- B. A., 1992, University of Colorado – Boulder, Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology
- Ph. D., 1998, University of Georgia, Genetics
- Postdoc, 1998-2002, Oregon State University, Zoology
Joined the Biology Department in 2004.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M
Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
Jones Lab Website
Adam G. Jones
College Station, TX 77843-3258
Biological Sciences Building East
Biological Sciences Building East
Research in the Jones Lab is concerned with the mechanisms of phenotypic change in evolutionary lineages. Most of the research effort in the lab is directed at (1) the use of molecular techniques to resolve unanswered questions in sexual selection, (2) theoretical studies of quantitative genetics and behavior, and (3) the evolution of major morphological innovations. Other research projects in the lab involve population genetics, conservation genetics, speciation and molecular evolution.
Sexual Selection, Mating Patterns, and Gamete Competition in Seahorses and Pipefishes: The fish family Syngnathidae includes about 35 species of seahorses, 180 species of pipefishes and two species of sea dragons. All of these species display male pregnancy. Females transfer the eggs to the male’s body, and the male carries the developing young until they hatch. Male pregnancy is interesting from a sexual selection standpoint, because the potential reproductive rates of males can be reduced so much that they become a limiting resource for reproduction. This situation results in a reversal in the direction of sexual selection with females competing among themselves for access to receptive males. Consequently, in some species of pipefish, ornaments and other traits involved in mate acquisition evolve in females, a reversal of the usual situation in which such traits evolve in the males alone. Pipefish and their relatives thus provide a great model system in which to test theories of sexual selection. Research on this topic in the Jones lab is concerned with the use of molecular markers (usually microsatellite markers) to characterize patterns of sexual selection in natural populations with an emphasis on current controversial theories relating to mating behavior to sexual selection.
The Evolution of Male Pregnancy and the Brood Pouch: Another major project in the Jones lab is concerned with the evolution of the major transition from males defending eggs in a nest to the male actually carrying the eggs within a specialized structure on his body. Seahorses and some of their relatives possess a brood pouch, and this structure is not seen outside of the family Syngnathidae. This structure is clearly a major morphological innovation that has had far reaching consequences with respect to the evolution and ecology of pipefishes and seahorses. The question is how such a structure originates during the course of evolution. We are using a combination of molecular techniques, including subtraction libraries and microarrays, to identify the genes involved in male pregnancy. Detailed analyses of these particular male-pregnancy genes, as well as comparative studies among species with different types of brood pouches, will shed light on the origin of the amazing phenomenon of male pregnancy and will contribute to our general understanding of the evolution of morphological innovations.
- Partridge C, Boettcher A & Jones AG (2012) Population structure of the Gulf pipefish in and around Mobile Bay and the northern Gulf of Mexico. J Hered 103:821-30 Full text
- Jones AG, Bürger R, Arnold SJ, Hohenlohe PA & Uyeda JC (2012) The effects of stochastic and episodic movement of the optimum on the evolution of the G-matrix and the response of the trait mean to selection. J Evol Biol 25:2210-31 Full text
- Partridge C, Boettcher A & Jones AG (2010) Short-term exposure to a synthetic estrogen disrupts mating dynamics in a pipefish. Horm Behav 58:800-7 Full text
- Paczolt KA & Jones AG (2010) Post-copulatory sexual selection and sexual conflict in the evolution of male pregnancy. Nature 464:401-4 Full text
- Jones AG, Small CM, Paczolt KA & Ratterman NL (2010) A practical guide to methods of parentage analysis. Mol Ecol Resour 10:6-30 Full text
- Small CM, Carney GE, Mo Q, Vannucci M & Jones AG (2009) A microarray analysis of sex- and gonad-biased gene expression in the zebrafish: evidence for masculinization of the transcriptome. BMC Genomics 10:579 Full text
- Jones AG & Ratterman NL (2009) Mate choice and sexual selection: what have we learned since Darwin? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106 Suppl 1:10001-8 Full text
- Mobley KB & Jones AG (2009) Environmental, demographic, and genetic mating system variation among five geographically distinct dusky pipefish (Syngnathus floridae) populations. Mol Ecol 18:1476-90 Full text
- Jones AG (2009) On the opportunity for sexual selection, the Bateman gradient and the maximum intensity of sexual selection. Evolution 63:1673-84 Full text
- Mobley KB, Amundsen T, Forsgren E, Svensson PA & Jones AG (2009) Multiple mating and a low incidence of cuckoldry for nest-holding males in the two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens. BMC Evol Biol 9:6 Full text