Department of Biological Science
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4295
Office: 4063 King Building
(850) 645-0388 Fax: (850) 644-9829
I am an evolutionary
geneticist, studying the relationship between the genotype and phenotype, and
how this affects evolution. My favorite questions include:
Is evolution predictable?
What is the relationship between variation and adaptation?
What accounts for the high dimensionality of variation in phenotype?
In my lab, we use Drosophila
melanogaster, the fruit fly, as an experimental organism. Flies are
wonderful for evolutionary studies because they have interesting and complex
adaptations and behaviors, yet are easily and rapidly reared.
The major experimental
project in the lab is to use the wing of Drosophila as a model to understand
the relationship between genotype and phenotype, and how this affects
evolution. We are manipulating gene expression at particular genes to
understand how development affects the phenotype, and infer the pattern of
effects across the genome. These data
are then compared to our extensive data on the effects of mutation, variation
and divergence of wing shape in the genus Drosophila. We
continue to develop approaches to automated measurements of morphological
phenotypes. Our software for rapid accurate characterization of fly wings is
on the WINGMACHINE page. Lory is new
software written by post-doc Eladio Marquez to
generate hypotheses and visualizations of differences in geometric morphometric
data, such as that produced for our wings.
In Fall 2012, I will
teach Advanced Evolutionary Biology, a graduate course in the process of
evolution. Click for the 2010 syllabus.
In Spring 2013, I will teach
undergraduate Experimental Biology on Meta-analyses of Biomedical Data.
Potential graduate students
I am looking for students who are
interested in studying the genotype-phenotype map, and how the map influences
the amount and direction of evolution. I would also be happy to have students in
many areas of experimental or theoretical evolutionary genetics that overlap
my interests. The graduate group in Ecology and Evolution at Florida State
is large, active and interactive. The faculty in biology at Florida
State complements my interests well, and offers the opportunity for a thorough
grounding in population and conservation biology.
I help organize a
weekly discussion group on Evolution. It is open to the department's
graduate students, faculty, and interested undergraduates. We will follow the
interests of our participants, but these will likely continue to include
evolutionary genetics. Please contact me to be put on the mailing list
publications, most with pdf files.
of North America by the Drosophilid fly Zaprionus indianus in 2005 is a research opportunity in invasion biology.
Distribution of drosophilid flies in Tallahassee
by Jeff Birdsley, former technician in the
impression of the lab
Dragonfly Glass. Cool stained and
fused glass, featuring realistic insects.
Houle site index