In an effort to understand the factors contributing to the high species diversity in Neotropics, my research focuses on the patterns and drivers of diversification in an ant genus – the turtle ants (Cephalotes). With 115 described species, turtle ants are one of the most species rich ant genera in the world, and they are a major component of the arboreal ant assemblage in the Neotropics. I use time-calibrated molecular phylogenies, community phylogenetics, speciation models, and historical biogeographic inference to understand diversification dynamics in this group. An additional aspect of my research is uncovering phylogeographic and dispersal patterns of the giant turtle ant (Cephalotes atratus), a species with a sizeable geographic distribution. I use analyses that simultaneously infer phylogeny, divergence times, and dispersal history, in concert with ecological niche modeling, to discover abiotic factors influencing the distribution of this species. I also use microsatellite markers to examine intraspecific genetic variation, including the colony kin and population genetic structure, across the large range of the giant turtle ant.