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Faculty
Faculty

Aduse-Poku Kwaku

Assistant Professor

  • Biology
  • College of Arts & Sciences

Biography

My research lies at the nexus of ecology and evolution. I am most interested in understanding how biodiversity is generated, maintained, and get lost over geological and ecological time scales. I use butterflies as a model system, especially those distributed in the Old-World tropics (mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia) in exploring these long-held questions. Butterflies are arguably the best-known and well-studied insect group and have long been an important model in many areas of biology. I use genome-scale sequence (and morphological) data to investigate how past geological events as well as ecological and evolutionary factors influenced the diversification and contemporary distributions of butterflies. The explored factors include host plant use, plate tectonics, paleoclimate, and paleo-vegetation or biome change.

Education & Expertise

Education

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ecology and Macroevolution
City University of New York (CUNY), New York City, USA
2016-2018

PhD

Ecology and Evolution
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
2016

PhD

Wildlife (Biodiversity) Management
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi GHANA
2014

MSc

Ecology and Evolution
University of Groningen, Groningen, THE NETHERLANDS
2009

BSc

Natural Resources Management
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi GH
2003

Expertise

Evolution, Ecology, Phylogenetics, Systematics, Biogeography, Comparative Genomics, Butterflies

Academics

Academics

BIOL 003 (Life Sciences Non-Majors Biology)

This course is designed as an introductory natural science offering. It is designated as one of the general education course offerings in the College of Arts and Sciences

BIOL 230: Ecology Lec/Lab

Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. This course provides a background in the fundamental principles of ecological science at the population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere levels.  Students will acquire a thorough understanding of the scientific field of ecology, how ecologists conduct research, and the importance of general ecological knowledge. Topics include the coevolution of the biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere; biogeochemical cycles; the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems; regulation of the abundance and distribution of organisms in an environment; structure and function of ecosystems; trophic dynamics; models of population growth; and species interactions

Research

Research

Specialty

Evolution, Ecology, Phylogenetics, Systematics, Biogeography, Comparative Genomics, Butterflies

Group Information

As a lab our research lies at the nexus of ecology and evolution. We are most interested in understanding how biodiversity is generated, maintained, and get lost over geological and ecological time scales. We use butterflies as a model system, especially those distributed in the Old-World tropics (mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia) in exploring these long-held questions. Butterflies are arguably the best-known and well-studied insect group and have long been an important model in many areas of biology. I use genome-scale sequence (and morphological) data to investigate how past geological events as well as ecological and evolutionary factors influenced the diversification and contemporary distributions of butterflies. The explored factors include host plant use, plate tectonics, paleoclimate, and paleo-vegetation or biome change.

Accomplishments

Accomplishments

John C Marsden Medal

Given by the Linnaean Society of London in 2017 for the best PhD biology thesis in the UK

Torben Larsen Memorial Tankard Award

Given by the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa (LepSoc) in 2015 for outstanding contributions to African butterfly research

AFORNET Young Scientist Award

A fellowship award given in 2005 by the African Academy of Sciences

UNESCO MAB Young Scientists Award

A research fellowship given in 2005 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 

Eponyms - Lycaenid butterfly

Aslauga kwakui, Libert 2016

Related Articles

31. Hévin N, Goldstein P, Aduse-Poku K, et al. Habitat opening fostered diversity: impact of dispersal and habitat-shifts in the evolutionary history of a speciose afrotropical insect group. Ecography. 2024. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.07258

30. Carvalho APS, Owens HL, St Laurent RA, Earl C, Dexter KM, Messcher RL, Willmott KR, Aduse-Poku K, Collins SC, Homziak NT, Hoshizaki S, Hsu YF, Kizhakke AG, Kunte K, Martins DJ, Mega NO, Morinaka S, Peggie D, Romanowski HP, Sáfián S, Vila R, Wang H, Braby MF, Espeland M, Breinholt JW, Pierce NE, Kawahara AY, Comprehensive phylogeny of Pieridae butterflies reveals strong correlation between diversification and temperature. 2024. iSciencehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2024.109336

29. Kawahara AY, Storer C, Carvalho APS, Plotkin DM, Condamine FL, Braga MP, Ellis EA, St Laurent RA, Li X, Barve V, Aduse-Poku, K et al. A global phylogeny of butterflies reveals their evolutionary history, ancestral hosts and biogeographic origins. 2023. NATURE Ecology & Evolution, 7(6): 903 – 913 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023-02041-9

28. Boyle JH, Espeland M, Sáfián S, Ducarme R, Gardiner AJ, Coleman JW., Heath A, Fisher S, Collins S, Martins D, Aduse-Poku K, Libert M, Dankowicz E, Kawahara AY, Lohman DJ, Pierce NE. Phylogeny of the Poritiinae (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), butterflies with ant associations and unusual lichenivorous diets. 2023. Systematic Entomology, 1– 12.  https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12585

27. Aduse-Poku K, Lohman D.J., and Richardson I. Revision of the genus Neptis Fabricius, 1807 (Papilionoidea: Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in the Afrotropical Region, Part 4: The phylogeny of the Nysiades group with eight new species. 2022. Metamorphosis, 33:130-163 https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/met.v33i1.15

26. Tsenga HY, Chibab H, Lohman DL, Yen SH, Aduse-Poku K, Ohshima Y and Wu LW. 2022. Out of Asia: Intercontinental dispersals after the Eocene-Oligocene transition shaped the zoogeography of Limenitidinae butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). 2022. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 170:107444 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2022.107444

25. Aduse-Poku K, van Bergen E, Safian S, Collins SC, Etienne RS, Herrera-Alsina L, Brakefield PM, Brattström O, Lohman, DJ, and Wahlberg N. Miocene climate and habitat change drove diversification in Bicyclus, Africa's largest radiation of satyrine butterflies. 2022. Systematic Biology, 71(3): 570-588. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syab066

24. Chazot N, Condamine F, Dudas G, Peña C, Kodandaramaiah U, Matos-Maraví P, Aduse-Poku K, Elias M, Warren AD, Lohman D, Penz C, DeVries P, Fric ZF, Nylin S, Müller C, Kawahara AY, Silva-Brandao K, Lamas G, Kleckova I, Zubek A, Ortiz-Acevedo E, Vila R, Vane-Wright R, Mullen S, Jiggins CD, Wheat CW, Freitas AVL and Wahlberg N. Conserved ancestral tropical niche but different continental histories explain the latitudinal diversity gradient in brush-footed butterflies. 2021. Nature Communications, 12: 5717. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25906-8

23. Carvalho A.P.S, St Laurent R.A, Toussaint EFA, Storer CG, Dexter KM., Aduse-Poku K and Kawahara A.Y. Is sexual conflict a driver of speciation? A case study with a tribe of brush-footed butterflies. 2021. Systematic Biology, 70: 413-420 https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syaa070

22. Brattström O, Aduse-Poku K, van Bergen E, French V and Brakefield P.M. A release from developmental bias accelerates morphological diversification in butterfly eyespots. 2020. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS),  44: 27474-27480 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2008253117

21. Ma L, Zhang Y. Lohman DJ, Wahlberg N, Ma F, Nylin S, Janz N, Yago M, Aduse-Poku K, Peggie D, Wang M, Zhang P, and Wang H. A phylogenomic tree inferred with an inexpensive PCR-generated probe kit resolves higher-level relationships among Neptis butterflies (Nymphalidae: Limenitidinae). 2020. Systematic Entomology, 45: 924-934 https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12435

20. Warren-Gash H, Aduse-Poku K, Murillo-Ramos , and Wahlberg N. Systematics and evolution of the African butterfly genus Mylothris (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). 2020. Nota Lepidopterologica, 43: 1-14 https://doi.org/10.3897/nl.43.46354

19. Molleman F, Javoiš J., Davis R.B., Whitaker M.R.L., Tammaru T., Prinzing A., Õunap E., Wahlberg N., Kodandaramaiah U., Aduse-Poku K., Kaasik, A and Carey J.R. Quantifying the effects of species traits on predation risk in nature: a comparative study of butterfly wing damage. 2020. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89: 716-729 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13139

18. Toussaint EFA, Vila R, Yago M, Chiba H, Warren AD, Aduse-Poku K, Storer C, Dexter KM, Maruyama K, Lohman DJ and Kawahara AY. Out of the Orient: Post-Tethyan transoceanic and trans-Arabian routes fostered the spread of Baorini skippers in the Afrotropic. 2019. Systematic Entomology, 44: 926–938 https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12365

17. Aduse-Poku K., Molleman F., Oduro, W., Oppong, S.K., Lohman J. D. and Etienne R.S. 2018. Relative contribution of neutral and deterministic processes in shaping fruit-feeding butterfly assemblages in Afrotropical forests. 2018. Ecology and Evolution8: 296–308. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3618

16. Sahoo R.K., K.S, Lohman J.D., Wahlberg N, Müller, C.J., Brattström O., Collins C. S, Peggie D., Aduse-Poku K., Kodandaramaiah U. Evolution of Hypolimnas butterflies (Nymphalidae): Out-of-Africa origin and Wolbachia-mediated introgression. 2018. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 123: 50-58 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.02.001

15. Espeland M., Breinholt J., Willmott K.R, Warren A., Vila R., Toussaint E.F.A, Maunsell C.S., Aduse- Poku K., Talavera G., Eastwood R., Jarzyna M.A., Guralnick R., Lohman D.J, Pierce, N, Kawahara Y.A. Comprehensive and dated phylogenomic analysis of butterflies. 2018. Current Biology, 28: 770–778 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.061

14. van Bergen E., Osbaldeston D., Kodandaramaiah U., Brattström O., Aduse-Poku, K. and Brakefield, P.M. 2017. Conserved patterns of integrated developmental plasticity in a group of polyphenic tropical butterflies. 2017. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17: 59. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-017-0907-1

13. Aduse-Poku K., Brakefield P.M., Wahlberg, N, and Brattström O. Expanded molecular phylogeny of the genus Bicyclus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) shows the importance of increased sampling for detecting semi-cryptic species and highlights potentials for future studies. 2017. Systematics and Biodiversity, 15: 115-130 https://doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2016.1226979

12. Aduse-Poku K., Lees D. C., Brakefield P.M, Brattström, O., Kodandaramaiah U. and Wahlberg N. Molecular phylogeny and higher taxonomy of the widespread Old-World butterfly genus Heteropsis (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae: Mycalesina). 2016. Systematic Entomology, 41: 717-731 https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12183

11. Brattström O., Aduse-Poku K., Collins S. C., Santo T.M. and Brakefield P.M. Revision of the Bicyclus sciathis species-group (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) with descriptions of four new species and corrected distributional records. 2016. Systematic Entomology, 41: 207-228 https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12150

10. Brattström O., Aduse-Poku K., Collins S.C. and Brakefield P.M. Revision of the Bicyclus ignobilis species-group (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) with a description of two new species. 2015. Zootaxa, 4018:5 7-79 https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4018.1.3

9. Aduse-Poku K., Brattström O., Kodandaramaiah U., Lees D. C., Brakefield, P.M and Wahlberg, N. Systematics and historical biogeography of the Old World butterfly subtribe Mycalesina (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae). 2015. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 15: 167 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-015-0449-3

8. Safian S.L., Larsen T.B., Collins S.C., Csontos G., and Aduse-Poku K. Results of the butterfly and moth inventory in Ghana I. (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). 2012. Folia Entomologica Hungarica, 73: 53-75 http://publication.nhmus.hu/folent/index.php

7. Aduse-Poku K., Oduro W., Oppong S.K., and Molleman F. Spatial and temporal variation in butterfly biodiversity in a West African forest: lessons for establishing efficient rapid monitoring programmes. 2012. African Journal of Ecology, 50: 326-334 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2012.01328.x

6. Aduse-Poku K., Vingerhoedt E. and Wahlberg N. Out-of-Africa again: a phylogenetic hypothesis of the genus Charaxes (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) based on 5 gene regions. 2009. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 53: 463-478 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2009.06.021

5. Larsen T.B., Aduse-Poku K and Safian S.L The butterflies of Boabeng-Fiema biodiversity in a forest fragment in Ghana (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea & Hesperiodea). 2009. African Entomology, 17(2): 131-146 https://doi.org/10.4001/003.017.0203

4. Adu-Pakoh D., Oppong S.K. and Aduse-Poku K. Influence of Cocoa agro-ecosystem on fruit-feeding (Nymphalidae) butterflies. 2008. Journal of the Ghana Science Association, 10: 145-158 https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jgsa/article/view/18051

3. Aduse-Poku K and Doku-Marfo E. A rapid survey of butterflies in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve, Ghana. In: Assessment of the Atewa Range Forest Reserve, Eastern Ghana. E. McCullough, J., L.E. Alonso, P. Naskrecki, H.E. Wright and Y. Osei-Owusu (eds.). 2007. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment, 47: 55-60. https://doi.org/10.1896/054.047.0110

2. Larsen T.B., Aduse-Poku K., Boersma H., Safian S and Baker J. Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary in Ghana – Discovering its butterflies (with a checklist of the 930 butterflies of Ghana). 2007. Metamorphosis, 18: 87-126 https://www.metamorphosis.org.za/articlesPDF/750/Metamorphosis%20Vol%2018-3%20September%202007.pdf

1. Oduro W and Aduse-Poku K. Preliminary assessment of fruit-feeding butterflies (Nymphalids) communities in Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary. 2005. Ghana Journal of Forestry, 17 & 18: 9-19 https://www.ajol.info/index.php/gjf/article/view/36902