Biology Department photograph montage

John Hafernik

Faculty in Emeriti Faculty
Professor root
Professor Emeritus
University of California, Berkeley
At SFSU Since: 
Hensill 519
Office Phone: 
(415) 338-1740
Evolution, ecology and conservation biology of insects and their relatives.

My research focuses on: 1. Evolutionary and ecological processes at the population or species level. 2. Conservation biology of insects. I am especially interested in the evolution of mating systems, isolating mechanisms, and interactions between insects and their animal and plant hosts. My students and I study mating systems and hybrid zones of damselflies of the genus Ischnura using both traditional and molecular approaches. I am also interested in ways that studies of insects and their relatives can be used to test conservation biology theory and to provide measures of community health and change. A number of my students have completed completed thesis projects on the conservation biology of insects and arachnids. Recent thesis topics of my students include molecular genetics of a damselfly hybrid zone, reintroduction of the rare San Francisco forktail damselfly to a former habitat in San Francisco, using macroinvertebrate diversity to assess stream health, oviposition preference of the endangered mission blue butterfly, spider diversity in restored coastal sand dunes of the San Francisco Presidio, ecology of tiger beetles at Point Reyes National Seashore and arthropod colonists of the California Academy of Sciences’ Living Roof.

John no longer accepting grad students in his lab.

Selected Publications (** = grad student author):

Hafernik, J. E. 1982. Phenetics and ecology of hybridization in buckeye butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Univ. Calif. Pubs. in Entomology 96: 109pp

Hafernik, J. E. and R. W. Garrison. 1986. Lifetime mating success in a population of damselflies: results at variance with theory: American Naturalist 128:353-365.

Hafernik, J. E. 1992. Threats to Invertebrate biodiversity: Implications for conservation strategies. in P. L. Fiedler and S. K. Jain, eds. Conservation Biology : The Theory and Practice of Nature Conservation, Preservation and Management. Chapman and Hall, New York.

Leong, Joan M.** and J. E. Hafernik. 1992. Seasonal variation in allopatric populations of Ischnura denticollis and Ischnura gemina (Odonata: Coenagrionidae. Pan Pacific Entomologist 68:268-278.

Leong, Joan M.** and J. E. Hafernik. 1992. Hybridization between two damselfly species (Odonata: Coenagrionidae): Morphometric and genitalic differentiation. Annals Entomol. Soc. America 85: 662:670.

Hafernik, J. E. and Harriet Reinhard. 1995. Butterflies by the Bay: Winners and losers in San Francisco's Urban Jungle. American Butterflies 3:4-11.

Hafernik, J. E. and L. Saul-Gershenz**. 2000. Beetle larvae cooperate to mimic bees.  Nature 405:35-36.

Connor, E. F., J. E. Hafernik, J. Levy**, V. L. Moore**, J. K. Rickman**. 2002. Insect conservation in an urban biodiversity hotspot:  The San Francisco Bay Area. Journal of Insect Conservation 6:247-259.

Hannon, E.R**. and J.E. Hafernik. (2007) Reintroduction of the rare damselfly Ischnura gemina (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) into an urban California park. Journal of Insect Conservation 11:141-149.

Cornelisse, T**. and J. E. Hafernik (2009) Effects of soil characteristics and human disturbance on tiger beetle oviposition. Ecological Entomology (in press)