People

Faculty

Rachael Bay

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Rachael Bay studies interactions between human-induced changes in the environment and evolutionary processes. This includes how animals respond to changes in their environment that are caused by humans as well as how evolution might mitigate some of the negative impacts of human-induced change. She uses a combination of ecological and physiological experiments and large-scale genomic and environmental data to understand patterns of evolution associated with anthropogenic impacts across a wide range of non-model animals. Her work ultimately can be used to create forward-looking conservation management decisions.

Nann Fangue

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology
Nann Fangue seeks to understand the physiological specializations that allow animals to survive and thrive in complex environments. She studies aquatic species, including sturgeon and salmonids, to understand whether these organisms have sufficient physiological capacity or plasticity to maintain successful performance in the face of anthropogenic environmental perturbations such as climate change. This research couples molecular, biochemical, physiological, and whole-organism measures of performance framed in an ecological context, to elucidate connections between environment, physiology, and ecosystem function.

Jennifer Funk

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Plant Sciences
Jennifer Funk and her students explore how plant biochemical and physiological traits drive ecological processes such as invasion, community assembly, and nutrient cycling. Demonstrating links between functional traits and long-term plant performance, reproductive fitness, and population growth rates is essential if traits are to predict the response of species and communities in response to environmental change. 

Jennifer Gremer

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Jenny Gremer's research focuses on understanding plant responses to variable and changing environments, the mechanisms driving those responses, and the consequences for population and community dynamics. She investigates how species’ traits interact with the environment to affect performance and how those patterns influence population and community dynamics. She uses a combination of physiology and demography to understand processes such as life history evolution, population dynamics, and the maintenance of diversity in communities.

Richard Grosberg

  • Distinguished Professor
  • Director of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute
  • Evolution and Ecology
Rick Grosberg's interests span an array of areas within ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral genetics. He studies the evolution of allorecognition and kin recognition in aquatic invertebrates, including colonial sea squirts and sea anemones, the effect of recognition systems on intraspecific aggression and cooperation; and dispersal in marine organisms and its implications for local population dynamics.

Kate L. Laskowski

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Kate Laskowski investigates the causes and consequences of behavioral diversity and plasticity. In her research, she explores how evolution has shaped the developmental processes that generate behavioral variation. She seeks to understand how individuals integrate cues from their genes, parents, and experiences to build their phenotypes from both ultimate and proximate perspectives.

Emily K. Meineke

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Entomology and Nematology
Emily Meineke studies insect-plant interactions under human influence. Her research focuses on species that are of cultural importance, such as street trees, crops, crop wild relatives, and plants that support rare insect species. Her work combines experiments, observations, community science, and biological collections to address key hypotheses in ecology.

Gail L. Patricelli

  • Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Gail Patricelli studies the sounds, smells, colors, dances, electrical fields, and seismic vibrations that animals use to communicate. She addresses the function of these signals and why they take on such diverse and complex forms, using an integrative approach that examines functional, environmental and mechanistic influences on signal content and design. One of the central goals of her research is to understand how signals are influenced by the social and environmental contexts in which they are used. She has pioneered new techniques and technologies for the detailed observation and experimental manipulation of both visual and acoustic signals in the field, including biomimetic robots and microphone arrays.

Santiago Ramírez

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Santiago Ramírez studies the evolution, adaptation, and speciation of plant-pollinator mutualisms. His work includes comparative and population genomics of bees and their associated host plants, phylogenetics, chemical ecology, neuroethology, and natural history of insect-plant interactions. His research includes the evolutionary biology of the charismatic euglossine bees and the intricate associations they have as pollinators of orchids from the Neotropical Region, and the ecological genetics of native and introduced populations of the economically important honey bee, Apis mellifera.

Jeff Ross-Ibarra

  • Professor
  • Department of Evolution and Ecology
Jeff Ross-Ibarra and members of his lab study the evolutionary genetics of maize and its ancestral progenitor, teosinte. Maize spread rapidly after domestication, adapting to a wide range of environments. Today maize is grown across a broader geographic breadth than any of the world’s other staple crops, from sea level to altitudes of >4,000m and from deserts to near-flooded conditions. The wild relatives of maize have also adapted to environments varying widely in elevation, temperature, and moisture availability. Thus, maize and its wild relatives provide an ideal model system to understand the genetic basis of adaptation.