Faculty – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Lisa Angeloni - Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of California, San DiegoMy research focuses on reproductive strategies and how they vary depending on individual and environmental traits. I work on factors that affect reproductive investment of hermaphrodites (e.g. sea slugs), life history strategies of smallmouth bass, and mating behavior of Trinidadian guppies.
Michael F. Antolin - Interim Chair and ProfessorBA: University of Pennsylvania; MSc: University of Alberta, Canada; PhD: Florida State UniversityMy laboratory group works on the effects of fragmented and patchy populations in evolution, genetics, and ecology. Currently, we study the epidemiology of plague in natural populations of black-tailed prairie dogs and other small rodents on the short grass prairies of north-central Colorado, and are part of the Laramie Foothills Chronic Wasting Disease Project, where we study the genetics of CWD in mule deer in relation to spatial epidemiology and genetics http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/modelingCWD/.
Patricia Bedinger - ProfessorPh.D., University of California, San FranciscoThe work in my laboratory centers on reproductive barriers between higher plant species, in particular between species wild tomatoes. We are examining the molecular and cellular nature of interspecific reproductive barriers (IRB).
W. Chris Funk - Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of MontanaI am broadly interested in questions in evolutionary ecology, population genetics, and conservation of amphibians and other vertebrates. Research foci include speciation; the interaction between landscapes, gene flow, and adaptive divergence; conservation genetics; and quantitative natural history. I address questions using an integrative approach that combines population genetics, phylogenetics, genomics, controlled experiments, ecology, and behavior.
Cameron Ghalambor - Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of MontanaMy research is focused on the empirical study of adaptation in natural populations of birds and fish. I am particularly interested in how trade-offs are resolved during the process of adaptive evolution in life history, behavioral, and physiological traits. We use a variety of field and lab techniques to test and develop theory while also striving to understand the natural history of the organisms we study.
Kim Hoke - Assistant ProfessorI am interested in the neural, developmental, and genetic mechanisms of behavior. I currently use both field and lab experiments to understand the mechanisms of frog mating decisions. Ongoing projects relate variation in the brain to evolution of mate choice and speciation, integrating measures of neural function and behavior with studies of neural structure, development, gene expression, and quantitative genetics.
Alan Knapp - ProfessorPh.D., University of WyomingMy research focuses on plants with a goal of understanding ecological patterns and processes from the leaf to the ecosystem level. Research is conducted primarily in the field utilizing the comparative approach and experimental manipulations of key ecological drivers. Areas of interest include: plant physiological ecology, ecosystems ecology, climate change, long-term ecological research, invasive plant species, restoration ecology, fire and herbivory effects on communities and ecossytems.
Rachel Mueller - Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of California, BerkeleyI am interested in using molecular data to construct phylogenetic trees and using those trees to ask basic questions in evolutionary biology. My specific areas of interest are: the evolution of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, morphological evolution and phylogenetic systematics of both salamanders and fishes, and methods for utilizing molecular data in assembling the Tree of Life.
Dhruba Naug - Associate ProfessorI combine my interests in behavioral and cognitive ecology to understand the functioning of individuals and social groups. My research involves experimental work in behavior and physiology complemented by approaches based on individual based modeling.
Elizabeth Pilon-Smits - ProfessorPh.D., Utrecht University, The NetherlandsIn the Pilon-Smits lab we are interested in processes by which plants accumulate and detoxify environmental pollutants, as well as in ecological and evolutionary aspects of selenium hyperaccumulation. We study these processes from the molecular level to the field. Our approaches include genomics, genetics, biotechnology, biochemistry, whole-plant physiology, and ecological studies. These studies are aimed to gain knowledge about basic biological processes, but have applications for the use of plants for environmental cleanup or as fortified foods.
N. LeRoy Poff - ProfessorPh.D., Colorado State UniversityMy research interests are guided by the broad consideration of how ecological processes and patterns are constrained by habitat structure and environmental variability at multiple scales in aquatic ecosystems. Our results provide a basis for predicting aquatic community attributes at geographic scales and for ecological responses to land-use alterations and regional climate changes.
A.S.N. Reddy - ProfessorPh.D., Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityOne of the fundamental questions in plant biology is how plants sense and respond to environmental (abiotic and biotic) and hormonal signals that regulate diverse cellular processes and various aspects of plant growth and development. Our group has been studying i) calcium-mediated signal transduction mechanisms with emphasis on calcium sensors and their target proteins, ii) mechanisms that regulate basic and alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNAs in response to stresses, iii) disease resistance, iv) cell wall degrading enzymes for biofuel production and iv) synthetic signal transduction circuits in plants. We use molecular, cell biological, genetic, biochemical, bioinformatics and computational tools to accomplish our research goals. Arabidopsis, maize, potato and Miscanthus are used in our research. Studies on computational aspects of alternative splicing and protein-protein interactions are being done in collaboration with Asa Ben-Hur in the Department of Computer Science at CSU (http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~asa/projects.html).
Arathi Seshadri - Special Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Indian Institute of ScienceI am interested in understanding how reproductive strategies are modulated as plants acclimatize to environmental stress. The central question is to understand whether novel trait expressions induced by the environment are adaptive and sufficient in magnitude to facilitate changes in breeding system.
Mark Simmons - Associate Professor and Herbarium CuratorPh.D., Cornell UniversityMy research program consists of two interrelated components: phylogeny and taxonomy of the flowering-plant family Celastraceae (spindle-tree family), and conceptual aspects of molecular phylogenetics. Molecular phylogenetics uses genomic data (typically DNA sequences) to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among species. This field is playing an increasingly central role in biology, from inferring the diversification of multigene families, to tracking invasive species, conservation of protected species, as evidence in criminal investigations, and fighting bioterrorism.
David Steingraeber - Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of WisconsinMy interest's center on the ecological significance of plant form and structure. Topics of study in my laboratory include the following: patterns of shoot development, branching, and leaf placement in different environments; modular and clonal growth; and the conservation and population biology of rare plants.
Joseph von Fischer - Associate ProfessorPh.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell UniversityI am interested in the interactions of plants and microbes (with each other and with their environment) that affect the way ecosystems work. In order to study the inherently fragile, soil-plant-microbe systems with minimal disturbance, I use field and lab measures of biogeochemical processes, stable isotope and physical tracers, and frequently interpret these results with mathematical models. I also use molecular tools to characterize microbial community composition and understand the degree to which biogeochemical patterns are structured by ecophysiological differences among microbial communities. Work in my lab spans a variety of ecosystems including temperate grasslands, wetlands and Arctic tundra.
Diana Wall - ProfessorPh.D., University of KentuckyMy research focuses on soil ecology and how soil invertebrate biodiversity influences ecosystem processes. Experimental research in field and lab measures factors affecting distribution patterns of soil animals at small to global scales and their influence on above-belowground linkages. A key aspect is understanding how soil biodiversity contributes to long term sustainability of soil ecosystems.
Colleen Webb - Associate ProfessorPh.D., Cornell UniversityMy research focuses on the evolution of traits important in ecological interactions. The interplay of evolutionary and ecological processes on different time scales can result in unexpected outcomes such as population extinction or ecosystem resilience. We use mathematical and computer simulation techniques to model these processes.