Butch Brodie

I am broadly interested in how interactions at different levels of biological organization drive the evolutionary process, from epistasis between loci within a genome, to social interactions among individuals in a population, to coevolutionary arm-races between species in a community. My work focuses on natural populations and field studies of selection and inheritance in taxa ranging from snakes to insects to flowers.

Lab manager

Eileen Butterfield

Graduate students

Malcolm Augat

I am interested in intralocus sexual conflict and constraints on the evolution of sexual differentiation. Specifically, I look at how the mixing of alleles from mating and fertilization constrains the independent evolution of each mating class in species with complex mating systems. Using the gynodioecious weed Silene vulgaris — in which individuals are either hermaphrodite or female — my dissertation investigates the degree of constraint between-class gene flow imposes, and how this compares to the dioecious case.

Gabriela Toledo

Selection can push a given trait in a direction of change to increase fitness. However, in many cases, adaptive changes in response to selection can “unintentionally” affect stable traits due to pleiotropy. Therefore it has been postulated that adaptive change is the result of complex tweaking and fine-tuning of adaptive solutions to find one that confers the necessary adaptive advantage while minimally upsetting non-target stable traits. I find this fact of evolution fascinating and my research looks for evidence of constraint during adaptive evolution in garter snakes. Some snakes have evolved resistance to the toxin TTX through the acquisition of amino acid-changing mutations in their sodium channels. I discovered evidence suggesting the evolutionary pathway from a TTX-sensitive channel to a TTX-resistant channel is constrained by negative effects resistance mutations can have on channel performance. 

Mike Hague

I am interested in how different evolutionary forces shape population patterns of local adaptation. My dissertation examines adaptation in the coevolutionary arms race between the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) and its toxic prey, the Pacific newt (Taricha spp.). My research explores how processes of molecular evolution, gene flow, and historical biogeography impact adaptation at the phenotypic interface between predator and prey.

Robin Costello

Former lab members

Brian Sanderson (PhD 2016)
Postdoctoral researcher, Texas Tech University

Corlett Wolfe Wood (PhD 2015)
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Toronto

Leleña Avila (PhD 2015)
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley

Vince Formica (Postdoc 2012)
Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College

Joel McGlothlin (Postdoc 2012)
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech

Helen Vasaly (MS 2012)
Science Education Analyst, National Science Foundation

Eric Liebgold (PhD 2011)
Asst. Professor, Salisbury University

John Chuckalovcak (MS 2010)
Field Applications Specialist, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Bronwyn Heather Bleakley (PhD 2007)
Asst. Professor, Stonehill College

Jason Kolbe(Postdoc 2006)
Asst. Professor, University of Rhode Island

Mathias Kölliker (Postdoc 2005)
Asst. Professor, University of Basel

Liz Lehman (PhD 2006)
Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, University of Chicago

Ben Ridenhour (PhD 2004)
Asst. Professor, University of Notre Dame

Stephanie Welter(PhD 2004)
Asst. Professor, Kansas Wesleyan University

Yoni Brandt (PhD 2004)

Aneil Agrawal (PhD 2003)
Assoc. Professor, University of Toronto

Cerisse Allen (PhD 2002)
Adj. Asst. Professor, University of Montana

Maura (Maple) Denman (PhD 2002)
Naturalist, Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center

Jen Sadowski (PhD 1999)
Assoc. Professor, Viterbo University

Jason Wolf (PhD 1998)
Senior Lecturer, University of Bath

Chris Grill (PhD 1998)
Web Designer, Louisville, KY