• 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.

Associations:

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M
Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Jones Lab website

Evolutionary Biology

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.

  1. Flanagan, SP, Rose, E, Jones, AG. Population genomics reveals multiple drivers of population differentiation in a sex-role-reversed pipefish. Mol. Ecol. 2016;25 (20):5043-5072. doi: 10.1111/mec.13794. PubMed PMID:27485274 .
  2. Rose, E, Masonjones, HD, Jones, AG. A DNA-Based Assessment of the Phylogenetic Position of a Morphologically Distinct, Anchialine-Lake-Restricted Seahorse. J. Hered. 2016;107 (6):553-8. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esw048. PubMed PMID:27481774 .
  3. Rose, E, Flanagan, SP, Jones, AG. The Effects of Synthetic Estrogen Exposure on the Sexually Dimorphic Liver Transcriptome of the Sex-Role-Reversed Gulf Pipefish. PLoS ONE. 2015;10 (10):e0139401. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139401. PubMed PMID:26448558 PubMed Central PMC4598134.
  4. Flanagan, SP, Jones, AG. Identifying signatures of sexual selection using genomewide selection components analysis. Ecol Evol. 2015;5 (13):2722-44. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1546. PubMed PMID:26257884 PubMed Central PMC4523367.
  5. Paczolt, KA, Jones, AG. The effects of food limitation on life history tradeoffs in pregnant male gulf pipefish. PLoS ONE. 2015;10 (5):e0124147. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124147. PubMed PMID:25970284 PubMed Central PMC4430282.
  6. Jones, AG. BATEMANATER: a computer program to estimate and bootstrap mating system variables based on Bateman's principles. Mol Ecol Resour. 2015;15 (6):1396-402. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12397. PubMed PMID:25715247 .
  7. Paczolt, KA, Passow, CN, Delclos, PJ, Kindsvater, HK, Jones, AG, Rosenthal, GG et al.. Multiple mating and reproductive skew in parental and introgressed females of the live-bearing fish Xiphophorus birchmanni. J. Hered. ;106 (1):57-66. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esu066. PubMed PMID:25433083 PubMed Central PMC4357810.
  8. Rose, E, Small, CM, Saucedo, HA, Harper, C, Jones, AG. Genetic evidence for monogamy in the dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae. J. Hered. ;105 (6):828-33. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esu050. PubMed PMID:25122921 .
  9. Jones, AG, Bürger, R, Arnold, SJ. Epistasis and natural selection shape the mutational architecture of complex traits. Nat Commun. 2014;5 :3709. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4709. PubMed PMID:24828461 PubMed Central PMC4024485.
  10. Rose, E, Paczolt, KA, Jones, AG. The effects of synthetic estrogen exposure on premating and postmating episodes of selection in sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish. Evol Appl. 2013;6 (8):1160-70. doi: 10.1111/eva.12093. PubMed PMID:24478798 PubMed Central PMC3901546.
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Adam Jones

Adam G. Jones
Professor

3258 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3258

Office:
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 118C
979-845-7774

Lab:
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 116
979-845-4342

Fax: 979-845-2891
Email: ajones@bio.tamu.edu

Curriculum Vitae