Joined the Department in 2006
- A.B., 1993, Harvard University, Biology.
- Ph.D., 2000, University of Texas, Austin, Zoology.
- Postdoctoral research: University of California, San Diego.
- Previous faculty appointment: Boston University.
Faculty of Marine Biology
Faculty of Reproductive Biology
Faculty of Neuroscience
Faculty of Genetics
Faculty of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Centro de Investigaciones Cientificas de las Huastecas “Aguazarca”
My lab’s research focuses broadly on the mechanisms, evolution, and consequences of mate choice. The heart of our research program is animal behavior, and we enjoy collaborating with other labs with complementary areas of specialization. The lab’s main study system is natural hybrid zones of swordtail fish, centered at our CICHAZ research station, in the Sierra Madre Oriental of Hidalgo, Mexico.
Hybrids between Xiphophorus malinche and X. birchmanni represent a ‘genomic collision’ between two species with divergent suites of male traits and female preferences, and provide a terrific opportunity to understand both the genomic architecture underlying mate choice and the fitness consequences of novel sexual phenotypes in the wild. Ongoing research centers on a long-term study of natural and experimental hybrid populations, combining evolutionary genetics with morphological, behavioral, and neurobiological approaches to sexual communication. Social and environmental effects on chemical signaling also play a major role in this system. In conjunction with efforts to characterize the genetics of multivariate female mating preferences, we have developed and support anyFish, a new tool for the creation of synthetic animated stimuli for studying visual signals.
I am also involved in a collaborative project on mate choice, life-history evolution, and ecology in the annual killifish genus Austrolebias. Like swordtails, these remarkable little Uruguayan fishes lend themselves well to both field and laboratory work. They are restricted to seasonal bodies of water, where they grow rapidly, reproduce, and die within the space of a few winter months, leaving their eggs to estivate in diapause. These closed systems should allow us to gain a comprehensive picture of the biotic and abiotic environment, and, in concert with behavioral studies of mate choice, how sexual selection changes over space and time.
- Schumer, M, Xu, C, Powell, DL, Durvasula, A, Skov, L, Holland, C et al.. Natural selection interacts with recombination to shape the evolution of hybrid genomes. Science. 2018;360 (6389):656-660. doi: 10.1126/science.aar3684. PubMed PMID:29674434 .
- Rosenthal, GG, Schumer, M, Andolfatto, P. How the manakin got its crown: A novel trait that is unlikely to cause speciation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2018;115 (18):E4144-E4145. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804061115. PubMed PMID:29669913 PubMed Central PMC5939116.
- Powell, DL, Rosenthal, GG. What artifice can and cannot tell us about animal behavior. Curr Zool. 2017;63 (1):21-26. doi: 10.1093/cz/zow091. PubMed PMID:29491959 PubMed Central PMC5804151.
- Chouinard-Thuly, L, Gierszewski, S, Rosenthal, GG, Reader, SM, Rieucau, G, Woo, KL et al.. Technical and conceptual considerations for using animated stimuli in studies of animal behavior. Curr Zool. 2017;63 (1):5-19. doi: 10.1093/cz/zow104. PubMed PMID:29491958 PubMed Central PMC5804155.
- Schumer, M, Rosenthal, GG, Andolfatto, P. What do we mean when we talk about hybrid speciation?. Heredity (Edinb). 2018;120 (4):379-382. doi: 10.1038/s41437-017-0036-z. PubMed PMID:29302049 PubMed Central PMC5842215.
- Boulton, K, Walling, CA, Grimmer, AJ, Rosenthal, GG, Wilson, AJ. Phenotypic and genetic integration of personality and growth under competition in the sheepshead swordtail, Xiphophorus birchmanni. Evolution. 2018;72 (1):187-201. doi: 10.1111/evo.13398. PubMed PMID:29148573 PubMed Central PMC5814916.
- Schumer, M, Powell, DL, Delclós, PJ, Squire, M, Cui, R, Andolfatto, P et al.. Assortative mating and persistent reproductive isolation in hybrids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017;114 (41):10936-10941. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711238114. PubMed PMID:28973863 PubMed Central PMC5642718.
- Baker, Z, Schumer, M, Haba, Y, Bashkirova, L, Holland, C, Rosenthal, GG et al.. Repeated losses of PRDM9-directed recombination despite the conservation of PRDM9 across vertebrates. Elife. 2017;6 :. doi: 10.7554/eLife.24133. PubMed PMID:28590247 PubMed Central PMC5519329.
- Cui, R, Delclos, PJ, Schumer, M, Rosenthal, GG. Early social learning triggers neurogenomic expression changes in a swordtail fish. Proc. Biol. Sci. 2017;284 (1854):. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0701. PubMed PMID:28515207 PubMed Central PMC5443958.
- Ingley, SJ, Rosenthal, GG. Digest: Mechanisms of assortative mating and ecological speciation. Evolution. 2017;71 (1):185-186. doi: 10.1111/evo.13132. PubMed PMID:27882549 .