Melissa Yoder

Graduate Student, Dept. of Nematology/ Entomology

Contact Information:

University Lab Building 202



My primary research focus is on developing and testing an online pictorial identification key for the phylum Nematoda based on the properties of scale-free/ small-world networks and visual recognition as an alternative to dichotomous and polytomous identification keys. I will focus on creating high-resolution still images and videos of nematodes for the initial key prototypes that will be built and then test how successful individuals with varying levels of identification experience are at quickly and correctly identifying nematodes to genus. A very early prototype can be found at the following URL: and a current prototype can be accessed at

I am also interested in biodiversity and community structure of nematodes in freshwater habitats of California. I'm currently conducting a bioinventory of freshwater nematodes from desert springs and oases in Joshua Tree National Park, click here for more information on the project.