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Dr. Sean O'Keefe

Dr. Sean O'Keefe - Associate ProfessorO-Keefe-Sean.jpg
Program/Dept.: Biology & Chemistry
Degrees, Licensures and Certifications: B.S. Entomology, University of California, Berkeley; M.S. Entomology, University of New Hampshire; Ph.D. Entomology, University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests: Dr. O'Keefe's primary research interests are the taxonomy, phylogenetics, and biogeography of scydmaenid beetles. These are small (1 - 3 mm long), leaf-litter-inhabiting, mite-eating beetles. A recent research interest includes the use of aquatic macroinvertebrates for water quality bioassessment. Other research interests include the diversity, ecological specialization, and landscape use of ants, host preferences of bark beetles, and pollination biology of solitary bees. 


Dr. O'Keefe has been working on scydmaenid beetles for the past 17 years. To date he has 16 published papers or book chapters on the taxonomy of these beetles. He has described specimens from North America, Central America and Australia, and has described two fossils, one from the Miocene, and the other from the Cretaceous. His long-term projects on these beetles include, 1) a revision of the North American fauna, 2) a revision of the Costa Rican fauna, 3) a catalog of the species of the world, and 4) clarification of the higher level phylogeny of the family on a world-wide basis. Three of O'Keefe's publications were invited, and two were international publications. Also, he has two additional international publications on these beetles. In 2004 he was invited (and supported) to spend a month in Vienna to work on these beetles in their collection. As part of his research on scydmaenid beetles, O'Keefe has gained experience in micro-dissection techniques, comparative morphology, standard taxonomic practices (including taxonomic nomenclature), phylogenetic analysis, biogeographic analysis, field experience over much of North America, and also in Costa Rica and Belize, and museum research in Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, Austria, and in most of the research museums in the United States. 

Selected Publications

  • 2005. O’Keefe, S.T. Scydmaenidae Leach, 1815, pp. 280-288. In: Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches. Band IV Arthropoda: Insecta Teilband 38. Coleoptera, Beetles. Volume 1: Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim). Walter de Gruyter. Berlin. 
  • 2004. Vinson, S.B., S.T. O'Keefe, and G.W. Frankie. The conservation values of bees and ants in the Costa Rican dry forest, pp. 67-79. In: Biodiversity Conservation in Costa Rica: Learning the Lessons in a Seasonal Dry Forest, G.W. Frankie, A. Mata, and S.B. Vinson (eds.). University of California Press. x + 341 pp. 
  • 2003. O'Keefe, S.T. Revision of the Nearctic Genus Papusus Casey (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae), pp. 257-309. In: Systematics of Coleoptera: Papers Celebrating the Retirement of Ivan Löbl, G.Cuccodoro and R.A.B. Leschen (eds.). Memoirs on Entomology International 17: 1-955. 
  • 2002. O'Keefe, S.T. Revision of the Neotropical genus Leptochromus Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae). Systematic Entomology 27: 211-234. 
  • 2001. O'Keefe, S.T. Ant-like stone beetles, ants, and their associations (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae; Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Isoptera). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 108: 273-303. 
  • 2001. O’Keefe, S.T. and G. Monteith. Clidicus abbottensis (n. sp.)(Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae): first record of Clidicus in Australia and first description of larvae. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum of Nature 46: 211-223. 
  • 2001. O’Keefe, S.T. Scydmaenidae, pp. 259-267. In: American Beetles, R.H. Arnett and M.C. Thomas eds. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 
  • 1999. O’Keefe, S.T. The Scydmaenidae (Coleoptera: Staphyliniformia) of Costa Rica: I Leptochromus Motschulsky, Eutheia Stephens, and Paracephennium O=Keefe gen. n. (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae). Koleopterologische Rundschau 69: 67-81. 
  • 1998. O’Keefe, S.T. “Zur Kenntnis der Scydmaeniden der Welt”: The contributions of Herbert Franz to scydmaenid taxonomy (1952-1997). Koleopterologische Rundschau 68: 119-136. 
  • 1997. O'Keefe, S.T. , T. Pike, and G. Poinar. Palaeoleptochromus schaufussi (n. gen., n.sp.) a new antlike stone beetle (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae) from Canadian Cretaceous amber. Canadian Entomologist 129: 379-385. 


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