Dr. Andrew Short

Andrew Short portrait
  • Professor
  • Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Senior Curator, Biodiversity Institute

Contact Info

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Dr. Andrew Short's research program centers on elucidating the diversity, biology, and evolutionary history of aquatic beetles.


Aquatic beetles are a group of ca. 20 families with more than 12,000 described species. I focus on the superfamily Hydrophiloidea (the 'water scavenger' beetles), one of the few lineages of insects to have diversified in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. I place strong emphasis on 1) descriptive, alpha-level taxonomy through collaborative biodiversity surveys and inventories, and 2) developing robust phylogenetic hypotheses for clades of aquatic beetles utilizing data from varied sources, with a focus on morphological data sets. I am particularly interested in combining ecological data generated through biotic surveys with phylogenetic hypotheses to examine the patterns and prevalence of morphological adaptations associated with various aquatic ways of life and shifts between aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Research interests:

  • Evolution
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy
  • Entomology
  • Ecology


Teaching interests:

  • Entomology
  • Senior Seminar

Selected Publications

Toussaint, E. F. A., Bloom, D., & Short, A. E. Z. (2017). Cretaceous West Gondwana vicariance shaped giant water scavenger beetle palaeobiogeography [Journal Articles]. Journal of Biogeography, 44, 1952–1965.
Fikacek, M., Minoshima, Y., Komarek, A., Short, A. E. Z., Huang, D., & Cai, C. (2017). Cretocrenis burmanicus, the first Mesozoic amber inclusion of a water scavenger beetle (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) [Journal Articles]. Cretaceous Research, 77, 49–55.
Short, A. E. Z., Dikow, T., & Moreau, C. S. (2017). Entomological Collections in the Age of Big Data [Journal Articles]. Annual Review of Entomology, 63, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-031616-035536.
Short, A. (2017). Systematics of aquatic beetles (Coleoptera): current state and future directions [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 10.1111/syen.12270.
Toussaint, E. E. F., Seidel, M., Arriaga-Varela, E., Hajek, J., Kral, D., Sekerka, L., Short, A. E. Z., & Fikacek, M. (2017). The peril of dating beetles [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 42, 1–10.
Baca, S. M., Alexander, A., Gustafson, G. T., & Short, A. E. Z. (2017). Ultraconserved elements show utility in phylogenetic inference of Adephaga (Coleoptera) and suggest paraphyly of “Hydradephaga” [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 42, 786–795.
Toussaint, E. F. A., Hendrich, L., Hajek, J., Michat, M., Panjaita, R., Short, A. E. Z., & Balke, M. (2016). Evolution of Pacific Rim diving beetles sheds light on Amphi-Pacific biogeography [Journal Articles]. Ecography, doi:10.1111/ecog.02195. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02195
Toussaint, E. F. A., Fikacek, M., & Short, A. E. Z. (2016). India-Madagascar vicariance explains cascade beetle biogeography [Journal Articles]. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 118, 982–991.
Baca, S. M., Toussaint, E. F. A., Miller, K. B., & Short, A. E. Z. (2016). Molecular phylogeny of the aquatic beetle family Noteridae (Coleoptera: Adephega) with an emphasis on data partitioning strategies [Journal Articles]. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2016.10.016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2016.10.016
Toussaint, E. F. A., Seidel, M., Arriaga-Varela, E., Hajek, J., Kral, D., Sekerka, L., Short, A. E. Z., & Fikacek, M. (2016). The Peril of Dating Beetles. [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, DOI: 10.1111/syen.12198. https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12198
Miller, K. B., & Short, A. E. Z. (2015). Belladessus n. gen. from Venezuela & Suriname with two new species B. femineus n. sp. and B. puella n. sp. (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Hydroporinae: Bidessini): Parthenogenetic diving beetles? [Journal Articles]. Coleopterists Bulletin, 69, 498–503.
Short, A. E. Z., Joly, L. J., Garcia, M., Wild, A., Bloom, D. D., & Maddison, D. R. (2015). Molecular phylogeny of the Hydroscaphidae (Coleoptera: Myxophaga) with description of a remarkable new lineage from the Guiana Shield [Journal Articles]. Systematic Entomology, 40, 214–229.

Awards & Honors

Fulbright Scholar
U.S. Department of State
2017 - 2018

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Aquatic Biodiversity of the Brazilian Amazon: Modeling Aquatic Beetle Distributions and Capacity Building in Aquatic Bioassessment. $22000.00. Submitted 1/1/2016 (1/1/2017 - 12/31/2018). Federal. Status: Funded