserved. Analyses were performed to investigate whether left and right wings of an individual ant are assignable to each other using GM.
Data
MorphoJ project file with GM analyses of all available Titanomyrma and Formicium fossils. For most analyses, the complete dataset (402 wings) was fractioned into subdatasets regarding classifiers and additional data availability (see Tables 1, S1, and S2).
Data
Previously incorrectly determined, ambiguous, and problematic specimens in the geometric morphometric analyses.
Data
TPS file with the final Titanomyrma dataset.
Data
R code to import TPS with missing values and export interpolated TPS files based on Schlager (2017, see references).
Article
Full-text available
Localized extinction can play a significant role in obscuring reconstructions of historical biogeography. Insects, one of the most diverse clades in the tree of life, have complex patterns of local endemism, patterns of relictual distributions, and clades which are rather widespread and cosmopolitan. At the same time, insects have a rich fossil rec...
Article
Full-text available
An unusual Cretaceous trap jaw ant is described from Burmese amber dated to the Late Cretaceous. Linguamyrmex vladi gen.n. sp.n. is distinguished by an unusual suite of morphological characters indicating specialized predatory behaviour and an adaptive strategy no longer found among modern ant lineages. The clypeus, highly modified as in other clos...
Article
Full-text available
All 16 species of the family Eremochaetidae occur from the Late Jurassic to the mid-Cretaceous of eastern and Central Asia. The first species in amber, and the latest occurrence of the family, was recently described as Zhenia xiai, from the mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar, ca. 100 Ma. New observations of a finely preserved specimen allow refinement of th...
Article
Full-text available
A replacement name is proposed in order to remove a case of secondary homonymy between the Cretaceous termite genus Gigantotermes Engel, Barden, & Grimaldi (Isoptera) and the Jurassic lacewing, Gigantotermes Haase (Neuroptera). Ginormotermes Engel, Barden, & Grimaldi, new name, is established in place of the former, resulting in the new combination...
Article
A hallmark of animals that are eusocial, or those with advanced sociality, is reproductive specialization into worker and queen castes [1-3]. In the most derived societies, these divisions are essentially fixed and in some arthropods, include further specialization-a tripartite system with a soldier caste that defends the colony [1]. Eusociality ha...
Article
The monophyletic family Zhangsolvidae comprises stout-bodied brachyceran flies with a long proboscis and occurring only in the Cretaceous, originally known in shale from the Early Cretaceous Laiyang Formation (Fm.) in China (Zhangsolva Nagatomi & Yang), subsequently from limestones of the Early Cretaceous Crato Fm. of Brazil. Cratomyoides Wilkommen...
Article
Full-text available
The monophyletic family Zhangsolvidae comprises stout-bodied brachyc-eran flies with a long proboscis and occurring only in the Cretaceous, originally known in shale from the Early Cretaceous Laiyang Formation (Fm.) in China (Zhangsolva Nagatomi & Yang), subsequently from limestones of the Early Cretaceous Crato Fm. of Brazil. Cratomyoides Wilkomme...
Article
Full-text available
A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma) comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unifi...
Article
Full-text available
Even as recent studies have focused on the construction of larger and more diverse datasets, the proper placement of the hymenopteran superfamilies remains controversial. In order to explore the implications of these new data, we here present the first direct optimization-sensitivity analysis of hymenopteran superfamilial relationships, based on a...
Article
Full-text available
A new genus of ants, Zigrasimecia Barden and Grimaldi, is described for a new and uniquely specialized species, Z. tonsora Barden and Grimaldi n.sp., preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. The amber is radiometrically dated at 99 myo. Zigrasimecia is closely related to another basal genus of ants known only in Burmese and French Cretaceous amb...
Conference Paper
One of the most distinct genera within the Formicidae, Leptomyrmex ants are easily recognizable and exhibit a number of unique attributes. Colloquially called spider ants because of their lanky, gracile habitus and hurried movement, workers will lift their gaster above their mesosoma, giving their body the appearance of a more stout, eight legged a...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of two distinct, near-complete specimens belonging to the Cretaceous ant genus Haidomyrmex Dlussky prompts a detailed description and discussion of a remarkable mandibular morphology. The specimens, preserved in 98 million-year-old amber from northern Myanmar, are described here as Haidomyrmex scimitarus, n. sp., and Haidomyrmex zigra...
Conference Paper
A new specimen of the bizarre ant Haidomyrmex was discovered in a Myanmar amber deposit dating 100 million years ago. The dealate specimen exhibits enormous tusk-like mandibles not seen in any other ant species, extinct or modern. Here, the specimen is described through traditional methods, as well as using X-ray computed tomography allowing for a...
Article
Full-text available
Size has profound consequences for the structure and function of biological systems, across levels of organization from cells to social groups. As tightly integrated units that vary greatly in size, eusocial insect colonies, in particular, are expected to exhibit social scaling relations. To address the question of how social organization scales wi...

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Project (1)
Project
Termite evolution has been shaped by a challenging wood-based diet made possible by specific microbial endosymbionts. Both termite morphology and eusocial organization are the result of their early association with endosymbiotic microorganisms. We investigate the abdominal contents of a selection of termites in fossil amber using fluorescence and TEM in order to address (1) the preservation potential of fossil symbiotic flagellates and bacteria, (2) inform on their successions in some termite lineages, and (3) test for the successive integration of symbionts types/sizes over time. Some ancient metazoan ectosymbionts are also studied in the project.