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Kerry L. Shaw
The research in my laboratory investigates the nature and origin of species, focusing on genetic and phylogenetic behavioral changes that diverge early in speciation. Current research effort focuses on studies of reproductive behavior and the evolution of mate recognition among closely related species.

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Current Lab Members

Postdocs

Kevin Oh
The overarching theme of my research is understanding the role of dynamic natural and sexual selection in the evolution and maintenance of phenotypic diversity. In particular, I investigate (1) the contributions of social, genetic, and demographic contingencies to variable and context-dependent patterns of selection on secondary sexual morphologies and behaviors within populations, and (2) the consequences of such variation to intraspecific divergence between populations. To this end, my work integrates long-term field studies, molecular techniques, quantitative genetics analysis, and behavioral experiments in both wild and laboratory-reared vertebrate and invertebrate populations.

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Graduate Students

Jon Lambert
I am broadly interested in understanding the processes underlying lineage divergence and speciation, especially what kinds of phenotypes tend to initially inhibit gene flow between diverging populations. My current work focuses on the role that post-mating pre-zygotic (PMPZ) barriers to gene exchange might play in Laupala’s rapid speciation. PMPZ barriers have been hypothesized to potentially be important initial barriers to gene exchange because 1) they represent the outcome of intense sexual conflict, a ubiquitous evolutionary force among sexual taxa, and 2) their underlying mechanisms (i.e. reproductive proteins) tend to evolve rapidly. I’m exploring a putative PMPZ barrier in Laupala, and for my thesis I intend to investigate its underlying mechanism, and assess when in Laupala divergence this PMPZ barrier limits gene flow relative to other Laupala barriers through inter-population, inter-species comparisons.

Glenn Stamps
What processes are responsible for the bifurcation of panmictic populations into groups that no longer recognize each other as suitable mates? To explore this question, I am examining the divergence of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) within and between species in Hawaiian swordtail crickets (Genus Laupala). CHCs are long-chain alkanes, methylated alkanes, and alkenes that are thought to have evolved in insects primarily to aid in desiccation resistance, but have been coadapted to act as contact pheromones as well. As such, both natural and sexual selection are likely acting on these compounds. I hope to begin elucidating what processes are responsible for the marked divergence already noted between species of Laupala. Specifically, my thesis aims to address the following questions 1) How important is chemical communication to successful courtship in Laupala? 2) What is the level of within species variation of CHCs across a species range and how is this affected by population structure? 3) What role do CHCs play in acting as barriers to gene flow between diverging populations and species?

Biz Turnell
I am interested in how mate choice behavior drives sexual selection. In particular, I am investigating cryptic mate choice, which occurs during or after copulation. Unlike precopulatory choice, which involves two discrete alternatives (accept or reject) cryptic choice allows individuals to continuously vary their reproductive investment depending on the quality of their mating partner. Currently I am studying cryptic mate choice in the Hawaiian swordtail cricket Laupala cerasina, a species in which both sexes are likely to exercise choice due to a shared high cost of reproduction.


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Jaime Grace (Maryland)
http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jgrace/
Sky Lesnick (Maryland)
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Former Lab Members


Postdocs

Dr. Christopher Wiley
Dr. Christopher K. Ellison
Dr. Yvonne Parsons http://genserv.gen.latrobe.edu.au/Staff/ymp/old/index.html
Dr. Tamra Mendelson http://www.umbc.edu/biosci/Faculty/mendelson.html
Dr. Patrick Danley http://chemlife.umd.edu/biology/shawlab/patrickdanley/Patrick%20Danley.html
Dr. Sean Mullen http://www.bu.edu/biology/people/faculty/mullen/index.shtml

Graduate Students

Manda Jost http://www.lifesci.utexas.edu/faculty/antisense/Manda.html
Tagide deCarvalho
Jennifer Jadin


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