Faculty: Heath Blackmon 2017-10-12T08:07:13+00:00

Heath Blackmon

Assistant Professor

Email: hblackmon@bio.tamu.edu

Lab Website


Biological Sciences Building West
Room 309
Office: 979-862-4880

Biological Sciences Building West
Room 309

Joined the Department in 2017

  • B. A., 2010, Oregon State University, Environmental Science
  • Ph. D., 2015, University of Texas in Arlington, Genome Evolution
  • Postdoc, 2015-2017, University of Minnesota, Evolutionary Biology


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M



Evolutionary Biology

The Blackmon lab works on theoretical and empirical projects focused on the evolution of large-scale genome structure.  For empirical projects, the Blackmon lab often uses beetles as model organisms because beetles are probably the most fantastic group of animals on the planet.

The Blackmon Lab has two broad areas of inquiry. The first is genome evolution, specifically sex chromosome and structural evolution. The second is the development of methods and databases that accelerate the analysis of data within a quantitative genetic or phylogenetic framework. To address these topics, we use a broad range of approaches including theoretical population genetics, bioinformatics, genomics, and molecular cytogenetics. Although we have projects involving all types of organisms, we often study beetles, and we keep several species in the lab as model organisms.


Blackmon H., Ross L, Bachtrog D. Sex determination, sex chromosomes and karyotype evolution in insects. – Journal of Heredity 108:1 78-93 – recommended by Faculty of 1000. PDF

Adams R., D Schield, D. Card, H. Blackmon, and T. Castoe. GppFst: Genomic posterior predictive simulations of Fst and dxy for identifying outlier loci from population genomic data – Bioinformatics – doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btw795. PDF


Blackmon H. and J.P. Demuth. An information-theoretic approach to estimating the composite genetic effects contributing to variation among generation means: moving beyond the joint-scaling test for line cross analysis. – Evolution 70:2 420-432. PDF

Asian Longhorn Beetle Consortium (67 Authors). Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface. Genome Biology 17:1 227 – Responsible for analysis of genome structure evolution. PDF

Ross, L. and H. Blackmon. Sex Determination. In R. Kliman (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology. 81-88 Elsevier Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-800049-6.00146-3. PDF

Adams R.; H. Blackmon; J. Reyes-Velasco; D. Schield; D. Card; A. Andrew; N. Waynewood; T. Castoe. Microsatellite landscape evolutionary dynamics across 450 million years of vertebrate genome evolution. Genome 59:5, 295-310 – Editor’s choice. PDF


Blackmon H., N. Hardy, L. Ross. The evolutionary dynamics of haplodiploidy: genome architecture and haploid viability. Evolution 69:11 2971-2978. PDF

Blackmon H. and J. P. Demuth. The fragile Y hypothesis: Y chromosome aneuploidy as a selective pressure in sex chromosome and meiotic mechanism evolution. Bioessays 37:9 942-950. PDF

Blackmon H. and J. P. Demuth. Coleoptera Karyotype Database. The Coleopterists Bulletin 69:1 174-175. PDF

Ross, L., H. Blackmon, P. Lorite, V. Gokhman, and N. Hardy. Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28:1 105-116. PDF

Blackmon H. and J. P. Demuth. Genomic origins of insect sex chromosomes. Current Opinion in Insect Science 7 45-50. – recommended by Faculty of 1000. PDF


Blackmon H. and J. P. Demuth. Estimating tempo and mode of Y chromosome turnover: explaining Y chromosome loss with the fragile Y hypothesis. Genetics 197:2 561-572. PDF

Blackmon H. Coleoptera Karyotypes: The evolution of sex chromosomes and chromosome number. Newsletter of the Ontario Entomological Society 19:2 19–21. PDF

Streicher, J. W., T. J. Devitt, C. S. Goldberg, J. H. Malone, H. Blackmon, and M. K. Fujita. Diversification and asymmetrical gene flow across time and space: lineage sorting and hybridization in polytypic barking frogs. Molecular Ecology 23:13 3273-3291. PDF

Ashman T., D. Bachtrog, H. Blackmon, E.E. Goldberg, M.W. Hahn, M. Kirkpatrick, J. Kitano, J.E. Mank, I. Mayrose, R. Ming, S.P. Otto, C.L. Peichel, M.W. Pennell, N. Perrin, L. Ross, N. Valenzuela, and J.C. Vamosi. Tree of Sex: A database of sexual systems. Nature Scientific Data 1:140015. – responsible for 11,526 invertebrate records and all figures. PDF


Blackmon H. and J. P. Demuth. Ring Species and Speciation. Encyclopedia of Life Science. www.els.net. PDF