Research Areas: Genomics, Insect Neurogenetics, Urban Biology of Pollinators
In genomics I work on analysis of whole-genome evolutionary trends. The explosion of published genomes now allows us to address many open questions in genome evolution. One area of particular interest is differences between species in nucleotide and amino acids usage in coding regions. The best known aspect of this is genome AT/GC content, but we are interested in numerous other issues relating to how whole genome average usages affect protein coding regions. Since many measures of evolutionary change look at changes in coding regions, we are interested in how genome wide trends may bias tests of evolution at the gene level.
One functional group of genes of special interest is those involved in neural development and function. Insect behaviour genetics in species such as fruit flies and honey bees has linked individual candidate genes to behaviours. I am interested in the parallel question of how to understand broad changes between species in neural genes, and then how to separate these broad changes from evolutionary pressures on individual genes.
On the applied side, I work in collaboration with both researchers and with non-profits and community groups to understand how to improve urban environments for pollinators. This work ranges from helping to establish pollinator gardens and pollinator corridors in cities, to measuring the impact of these floral changes on pollinator communities, to collaborating with advocacy groups and urban governments to improve policy in ways that benefit native plants, pollinators, and people.
Publications (Advocacy and Outreach)
Pawpaws, flies, and Jurassic pollinators. Clement Kent, Pollinator Gardens, June 2020.
Carolina Allspice and Sap Beetles. Clement Kent, Pollinator Gardens, June 2020.
Project Swallowtail Plant List - Key plants for Swallowtail Butterflies. Clement Kent, Pollinator Gardens, Feb. 2020.
Balcony Herbs for You and for the Pollinators. Clement Kent, Pollinator Gardens, Feb. 2020.
Nature's Balance: Restoring equilibrium when aphids invade milkweeds. Clement Kent, 2 Million Blossoms Jan. 2020, pp 65-67.
Hops and Spice, Pipes and Paws: How Large a Tale will you Swallow? History and resources for Swallowtails. Clement Kent, Pollinator Gardens, Jan. 2020.
For 54 more articles on pollinators prior to 2020, see the Archive Index at Pollinator Gardens.
The Soil Spectrum: Putting Carbon Back in the Ground. Clement Kent, Ground, Issue #37 - Spring 2017 - Spectrum.
How to Make a Pollinator Garden. Clement Kent, 2011.