- Ph.D. Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2007
- B.S. Zoology, University of Texas at Austin, 1999
- B.A. Art, University of Texas at Austin, 1999
life history, freshwater ecology, species distributions, caddisflies
As a freshwater ecologist, I study the life history of benthic macroinvertebrates. The life history characteristics (e.g., life cycle timing, feeding, reproductive strategies, etc.) of freshwater invertebrates are closely linked with habitat. Using natural history museum collections and field-studies of caddisflies, I work to characterize life history variation on very small spatial scales, but also across large latitudinal gradients. I’m especially interested in how the timing of life cycle stages can vary across these scales. I also test models of benthic macroinvertebrate community structure using life history traits in spatially large datasets.
Most of my work is on caddisflies (Trichoptera), a group of insects closely-related to moths and butterflies, that spend most of their life cycle in an aquatic larval stage that builds a case or retreat. I study life history, taxonomy, systematics, and species distributions of western caddisflies. My projects also include a database document the biodiversity of caddisflies in California streams to help broaden our understanding of species diversity and changes in distributions over the past 100 years. I'm am a curator of the Trichoptera Literature Database, a bibliography of 14,000 references on Trichoptera and the Trichoptera Library.
Ball, J. E., Bêche, L. A., P. K. Mendez, and V. H. Resh. 2013. Biodiversity in Mediterranean-Climate Streams of California. Hydrobiologia 719: 187-213.
Mendez, P. K., R. W. Holzenthal, and J. W. H. Steiner. 2011. The Trichoptera Literature Database: a collaborative bibliographic resource for world caddisfly research. Zoosymposia 5: 331-337.
Kwong, L., P. K. Mendez, and V. H. Resh. 2011. Case-repair in three genera of caddisflies (Trichoptera). Zoosymposia 5: 269-278. **Mentored Senior Thesis
Resh, V. H., M. Hannaford, J. K. Jackson, G. A. Lamberti, and P. K. Mendez. 2011. The biology of the Limnphilid caddisfly Dicosmoecus gilvipes (Hagen) in Northern California (U.S.A) streams. Zoosymposia 5: 413-419.
Holzenthal, R. W., D. R. Robertson, S. U. Pauls, and P. K. Mendez. 2010. Taxonomy and Systematics: Contributions to Benthology and Future Directions. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 147-169.
Holzenthal, R. W., P. K. Mendez, and J. W. H. Steiner. 2009. Trichoptera Literature Database: a collaborative bibliographic resource for world caddisfly research. [URL: http://www.trichopteralit.umn.edu/]
Mendez, P. K. and V. H. Resh. 2008. Life history of Neophylax rickeri (Trichoptera: Uenoidae) in northern California Streams. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101:573-584. *Issue Cover Photo
Mendez, P.K., J. R. Wood, and V. H. Resh. 2007. Emergence, fluctuating sex ratios, and protandry in Neophylax rickeri (Trichoptera: Uenoidae). Pgs. 197-202 in Bueno-Soria, J. R. and B. Armitage (editors), Proceedings of the XIIth International Symposium on Trichoptera, June 18-22, 2006. The Caddis Press.
Mendez, P.K. and V. H. Resh. 2007. What aspects of the life history of Trichoptera have been studied? Pgs. 191-195 in Bueno-Soria, J. R. and B. Armitage (editors), Proceedings of the XIIth International Symposium on Trichoptera, June 18-22, 2006. The Caddis Press.
- Lecturer Teaching Fellow, UC Berkeley. Research project: Integrating Visuospatial Approaches into Scientific & Science Writing (2013)
- Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs, Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs & the GSI Teaching and Resource Center, UC Berkeley (2012)
- Lecturer Teaching Fellow, UC Berkeley (2011) University of Minnesota Graduate School Postdoctoral Fellowship. University of Minnesota (2007-2009)
- Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Biology of Aquatic Insects. UC Berkeley (2004)
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2003-2006)
- Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship Award. UC Berkeley (2001-2005)
As a lecturer for UC Berkeley’s Environmental Sciences Program, I teach the capstone Environmental Sciences course -- ESPM175A (Fall) & ESPM175B (Spring): Senior Seminar in Environmental Sciences. Through this course series, I teach scientific writing and statistics and mentor senior undergraduate students during their senior thesis research projects.
I have also taught ESPM100ES: Introduction to the Methods in Environmental Science, ESPM115B: Biology of Aquatic Insects, and BIO1B: General Biology Lab.