Research in the Department of Biology spans the entire breadth of biology: from ecology and evolution to molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Our research is supported by a wide array of funding sources, including NIH, NSF and the Welch Foundation.

Many departmental faculty members actively participate in campus-wide interdepartmental graduate and research programs, including Genetics, Neuroscience, Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, and the newly formed faculty of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology.

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Joseph Bernardo


Cryptic speciation; evolution of reproductive isolation; body size evolution; species packing and community assembly; range determinants; comparative physiological ecology; integrative evolutionary ecology


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Heath Blackmon

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Evolutionary genetics and genomics using both theoretical and empirical approaches.  Empirical methods used include bioinformatics, phylogenetics, quantitative genetics.


Charles Criscione

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Ecology, evolution, and genetics of parasites

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Kira Delmore

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Seasonal migration, Behavioural Genomics

Ira Greenbaum


Animal cytogenetics and evolution

Steve Lockless

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Electrical and motile properties of microorganisms; Information content in genomes


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Duncan MacKenzie


Comparative endocrinology of reproduction and thyroid function in fish, amphibians, and reptiles


Alan Pepper


Environmental regulation of development in Arabidopsis thaliana

Gil Rosenthal


Evolution and ecology of animal communication; mate choice and evolutionary genetics in Mexican freshwater fishes; visual ecology and evolution of neotropical reef fishes

Manfred Schartl


Pigment cell biology and genetics; molecular biology of melanoma; oncogenic function of receptor tyrosine kinases; evolution and molecular biology of sex determination; gene and genome evolution

Deborah Siegele


Stress survival by the bacterium E. coli, development of an ontology of microbial phenotypes

Michael Smotherman

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Neurobiology of animal communication: sensory-motor integration

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Mary Wicksten


Adaptive coloration of marine invertebrates; distribution, behavior, and classification of eastern Pacific Decapoda Crustacea