Evolution

Evolution affects everything in biology, from molecules and cells to lineages and communities. Evolution is the most distinctive property of life, setting biology apart from physics and chemistry. Modern evolutionary biology is concerned with both process and pattern, that is, with both the mechanisms by which changes are produced and with the changes that have produced the vast diversity of organisms that have ever existed.

Susan C. Alberts

Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology

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Sherryl A. Broverman

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology

How inclusion of civic issues, international connections, and social engagement alters the cognitive and affective responses of non- major science students to science education. How course design impacts the demographics (gender, race, etc) of student enrollment in elective science courses. Developing international science courses. The factors that impact educational outcomes for girls in rural Kenya. The impact of sustainable school gardens on anthropomorphic and cognitive outcomes in... Full Profile »

Nicolas Buchler

Assistant Professor of Biology

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Clifford W. Cunningham

Professor in the Department of Biology

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Kathleen Donohue

Professor of Biology

We investigate the genetic basis of adaptation, including the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects, niche construction, dispersal, and mechanisms of multilevel natural selection. Full Profile »

Sonke Johnsen

Professor in the Department of Biology

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Katharina V. Koelle

Associate Professor in the Department of Biology

My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. I use a combination of mathematical and statistical approaches to understand the processes driving the disease dynamics of pathogens. My interests include the effect of climate on disease dynamics and the role that immune escape plays in the ecological dynamics of RNA viruses. Current projects focus on influenza, dengue, and norovirus. Full Profile »

Francois M. Lutzoni

Professor in the Department of Biology

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Paul Mitaari Magwene

Associate Professor of Biology

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Daniel W. McShea

Professor in the Department of Biology

My main research interest is hierarchy theory, especially the causal relationship between higher-level wholes and their components (Spencer, Simon, Campbell, Salthe, Wimsatt). In biology, for example, we might want to know how large-scale processes within a multicellular organism act to control the smaller-scale processes within its component cells. Or, in the area of my current research, how do the emotions in mammals (and perhaps other animals) act to initiate and control conscious thought... Full Profile »

John M. Mercer

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biology

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Thomas Mitchell-Olds

Newman Ivey White Professor of Biology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

We study genetic variation in plant populations, focusing on genes that influence traits controlling plant performance in an environmental context – a central theme throughout our research in natural and agricultural populations. Much of our work is focused on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments. Similarly, the interaction of crop plants with their biotic and abiotic environments is controlled by complex trait variation which can be... Full Profile »

Alexander Motten

Associate Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Biology

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R. Bruce Nicklas

Arthur S. Pearse Professor Emeritus of Biology

I am now retired and my lab is closed. In the past, we pushed chromosomes around by micromanipulation to learn more about chromosome movement in mitosis. We tugged on chromosomes to measure the forces produced by the spindle and chopped spindles apart to locate the motor for chromosome movement. Most recently we pulled on chromosomes to learn to connect cell mechanics with the molecular biology of a cell cycle checkpoint. The checkpoint monitors chromosome attachment to the spindle and helps... Full Profile »

H. Frederik Nijhout

John Franklin Crowell Professor of Biology

Fred Nijhout is broadly interested in developmental physiology and in the interactions between development and evolution. He has several lines of research ongoing in his laboratory that on the surface may look independent from one another, but all share a conceptual interest in understanding how complex traits arise through, and are affected by, the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. 1) The control of polyphenic development in insects. This work attempts to understand how... Full Profile »

Juliet Noor

Lecturer in the Department of Biology

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Mohamed A. F. Noor

Professor of Biology

One of the greatest unsolved questions in biology is how continuous processes of evolutionary change produce the discontinuous groups known as species. For a many years, my team studied hybrid sterility and behavioral mate preferences using classical, QTL-based, or molecular genetic approaches on Drosophila species as model organisms. More recently, the availability of multiple whole-genome sequences (some public but especially those we have obtained ourselves) has dramatically enhanced the... Full Profile »

Stephen Nowicki

Professor of Biology

The Nowicki Laboratory studies behavioral ecology and neuroethology, especially questions about the function, structure and evolution of animal signaling systems. Although birds serve as a common model system in the lab, Nowicki and his students have worked on a variety of organisms including invertebrates such as insects, spiders, shrimp and lobsters, and other vertebrates including lizards, dolphins and primates. Steve Nowicki’s long-time research associate (and wife) is Susan Peters.... Full Profile »

Sheila N Patek

Associate Professor in the Department of Biology

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Kathleen M. Pryer

Professor in the Department of Biology

My research focuses on understanding the evolutionary relationships of ancient land plants, especially ferns and horsetails, by integrating evidence from morphology, molecules (DNA sequence data from multiple genes), and the fossil record. I use an explicit phylogenetic framework to examine the morphological evolution of various sporophytic and gametophytic characters within vascular plants, and to gain insight into the evolution of various life history traits and the body plans that typify... Full Profile »

Mark D. Rausher

John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Biology

We investigate the evolutionary processes that cause change at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. We have particular interests in the genetic basis of adaptation and in the evolution of metabolic pathways. Our approaches include molecular dissection of ecologically important phenotypes and characterizing patterns of selection acting on those phenotypes under natural conditions. For more information, please visit the Rausher lab web site. Full Profile »

Allen G Rodrigo

Adjunct Professor of Biology

My research focuses on evolutionary bioinformatics and computatioanl biology. In particular, I am interested in the development of novel methods to study the evolution of genes, genomes, organisms and species. Full Profile »

V. Louise Roth

Professor in the Department of Biology

In addition to conceptual work on the biological bases of homology, variation, and parallel evolution, my research has focused on evolutionary changes in size and shape in mammals: the functional consequences of these changes, and the evolutionary modifications of ontogenetic processes that produce them. This work makes use of DNA sequences, morphometric data, and geographic distributions to study macroevolutionary changes within a phylogenetic context. Projects have included DNA sequence... Full Profile »

A. Jonathan Shaw

Professor of Biology

My research centers on the evolution and diversity of bryophytes. Current projects in the lab include molecular phylogenetic analyses of familial and ordinal level relationships in the arthrodontous mosses, studies of hybridization using molecular and morphological markers, and investigations of cryptic speciation within geographically widespread species... Full Profile »

Kathleen Kovalevski Smith

Professor of Biology

I am interested in the functional and evolutionary morphology of vertebrates. My research has included the functional and phylogenetic significance of variations in form of craniofacial structures in squamate reptiles and mammals, the biomechanics of a class of structures called musculohydrostats, and the roles of adaptive evolution and constraint in morphological diversification. My current focus is on the relation between evolutionary and developmental processes, with particular focus on... Full Profile »

John E. R. Staddon

James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience

John Staddon is interested in the evolution and mechanisms of animal learning. Current topics are timing and memory, feeding regulation, and the ways in which pigeons and rats adapt to reward schedules. Experimental work involves individual animals in computer-controlled environments, where we manipulate the reward and stimulus conditions and try to understand the rules animals follow as they adapt to these changes. Theoretical work involves both analytical and computer-simulation studies... Full Profile »

Marcy K. Uyenoyama

Professor of Biology

Marcy Uyenoyama studies mechanisms of evolutionary change at the molecular and population levels. Among the questions under study include the prediction and detection of the effects of natural selection on genomic structure. A major area of research addresses the development of maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods for inferring evolutionary processes from the pattern of molecular variation. Evolutionary processes currently under study include characterization of population structure... Full Profile »

Rytas J. Vilgalys

Professor of Biology

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John H. Willis

Professor of Biology

We conduct research on broad issues in evolutionary genetics, and we are currently addressing questions relating to the evolution of adaptation, reproductive isolation, breeding systems, inbreeding depression, and floral traits in natural plant populations. Please see our lab web page for more information. Full Profile »

Gregory Allan Wray

Professor of Biology

I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within... Full Profile »

Anne Daphne Yoder

Professor of Biology

My work integrates field inventory activities with molecular phylogenetic techniques and geospatial analysis to investigate Madagascar, an area of the world that is biologically complex, poorly understood, and urgently threatened. Madagascar has been designated as one of the most critical geographic priorities for conservation action, retaining less than 10% of the natural habitats that existed before human colonization. It is critical that information be obtained as quickly as possible to... Full Profile »