Graduate Faculty

Susan C. Alberts

Susan C. Alberts

Robert F. Durden Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Rm 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7272

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L. Ryan Baugh

L. Ryan Baugh

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 4314 French Family Science Center, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-4129

Phone: (919) 613-8179

We study nutritional control of development in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. We are interested in the signaling pathways and gene regulatory mechanisms that enable the worm to reversibly arrest development and resist stress in response to starvation. We are also interested in epigenetic... Full Profile »

Amy Bejsovec

Amy Bejsovec

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: Rm.369 Biological Sciences, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-8162

My laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of pattern formation in developing embryos. We focus on the Wingless(Wg)/Wnt class of secreted growth factor: these molecules promote cell-cell communication leading to important cell fate decisions during the development of both vertebrate and... Full Profile »

Philip N. Benfey

Philip N. Benfey

Paul Kramer Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-7338

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Emily S. Bernhardt

Emily S. Bernhardt

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor

Office: Ffsc 3313, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0000

Phone: (919) 660-7318

I am an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist whose research is principally concerned with tracking the movement of elements through ecological systems. My research aims to document the extent to which the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems is being altered by land use change (... Full Profile »

Clifford W. Cunningham

Clifford W. Cunningham

Professor of Biology

Office: 227 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Biology Department, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7356

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Xinnian Dong

Xinnian Dong

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 4213 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8176

Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, my laboratory studies the mechanisms of plant defense against microbial pathogens. We focus on a specific response known as systemic acquired resistance (SAR). SAR,... Full Profile »

Kathleen Donohue

Kathleen Donohue

Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 226, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 684-6095

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

Jean Philippe Gibert

Jean Philippe Gibert

Assistant Professor of Biology

I study how phenotypic traits and trait evolution determine predator-prey interactions and, through these, the structure and dynamics of complex networks of interacting species like food webs. I'm also interested in how these effects are mediated by the spatial structure of interacting species and ... Full Profile »

Steven B. Haase

Steven B. Haase

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 4316 French, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8205

Our group is broadly interested in understanding the biological clock mechanisms that control the timing of events during the cell division cycle. In 2008, the Haase group proposed a new model in which a complex network of sequentially activated transcription factors regulates the precise timing of... Full Profile »

Sonke Johnsen

Sonke Johnsen

Professor of Biology

Office: 301 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7321

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Daniel P. Kiehart

Daniel P. Kiehart

Professor of Biology

Office: 4330 French Family Science Center, Science Drive, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Campus Box: Box 90338, Dept. Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8157

Our intellectual focus is on identifying determinants of cell shape that function during development. Utilizing molecular genetic and reverse genetic approaches in Drosophila, we have shown that conventional nonmuscle myosin is necessary for driving both cell division and post-mitotic cell shape... Full Profile »

Francois M. Lutzoni

Francois M. Lutzoni

Professor of Biology

Office: 357 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7261

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Paul Mitaari Magwene

Paul Mitaari Magwene

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 124 Science Drive, Room 4103 Ffsc, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 613-8159

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Paul S. Manos

Paul S. Manos

Professor in the Department of Biology

Office: 330 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7358

My research emphasizes woody plants, especially the systematics of Fagaceae (the oak family), Juglandaceae (the walnut family), and related wind-pollinated families of flowering plants (Fagales). Our lab uses DNA sequences to generate hypotheses of phylogenetic relationship for inferring... Full Profile »

David R. McClay

David R. McClay

Arthur S. Pearse Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 4102 French Science Center, Science Dr., Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8188

We ask how the embryo works. Prior to morphogenesis the embryo specifies each cell through transcriptional regulation and signaling. Our research builds gene regulatory networks to understand how that early specification works. We then ask how this specification programs cells for their... Full Profile »

Daniel W. McShea

Daniel W. McShea

Professor of Biology

Office: 139 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 225-8679

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... Full Profile »

Thomas Mitchell-Olds

Thomas Mitchell-Olds

Newman Ivey White Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: French Science Center 3311, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 668-1635

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... Full Profile »

William F. Morris

William F. Morris

Professor of Biology

Office: 104 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325

Phone: (919) 684-5257

Bill Morris studies the population ecology of plants and insects (both herbivores and pollinators). Current projects include: the population dynamic consequences of constitutive and inducible resistance in plants, the... Full Profile »

H. Frederik Nijhout

H. Frederik Nijhout

John Franklin Crowell Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 322 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0325

Phone: (919) 684-2793

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... Full Profile »

Mohamed A. F. Noor

Mohamed A. F. Noor

Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Biology Department, Durham, NC 27708-4129

Phone: (919) 668-2728

Research in my laboratory strives to understand what genetic changes contribute to the formation of new species, what maintains fitness-related variation in natural populations, and how the process of genetic recombination affects both species formation and molecular evolution. Our approaches... Full Profile »

Stephen Nowicki

Stephen Nowicki

Professor of Biology

Office: 137 Biological Sciences Building, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-6950

Our lab studies animal communication and sexual selection from an integrative perspective that includes a wide range of behavioral ecological, neuroethological, developmental, genetic, and evolutionary approaches. Birds are our most common model system, but we also have worked with insects, spiders... Full Profile »

Sheila N Patek

Sheila N Patek

Mrs. Alexander Hehmeyer Professor

Office: 014 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-8306

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Zhen-Ming Pei

Zhen-Ming Pei

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 3102 Ffsc, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Campus Box: Box 90338, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8152

My laboratory is interested in the early signaling events by which plants sense environmental signals and decode to give the appropriate responses. Upon perception of external signals, cell surface receptors trigger an increase in cytosolic free calcium concentration, which is mediated by ion... Full Profile »

Kathleen M. Pryer

Kathleen M. Pryer

Professor of Biology

Office: 358 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7380

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... Full Profile »

Mark D. Rausher

Mark D. Rausher

John Carlisle Kilgo Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: Room 3326 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 684-2295

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... Full Profile »

V. Louise Roth

V. Louise Roth

Professor of Biology

Office: 241 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7352

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... Full Profile »

Amy K. Schmid

Amy K. Schmid

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 125 Science Dr, French Family Science Center 4105, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-4464

Research in my lab seeks to elucidate how cells make decisions in response to environmental cues. My particular focus is on how networks of molecules interact within free-living microbial cells. These networks govern the decision to grow when conditions are optimal or deploy damage repair systems... Full Profile »

A. Jonathan Shaw

A. Jonathan Shaw

Professor of Biology

Office: Box 90338, 137 Bio Sciences, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7344

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... Full Profile »

David R. Sherwood

David R. Sherwood

Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor

Office: Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8192

Our research is directed at elucidating mechanisms underlying morphogenetic processes in development. We primarily use the model system C. elegans in our research, and combine powerful genetic and systems biology approaches with live-cell imaging to address three main topics:   Tissue... Full Profile »

Nina Tang Sherwood

Nina Tang Sherwood

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology

Office: Box 90338 137 Bio Sciences, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Science Drive, 371D Biosci, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-8658

We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to understand nervous system development and function. A genetic screen for molecules important to these processes identified the fly ortholog of the spastin gene, which when mutated in humans leads to a progressive neurodegenerative disease called... Full Profile »

James N. Siedow

James N. Siedow

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, 3105 French Science Centre, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-5445

Physiological, biochemical and molecular studies of plant oxidative processes. I suspended the operation of my laboratory about eight years ago. Historically, the research in my laboratory looked at metabolic processes related to aerobic respiration in plants and fungi. Specifically, this... Full Profile »

Kathleen Kovalevski Smith

Kathleen Kovalevski Smith

Professor Emerita of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 122 Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 684-3402

My current work is a focus on the relation between evolution and development in the mammalian skull. My model system involves comparisons of development in placental and marsupial mammals. These mammals are characterized by different developmental trajectories, extending back to some of the... Full Profile »

Tai-ping Sun

Tai-ping Sun

Professor of Biology

Office: 3104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-8166

The diterpenoid phytohormone gibberellin (GA) plays pivotal roles in regulating growth and development throughout the life cycle of higher plants. Mutations affecting GA biosynthesis or GA response were the key to control plant stature in wheat and rice that led to dramatically increased grain... Full Profile »

Jenny Tung

Jenny Tung

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 08 Bio Sci, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 668-4912

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Marcy K. Uyenoyama

Marcy K. Uyenoyama

Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-7350

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... Full Profile »

Rytas J. Vilgalys

Rytas J. Vilgalys

Professor of Biology

Office: Room 137, Biological Sciences Building, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7361

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Pelin Cayirlioglu Volkan

Pelin Cayirlioglu Volkan

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 4313 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 684-1150

The long-term goal in the lab is to understand the developmental processes that establish the basic organizational and functional principles of the neuronal circuits in the brain. We investigate how the neuronal circuits assemble, functionally mature, remodel in developmental and evolutionary time... Full Profile »

John H. Willis

John H. Willis

Professor of Biology

Office: 3314 French Science Center, Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7340

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... Full Profile »

William G. Wilson

William G. Wilson

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 033 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 451-6688

I earned my physics Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii on a topic in condensed matter theory using computer simulations and mathematics. I transferred those interdisciplinary skills to geophysics, fluid flow, and theoretical evolutionary ecology at the University of Calgary and UC Santa Barbara. In... Full Profile »

Gregory Allan Wray

Gregory Allan Wray

Professor of Biology

Office: 125 Science Drive, 4104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325

Phone: (919) 684-6696

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... Full Profile »

Justin Prouty Wright

Justin Prouty Wright

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 258 Biological Sciences, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-8096

My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of patterns of biological diversity across the planet. I am particularly interested in two broad questions: 1)How does the modification of the environment by organisms affect community structure and ecosystem function? and 2) what... Full Profile »

Anne Daphne Yoder

Anne Daphne Yoder

Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor of Evolutionary Biology

Office: 128 Biol Sciences Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7275

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... Full Profile »