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 for this.
most with pdf files.
Advanced Evolutionary Biology
of North America by the Drosophilid fly Zaprionus indianus in 2005 is a research opportunity in
Distribution of drosophilid flies in Tallahassee
by Jeff Birdsley, former technician in the lab.
An artist's impression
of the lab
Dragonfly Glass. Cool stained and fused
glass, featuring realistic insects.
Houle site index