Cave Ecology Laboratory
Cave Ecology & Exploration Laboratory
More info and current CV: http://www.jutwynne.com
What we study?
Our lab is focused on four aspects of cave ecology: (1) modeling and understanding the biogeography, distributional patterns, and habitat selection of cave-dwelling arthropods (in particular, subterranean-restricted taxa) and bats; (2) investigating community structure and dynamics of cave-dwelling arthropods; (3) quantifying the effects of global climate change and other human-caused disturbances on cave-dwelling animal populations (in particular, narrow-range endemic species); and, (4) understanding the mechanisms driving subterranean restriction of a broad range of taxa. Through conservation-aimed projects, we strive to continue to improve our understanding of cave-dwelling animal communities, their habitat requirements, and the impacts human activities have on these populations.
Current projects include: (i) conservation and management of endemic insects of Easter Island (ongoing); (ii) investigation of distributional patterns of two subterranean-adapted arthropods using genetic techniques, southern Spain (with undergraduate students; ongoing); (iii) inventory and monitoring of cave-dwelling arthropods and bats at Wupatki National Monument, Arizona (ongoing); and, (iv) biodiversity, genetic relatedness and conservation of cave communities, Yunnan Province, China (proposal under revision).
Why is this important?
By their nature, caves support less complex community structure and are somewhat closed systems when compared to surface ecosystems. With the exception of the cave entrance, cave environments lack primary productivity (i.e., photosynthesis). All nutrients inputs are provisioned from the surface by various mechanisms (i.e., flood detritus, bats, dissolved organic material, etc.). As a result, caves represent model environments to investigate complex ecological and evolutionary questions within a more controlled and often simplified ecological setting.
Importantly, the evolutionary oddities restricted to cave environments can serve as conservation ambassadors. Through educational outreach, we strive to connect local communities with their natural history in a manner that conveys a sense of pride and ownership. In so doing, we hope this inspires these local communities to better manage and protect sensitive subterranean-restricted taxa and bats, as well as the fragile cave ecosystems that support these species.
Sam Hershauer, Lab Coordinator, Undergraduate Researcher
Chris Astraus, Undergraduate Researcher
Tiffany McCremens, Undergraduate Researcher
Student opportunities and past publications
Undergraduate research opportunities Accordion Closed
Undergraduate students must commit to working in the lab ~8-10 hours per week. This includes weekly lab meetings, as well as sorting, imaging and identifying cave-dwelling arthropods from various parts of the world. Students will also be encouraged to undertake a research project that will result in a peer-reviewed paper. Undergraduate students will be enrolled in BIO 485 and receive credit for their participation. Additionally, students will present their research at UGRADS, and have the opportunity to apply for grant support including the Hooper Undergraduate Research Award and NASA Space Grant program.
If interested, please contact Dr. Wynne for more information.
Graduate Research Opportunities Accordion Closed
Please contact Dr. Wynne to inquire regarding potential opportunities.
Publications Accordion Closed
* Undergraduate student author
Liu, W. & J.J. Wynne. In Review. Cave millipede biodiversity and endemism with the descriptions of eight new species, Guangxi, China. ZooKeys.
Wynne, J.J. J.R. Boyero Gallardo, S. Hershauer*, O. Tejedor Huerta, R. Ferrer Martín, J. Cuenca Rodriguez, M. París & E. Pardo Igúzquiza. In Review. La biota de las cuevas del Parque Natural de la Sierra de las Nieves, Andalucía, España. Andalucía Subterránea.
Mammola, S., … J.J. Wynne & 18 others. Submitted. Scientists’ warning on the conservation of subterranean systems. BioScience.
Wynne, J.J., F.G. Howarth, S. Sommer, & B.G. Dickson. In Press. 50 years of cave arthropod sampling: techniques and best practices. International Journal of Speleology.
Gao, Z., J.J. Wynne, & F. Zhang. 2018. Two new species of cave-adapted pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpiones, Neobisiidae, Chthoniidae) from Guangxi, China. Journal of Arachnology 46: 345–354.
Wynne, J.J., S. Sommer, F.G. Howarth, B.G. Dickson, & K.D. Voyles. 2018. Capturing arthropod diversity in complex cave systems. Diversity and Distributions 24: 1478–1491. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12772.
Bernard, E.C. & J.J. Wynne. 2017. Disparrhopalites naasaveqw n. sp. from caves on Wupatki National Monument, Arizona, and synonymy of Dietersminthurus Palacios-Vargas, Cuéllar & Vázquez, 1998 with Disparrhopalites Stach, 1956 (Collembola: Sminthuridae). Zootaxa 4319: 77–90.
Cotoras, D.D., J.J. Wynne, L. Flores & C. Villagra. 2017. The spiders of Rapa Nui revisited. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 120: 1–17 (first two authors contributed equally).
Wynne, J.J. 2017. White-nose syndrome decontamination procedures for backcountry subterranean projects. Park Science 33: 16–28.
MacKenzie, S., J.J. Wynne & 19 others. 2016. THEO Mission Concept: Testing the Habitability of Enceladus’s Ocean. Advances in Space Research 58: 1117–1137.
Wynne, J.J., T.N. Titus, & P.J. Boston. 2016. Planetary caves’ role in astronaut bases and the search for life. EOS, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO047295.
Wynne, J.J. & W.A. Shear. 2016. A new millipede (Austrotyla awishashola, n. sp., Diplopoda, Chordeumatida, Conotylidae) from New Mexico, USA, and the importance of cave moss gardens as refugial habitats. Zootaxa 4084: 285–292.
Taiti, S. & J.J. Wynne. 2015. The terrestrial Isopoda (Crustacea, Oniscidea) of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), with descriptions of two new species. ZooKeys 515: 27–49.
Bernard, E.C, F.N. Soto-Adames, & J.J. Wynne. 2015. Collembola of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) with descriptions of five endemic cave-restricted species. Zootaxa 3949: 239–267.
Harvey, M.S. & J.J. Wynne. 2014. Troglomorphic Pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones) of northern Arizona, with descriptions of two new short-range endemic species. Journal of Arachnology 42: 205–219.
Wynne, J.J., E.C. Bernard, F.G. Howarth, S. Sommer, F.N. Soto-Adames, S. Taiti, E.L. Mockford, M. Horrocks, L. Pakarati, & V. Pakarati-Hotus. 2014. Disturbance relicts in a rapidly changing world: the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) factor. BioScience 64: 711–718.
Wynne, J.J. & K.D. Voyles. 2014. Cave-dwelling arthropods and vertebrates of North Rim Grand Canyon, with notes on ecology and management. Western North American Naturalist 74: 1–17.
Peck, S.B. & J.J. Wynne. 2013. Ptomaphagus parashant new species (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Cholevinae: Ptomaphagini): the most troglomorphic cholevine beetle known from Western North America. The Coleopterists Bulletin 67: 309–317.
Wynne, J.J. 2013. Inventory, conservation and management of lava tube caves at El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico. Park Science 30: 45–55, +appendix.
Mockford, E.L. & J.J. Wynne. 2013. Genus Cyptophania Banks (Psocodea: Lepidopsocidae): Unique features, augmented description of the generotype, and descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa 3702: 437–449.
Allner, M., C. McKay, L. Coe, J. Rask, J. Paradise & J.J. Wynne. 2010. NASA’s explorer school and Spaceward Bound programs: Insights into two education programs designed to heighten public support for space science initiatives. Acta Astronautica 66: 1280–1284.
Shear, W.A., S.J. Taylor, J.J. Wynne & J.K. Krejca. 2009. Cave millipeds of the United States. VIII. New genera and species of polydesmidan millipeds from caves in the southwestern United States (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Polydesmidae and Macrosternodesmidae). Zootaxa 2151: 47–65.
Azua-Bustos, A., C. Gonzalez, R. Mancilla, L. Salas, R. Palma, J.J. Wynne & C.P. McKay. 2009. Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave. Microbial Ecology 58: 485–496.
Wynne, J.J., T.N. Titus, & G. Chong Diaz. 2008. On developing thermal cave detection techniques for Earth, the Moon and Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 272: 240–250.
Cushing, G.E., T.N. Titus, J.J. Wynne, & P.R. Christensen. 2007. THEMIS observes possible cave skylights on Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 34, L17201.
Wynne, J.J., C.A. Drost, N.S. Cobb & J.R. Rihs. 2007. Cave-dwelling invertebrate fauna of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. In Proceedings of the 8th Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau (C. van Riper and M. Sogge, Eds). University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 235–246.
Boykin, K., C.A. Drost & J.J. Wynne. 2007. A gap analysis of terrestrial vertebrate species of the Colorado Plateau: assessment from the Southwest Gap Analysis Project. In Proceedings of the 8th Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau (C. van Riper and M. Sogge, Eds). University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 235–246.
Jenness, J. & J.J. Wynne. 2005. Cohen’s Kappa and classification table derived metrics: An ArcView 3x extension for accuracy assessment of spatially explicit models. USGS-Southwest Biological Science Center, Open-File Report OF 2005-1363, December 2005. 86pps.
Wynne, J.J. & W. Pleytez. 2005. Sensitive ecological areas and species inventory of Actun Chapat Cave, Vaca Plateau, Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 67: 148–157.
Wynne, J.J. 2017. Endemic insects of Rapa Nui: Searching for vestiges of past ecosystems. The Explorers Journal 95 (2): 14–25.
Wynne, J.J. 2016. The scientific importance of caves in our solar system. NSS News March 2016: 4–7.
Wynne, J.J., J. Jenness, M.D. Jhabvala, T.N. Titus, D. Billings. 2015. Detecting terrestrial caves by applying topographic analysis techniques to thermal imagery. Abstract #9029, 2nd International Planetary Caves Conference, Flagstaff, AZ.
Wynne, J.J. 2014. Reign of the Red Queen: The future of bats hangs in the balance. The Explorers Journal 92: 40–45.
Titus, T.N., J.J. Wynne, M.D. Jhabvala, G.E. Cushing, P. Shu, & N.A. Cabrol. 2011. Cave detection using oblique thermal imaging, Abstract #8024, First International Planetary Caves Workshop, Carlsbad, NM.
Titus, T.N., J.J. Wynne, D. Ruby, & N. Cabrol. 2010. The Atacama Desert cave Shredder: A case for conduction thermodynamics, Abstract #1096, 41st LPSC, Houston, TX.
Wynne, J.J., T.N. Titus, M.D. Jhabvala, G.E. Cushing, N.A. Cabrol & E.A. Grin. 2009. Distinguishing caves from non-cave anomalies: Lessons for the Moon and Mars, Abstract #2451, 40th LPSC, Houston, TX.
Wynne, J.J., T.N. Titus, C.A. Drost, R.S. Toomey III & K. Peterson. 2008. Annual thermal amplitudes and thermal detection of Southwestern U.S. caves: Additional Insights for Remote Sensing of Caves on Earth and Mars, Abstract #2459, 39th LPSC, Houston, TX.