CV

SCOTT E. SOLOMON, Ph.D.

Department of BioSciences
Office: 130D Anderson Biology Lab
Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Rice University
6100 Main St., MS 170
Houston, TX 77005-1827

Phone: (713) 348-2661
Email:  scott.solomon@rice.edu

 

APPOINTMENTS
Professor in the Practice (July 2013–present), BioSciences at Rice, Undergraduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX

Center for Teaching Excellence Fellow (June 2014–July 2017), Rice University, Houston, TX

Faculty Fellow (September 2015-July 2017), Baker College, Rice University, Houston, TX

Resident Associate (July 2010–July 2017), Baker College, Rice University, Houston, TX

Research Collaborator (Nov 15, 2009–present), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Lecturer and Laboratory Coordinator (Oct 2009–July 2013), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX

Visiting Scientist (Sept 2007–Sept 2009), Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

 

PREPARATION
NSF International Research Fellow (Dec 2008- Sept 2009), Department of Entomology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Host: Ted R. Schultz, Ph.D.; (Nov 2007- Nov 2008) Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. Host: Mauricio Bacci, Jr., Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, The University of Texas at Austin, Aug. 2007
Dissertation Title: Biogeography and evolution of widespread leafcutting ants, Atta spp. (Formicidae, Attini) Supervising Professor: Ulrich G. Mueller, Ph.D.

B.S. in Cell and Structural Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2000

 

ADDITIONAL TRAINING                                                                                  

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Workshop, September 2016
Symposium and Workshop on New Methods for Phylogenomics & Metagenomics, February 2013
HHMI/National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology, June 2011
Molecular Evolution Workshop, Smithsonian Institution, June 2009
Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 2006
Ant Course, California Academy of Sciences, Southwest Research Station, August 2002
Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica, 2001

 

TEACHING
EBIO 202: Introductory Biology II
EBIO 213: Introductory Lab Module in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
EBIO 306: Undergraduate Independent Study
EBIO 319: Tropical Field Biology (new course developed Summer 2012)
EBIO 326: Insect Biology
EBIO 327: Biological Diversity Lab
EBIO 330: Insect Biology Lab
EBIO 403/404: Undergraduate Honors Research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
EBIO 412: Advanced Communication in the Biological Sciences (new course developed Fall 2010)
EBIO 569: Graduate Core Course in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (team-taught)
NSCI 320/520: Seminar in Public Science Communication (new course developed Spring 2017)
“The Future of Human Evolution” Glasscock School (new course developed Spring 2017)

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Meirelles, L.A. Solomon, S.E., Bacci Jr., M., Mueller, U.G., and Rodrigues, A. (2015) Shared Escovopsis parasites between leaf-cutting and non-leaf-cutting ants in the higher-attine fungus-growing ant symbiosis Royal Society Open Science 2.9: 150257.

Meirelles, L.A., Montoya, Q.V. Solomon, S.E., and Rodrigues, A. (2015) New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselli sp. nov. PLoS ONE 10(1): e0112067. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112067

Meirelles, L.A., Mendes, T.D., Solomon, S.E., Bueno, O.C., Pagnocca, F.C., Rodrigues, A. (2014) Broad Escovopsis-inhibition activity of Pseudonocardia associated with Trachymyrmex ants, Environmental Microbiology Reports 6(4): 339–345.

Mendes, T. D. Borges, W. S., Rodrigues, A., Solomon, S. E., Vieira, P. C., Duarte, M. C. T., Pagnocca, F. C. (2013) Anti-Candida properties of urauchimycins from actinobacteria associated with Trachymyrmex ants BioMed Research International vol. 2013, Article ID 835081.

Mueller, U.G., Mikheyev, A.S., Hong, E., Sen, R., Warren, D., Solomon, S.E., Ishak, H., Cooper, M. Miller, J., Shaffer, K., Juenger, T. (2011) Evolution of cold-tolerant fungi permits winter fungiculture by leafcutter ants at northern frontier of a tropical ant-fungus symbiosis Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015806108.

Mueller, U.G., Mikheyev, A.S., Solomons, S.E., Cooper, M. (2011) Frontier mutualism: Co-evolutionary patterns at the northern range limit of the leafcutter ant-fungus symbiosis Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0125.

Solomon, S.E., Lopes, C.T., Mueller, U.G., Rodrigues, A., Sosa-Calvo, J., Schultz, T.R., and Vasconcelos, H.L. (2011) Nesting biology and fungiculture of Mycetagroicus cerradensis (Formicidae: Attini): New light on the origins of higher attine agriculture Journal of Insect Science 11:12, http://insectscience.org/11.12.

Bacci, M., Solomon, S.E., Silva-Pinhati, A.C.O., Mueller, U.G. Martins, V.G., Carvalho, A.O.R., Vieira, L.G.E. (2009) Phylogeny of leafcutter ants in the genus Atta Fabricius (Formicidae: Attini) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51(3): 427-437. Epub 2008 Nov. 13, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.11.005.

Solomon, S.E., Bacci, M., Martins, J., Gonçalves Vinha, G., Mueller, U.G. (2008) Paleodistributions and comparative molecular phylogeography of leafcutter ants (Atta spp.) provide new insight into the origins of Amazonian diversity. PLoS ONE 3(7) e2738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002738

Martins, J., Solomon, S.E., Mikheyev, A.S., Mueller, U.G., Ortiz, A., Bacci, M. (2007) Nuclear mitochondrial-like sequences in ants: evidence from Atta cephalotes (Formicidae: Attini). Insect Molecular Biology 16(6): 777-784.

Solomon, S.E. and Mikheyev, A. (2005) The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Florida Entomologist 88: 415–423.

Solomon, S.E., Mueller, U.G. Schultz, T.R. Currie, C.R., Price, S.L., Bacci, M., Oliveira da Silva- Pinhati, A.C., Vasconcelos, H. (2004) Nesting biology of the fungus growing ants Mycetarotes Emery (Attini, Formicidae), Insectes Sociaux 51: 333–338.

 

POPULAR SCIENCE WRITING
Solomon, S. “The Future is Mixed Race” Aeon, Feb 2, 2017
Solomon, S. “Has Culture Replaced Natural Selection?” Yale Books Unbound, Nov 15, 2016
Solomon, S. “The Martians Are Coming– And They’re Human” Nautilus, Oct 27, 2016
Solomon, S. “The Man Who Predicted Our Evolutionary Future” Beyond Bones, September 21, 2016
Solomon, S. “Summer School” Rice Magazine, Summer 2016
Solomon, S. “The Rhythm of the Tide” Nautilus Quarterly, Winter 2015
Solomon, S. “Conducting an Inventory of the Big Thicket” Rice At Large, Winter 2014
Solomon, S. “A Bird’s Eye View” Rice Magazine, Spring 2014
Solomon, S. “Sex changes, beheadings, and resurrection” Rice Magazine, Spring 2013
Solomon, S. “The Science of Communicating” Rice At Large, Spring 2012
Solomon, S. “We’re Not So Different, Slime Molds and Us” Slate Magazine, January 19, 2011
Solomon, S. “Lucy 2.0: Famous Fossil Hominid Goes Digital” Wired.com, February 6, 2009
Solomon, S. “Can Ants Eat Your Computer?” Slate Magazine, May 20, 2008
Solomon, S. “Do We Need the Original Lucy Fossil” Slate Magazine, September 7, 2007
Solomon, S. “Slipping under Texas” The Daily Texan, January 26, 2006
Solomon, S. “Protecting paradise” The Daily Texan, April 10, 2006
Solomon, S. “Palm weevils constitute balanced diet” The Daily Texan, May 4, 2006
Solomon, S. “Jumping and jiving with poison frogs” The Daily Texan, June 15, 2006

 

BOOKS
Solomon, S. (2016) Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution, Yale University Press: New Haven.

 

BOOK REVIEWS
Solomon, S. (2014) Rev. of Planet of the Bugs: The Evolution and Rise of Insects by Scott Richard Shaw. Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND AWARDS
2017:
Finalist, George R. Brown Teaching Awards, Rice University

2016:
Brown Foundation Teaching Grant
National Park Service grant in support of bioblitz in Big Thicket National Preserve
Arthur A. Seeligson, Jr. Conservation Fund (co-PI with Chris Garza of Houston Arboretum)
Selected as Participant in Treybig Teaching & Innovation Colloquy (Rice CTE)

2015-2018:
Thicket of Diversity Research Grant

2015:
Nominee, Chair of Faculty Fellows of Center for Teaching Excellence, Rice University
Finalist, George R. Brown Teaching Awards, Rice University

2014-2017:
Fellow, Center for Teaching Excellence, Rice University

2014:
Brasil@Rice Travel Grant

2013:
Thicket of Diversity Research Grant
New Methods for Phylogenomics and Metagenomics Travel Award

2012:
Charles Duncan Award for Instruction in Natural Sciences

2011-2012:
National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences

2011:
Brown Foundation Teaching Grant

2010:
Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)

2007–2010:
NSF International Research Fellowship

2005–2007:
NSF IGERT Fellowship in computational phylogenetics

2004–2007:
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2005:
Hartman Graduate Fellowship
Zoology Scholarship Endowment for Excellence

2004:
Amazon Conservation Association Research Grant
Hartman Graduate Fellowship

2003:
Hamilton Graduate Fellowship
Hartman Graduate Fellowship
Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship

2002:
Zoology Scholarship Endowment for Excellence
University Teaching Award, Nominee
OTS/STRI Post-Course Fellowship

2001:
Dorothea Bennett Memorial Graduate Fellowship (2X)

2000:
Dean’s Excellence Award

 

MENTORSHIP

2016-2017
Cassidy Kempf (BS Student, Rice University): Competitive interactions between ant species in the Big Thicket National Preserve

2015-2016
Meghan Hager and Gabriela Zambrano (BS Students, Rice University): Ant community dynamics in the Big Thicket National Preserve

2014-2015:
Gabriela Zambrano, Angela Yang and Radina Khalid (BS Students, Rice University): Ant community dynamics in the Big Thicket National Preserve

2013:
Brittney Olivarez (BS Student, Rice University): Insect diversity on the Rice campus

2012-2013:
George Romar (BS Student, Rice University): The biogeographic context of recent speciation among Amazonian biota

2011-2012:
Effie Rahman (BS Student, Rice University): Molecular characterization of social form of Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta); Nylanderia fulva natural history

2010-2011:
Alexander K. Wu (BS Student, Rice University): Preparation and identification of ant specimens from Cocos Island, Costa Rica

2008-2009:
Cauê T. Lopes (MS student, Universidade Federal de Uberlandia, Brazil): Ant diversity surveys of major Brazilian ecoregions

2006–2007:
Divya Seval (BS student, U. Texas): PCR and sequencing of mtDNA and nDNA

2005–2006:
Ame Wongsa, Lingda Tao, Shanila Tillekeratne, Carter Poage (BS students, U. Texas): Identification and curation methodology of Fijian ants

2005:
Sangamithra Narasimhan (BS student, U. Texas): PCR amplification of ant mtDNA

2004–2006:
Heather Luong (BS student, U. Texas): PCR and sequencing of mtDNA and nDNA

2004–2005:
Kenmon Kuon (BS student, U. Texas): Quantification of color in ants

2004:
Sin Park (BS student, U. Texas): Extraction of fungal DNA from preserved material

2003–2004:
Shelly Haferkamp (BS student, U. Texas): PCR and sequencing of mtDNA

 

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

2017:
Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA, Seminar Presentation

2016:
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gothic, CO, Seminar Presentation
Evolution 2016, Austin, TX, Seminar Presentation

2015:
AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Meeting, Washington University, St. Louis, Poster
Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Sciences, Invited Seminar Presentation
Yale-NUS College, Singapore, Invited Seminar Presentation

2014:
University of Texas at Tyler, Invited Seminar Presentation

2013:
Evolution 2013, Snowbird, UT, Poster

2012:
University of Maryland College Park, Invited Seminar Presentation

2011:
Rice University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Seminar Presentation

2009:
National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Seminar Presentation
Rice University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Seminar Presentation

2008:
Smithsonian Institution, Department of Entomology, Washington, DC, Seminar Presentation
Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil, Seminar Presentation

2007:
XVIII Simpósio de Mirmecologia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, Seminar Presentation
Evolution 2007, Christchurch, New Zealand, Seminar Presentation

2006:
International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Washington, DC, Seminar Presentation

2005:
Evolution 2005, Fairbanks, AK, Poster

2004:
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA, Seminar Presentation
International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Payson, AZ, Poster
Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Miami, FL, Poster
Evolution 2004, Fort Collins, CO, Poster

 

GUEST LECTURES

2017:
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 124 (Introduction to Ecology and Evolutionary Bio)

2016:
Rice University, Guest lecture in ENST 302 (Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future)

2015:
Rice University, Guest lecture in ENST 302 (Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future)
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 520 (Student Seminar in EEB)
Rice University, Guest lecture in Workshop on Communicating Science to Non-Experts 

2014:
Rice University, Guest lecture in ENST 302 (Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future)
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 520 (Student Seminar in EEB)

2013:
Rice University, Guest lecture in ENST 302 (Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future)
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 124 (Introduction to Ecology and Evolutionary Bio)
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 520 (Student Seminar in EEB)

2012:
Rice University, Guest lecture in ENST 302 (Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future)
Rice University, Guest lecture in EBIO 520 (Student Seminar in EEB)

2009:
Rice University, Guest lecture in BIOS 325 (Ecology)

2008:
Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil

 

DEPARTMENT AND UNIVERSITY SERVICE

2017-2018:
Senator, Faculty Senate
Chair, BioSciences Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Committee Member, Natural Sciences Curriculum Committee
Committee Member, University Committee for Teaching
Committee Member, Campus Bookstore Advisory Committee
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Transfer Credit Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Faculty Sponsor, Rice Men’s Basketball Club

2016-2017:
Chair, BioSciences Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Chair, Subcommittee on peer-peer interactions, University Committee on Teaching
Chair, EBIO Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Committee Member, Natural Sciences Curriculum Committee
Committee Member, University Committee for Teaching
Committee Member, Campus Bookstore Advisory Committee
Faculty Advisor, Center for Teaching Excellence Undergraduate Advisory Board
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Transfer Credit Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Faculty Sponsor, Student-taught course on “The Endangered Species” by Lucrecia Aguilar
Judge, Rice Study Abroad Photo Contest
Faculty Sponsor, Rice Men’s Basketball Club
College Marshall, Commencement

2015-2016:
Chair, Undergraduate Programs Task Force, Dept of BioSciences
Chair, EBIO Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Committee Member, University Committee for Teaching
Committee Member, Campus Bookstore Advisory Committee
Faculty Advisor, Center for Teaching Excellence Undergraduate Advisory Board
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Transfer Credit Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Committee Member, Undergraduate Laboratory Renovation Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Panelist, Center for Teaching Excellence Symposium on Teaching & Learning
Faculty Sponsor, Rice Men’s Basketball Club
Judge, 2015 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium
College Marshall, Commencement

2014-2015:
Presentation, “Teaching Matters”, Center for Teaching Excellence
Chair, Undergraduate Programs Task Force, Dept of BioSciences
Chair, EBIO Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Dept of BioSciences
Committee Member, University Committee for Teaching
Committee Member, Vision Task Force, Dept of BioSciences
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Transfer Credit Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Faculty Sponsor, Rice Men’s Basketball Club
College Marshall, Commencement
Panelist, Rice University Campus Sustainability Day
Judge, Science and Engineering Fair of Houston Science Writing Contest
Judge, Rice Study Abroad Photo Contest
Judge, Greene Prize Environmental Writing Competition
Judge, 2014 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium

2013-2014:
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
Transfer Credit Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept of BioSciences
College Marshall, Commencement
Judge, Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium

2012-2013:
Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, EEB Dept
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, EEB Dept
Judge, Centennial Research Poster Competition
Judge, 2012 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium
Marshall, Rice University Centennial Academic Procession
Marshall, Commencement

2011-2012:
Major Advisor, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, EEB Dept
Committee Member, Educational Technologies Committee
Judge, Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium
College Marshall, Commencement

 

OUTREACH

2017:
Presentation, The Explorers Club Headquarters, New York, NY
Presentation, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Presentation, The Avid Reader, Davis, CA
Presentation, Science Under the Stars, Austin, TX
Presentation, Baker Institute Civic Scientist Program, Heights High School, Houston, TX
Presentation, Science Café, College Station, TX
Webinar, Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, TX
Presentation, Career Day, Energized for STEM Academy, Houston, TX

2016:
Presentation, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX
Guest, “Houston Matters” KUFH Radio FM 88.7
Guest, “Think” KERA Radio, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Presentation, Lone Star College, Kingwood, TX
Presentation, Rice Science Café, Houston, TX
Presentation, Sierra Club Houston, Houston, TX
Presentation, Coastal Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, Rosenberg, TX
Presentation, Garden District Book Shop, New Orleans, LA
Presentation, Baker Institute Civic Scientist Program, Reagan High School, Houston, TX
Presentation, Creation Care Fest, Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, TX

2015:
Presentation, Big Thicket Science Café, Beaumont, TX
Presentation, Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Houston, TX
Presentation, Coastal Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, Rosenberg, TX
Presentation, Baker Institute Civic Scientist Program, Magnolia High School, Magnolia, TX
Presentation, Baker Institute Civic Scientist Program, Sharpstown International School, Houston
Presentation, Center for Early Childhood Education Preschool, Houston, TX

2014:
Guest, “Houston Matters” KUFH Radio FM 88.7
Reviewer, Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers (MOSART) High School Life Science project

2013:
Presentation, Rice Science Café, April 2
Reviewer, Assessments for chs. 26, 27, & 28 in How Life Works, W.H. Freeman & Co.
Reviewer, STEMscopes online K-12 Science Curriculum

2012:
Organizer, Bellaire High School AP Biology class visit to Rice University
Reviewer, How Life Works, Ch 21, Evolution: Change Over Time, W.H. Freeman & Co.
Reviewer, STEMscopes online K-12 Science Curriculum

2011:
Organizer, Bellaire High School AP Biology class visit to Rice University
Reviewer, How Life Works, chapter 23, Evolutionary Patterns: Phylogeny and Fossils
Reviewer, STEMscopes online K-12 Science Curriculum

2009:
Guest, Radio Hotline with Dennis Price, WEBR Radio (Fairfax, VA)
Participant in exhibit opening, National Museum of Natural History, May 30

2006:
Presentation, UT Science Summer Camp (Austin, TX)
Presentation, Explore UT (Austin, TX)

2005:
Presentation, Matthews Elementary School (Austin, TX), 2nd Grade

2003:
Presentation, UT Science Summer Camp (Austin, TX)

2002:
Presentation, Lake Travis Middle School (Austin, TX), 7th Grade
Exhibit Design and Presentation, Explore UT (Austin, TX)

 

PEER REVIEWER
The American Naturalist, Evolution, Oecologia, Journal of Biogeography, Molecular Ecology, Frontiers in Zoology, Insectes Sociaux, Mycologia, Zoology, Entomological News, Journal of Applied Entomology, Journal of Insect Behavior, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

 

FIELD RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica (mainland and Cocos Island), Ecuador (mainland and Galapagos Islands), Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, USA (Arizona, Illinois, Texas), Venezuela

 

MEDIA COVERAGE
NBC News, New Scientist, Business Insider, Houston Chronicle, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Houston Matters, KERA Think, NSF Science 360, Futurity, Science Daily, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, The Academic Minute, New York Post, Daily Mail, Digital Journal, WLS-AM Radio (Chicago), International Business TimesMorning Ag Clips, Earthbeat (Radio Netherlands Worldwide), Folha de São Paulo (Brazil), Folha Online (Brazil), Ciencia Hoje (Brazil), Fresh Ghana (Ghana), Houston Matters (KUFH Radio FM 88.7), Radio Hotline with Dennis Price (WEBR Radio, Fairfax, VA), Around The Mall (Smithsonian.com), Culture MapSputnik International, The Daily Texan, The Rice Thresher, Rice News

 

LANGUAGE EDITOR
Oecologia Brasiliensis

 

ADDITIONAL SKILLS
Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish

Advanced SCUBA Diver (PADI)

Adult CPR (American Red Cross)