Esselstyn lab at LSU

I am Curator of Mammals at the Museum of Natural Science and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. In the lab, we study island biogeography, phylogenetics, systematics, co-evolution, and community ecology. Most of our research focuses on small mammals from Southeast Asia and Africa. In general, we conduct biodiversity surveys and use genetic and morphological characters of organisms to understand how species and populations are related to each other and how they interact with their environment. Our efforts help inform how biotic and abiotic processes produce the patterns of biodiversity we see today. The species-level diversity of mammals remains poorly documented, and we devote a lot of time and money to documenting this diversity. This basic documentation effort has big implications for local conservation strategies – after all, you can’t preserve things you don’t know exist. In general, I encourage students to explore their own interests, even if they deviate a bit from my expertise. The diversity of projects lab members are pursuing helps keep things interesting!

A brief cartoon, explaining why we do what we do

Contact Information:

Jake Esselstyn
Museum of Natural Science
Louisiana State University
119 Foster Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

phone: (225) 578-3083
email: esselstyn [AT] lsu [DOT] edu