BA, MA. Stanford University
Ph.D. University of Washington
Postdoc. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California - San Diego

Research in my laboratory focuses on why particular populations could invade novel habitats, whereas others cannot.  My lab currently explores genomic mechanisms underlying physiological adaption associated with habitat invasions.  My lab is investigating physiological and genetic targets of selection during repeated and independent freshwater invasions.  My students have developed multiple inbred lines from saline ancestral and freshwater invading populations for the purposes of QTL-mapping, genome sequencing, and the determination of cis- vs trans-regulation of candidate genes.  Examining the repeatability of mechanisms underlying freshwater adaptation could reveal whether these evolutionary pathways are labile or constrained.

We are using the copepod Eurytemora affinis species complex as a model system for studying evolutionary mechanisms of invasions and adaptation to global change. This species complex is widespread globally, incredibly abundant in coastal estuaries, and a fundamental component of food webs (as a major food source for larval fish). This copepod is also a carrier of many microbes, including several pathogenic species. From a genetic perspective, the  E. affinis complex presents a good model for its availability of genomic resources (full genomes and transcriptomes), small genome size, short generation time (10-20 d), and ability to produce inbred lines.

Long-term research interests focus on evolutionary dynamics at the interface between habitat boundaries, and factors that allow shifts in habitat type.  Results from my work not only have implications for understanding mechanisms of biological invasions, but also for global climate change and macroevolutionary processes, such as the colonization of land. 

I welcome graduate students and postdocs with a strong background or interest in evolutionary biology or physiological ecology, preferably with experience in laboratory molecular genetics or strong quantitative skills.  I typically accept graduate students through the Graduate Program in Integrative Biology or the UW Graduate Program in Genetics .


Contact Information

Department of Integrative Biology 
430 Lincoln Drive, Birge Hall
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Madison, Wisconsin 53706 USA

CopadelicEurytemora affinis



Please ask for permission to use my photographs (including dive photos)