Caroline Storer Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist (Faculty)
I joined the McGuire Center in 2017 as an Assistant Scientist and faculty in the Department of Natural History at the Florida Museum. My day to day work includes project coordination, mentoring, outreach, and research in the fields of molecular ecology, population genetics, and bioinformatics.
My primary research interest is intra-species variation and the forces that drive and maintain it. I also enjoy learning about new molecular tools and adopting them for non-model system research. At the McGuire Center I combine these interests by using gene editing technologies to investigate the origins and diversity of silk use and production in butterflies and moths. This research combines different tools such as CT-scanning (Figure 1), machine learning, and CRISPR, with genomics and transcriptomics to understand the contribution of developmental and evolutionary processes to silk innovation.
While my current research is primarily focused on insects, I am often inspired by new questions, systems, and molecular methods. This has led me to study diverse taxa such as salmon, pipefish, plants, and butterflies on individual, population, species, and community scales. Some of my ongoing projects include using environmental DNA to survey population structure in rare or threatened butterflies and using target capture sequencing and museum specimens to quantify intra-species variation in Lepidoptera.
Statement on equity and inclusion
I believe diversity is important for any space, lab, and institution, especially one dedicated to natural and cultural history collections research and learning. I am committed to helping build and support diversity in the Florida Museum by ensuring equity and access is embedded in internal operations and community engagement. To do this I think we need to reflect on our own identities and center the experiences of the most marginalized. While I still have a lot learn and unlearn as a white cis women and early career professional, I am dedicated to doing the work for enacting change that ensures equity and justice.
Check out my publications on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=lssPKyUAAAAJ&hl=en