Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Graduate Studies

Core Faculty Filipe Alberto, Assistant Professor, Population Genetics, Molecular Ecology, Biomathematics
My research emphasis is in understanding micro-evolutionary processes at small spatial scales, such as clonal species life history strategies, with focus on dispersal and sexual versus asexual allocation.

I am also curious about the evolution at the biogeographic scale, and the discoveries that can be driven by analyzing genetic diversity found across the distribution range of species.

John Berges, Assistant Professor Phytoplankon & Zooplankton Physiology & Biochemistry
My research can be divided into three distinct areas:
  • Developing indices of growth and other biological rates
  • Characterizing cellular acclimation
  • Clarifying the size-dependence of cellular processes.
James Coggins, Associate Professor Parasitology
My research interests are in the broad area of animal parasitology. Parasitism represents a mode of life which frequently involves multispecies assemblages and multiple stages of the same species within the life history, making them appropriate for ecological studies.

Peter Dunn, Associate Professor Behavioral Ecology
My research focuses on the behavior, evolution and conservation of birds. In particular, I am interested in the evolution and ecology of mating systems, life history strategies and the population genetics of threatened species.

Timothy Ehlinger, Associate Professor Ecology & Evolution of Fishes
Research in my laboratory explores the ecological and evolutionary processes involved in the adaptive differentiation of fish populations. I am particularly interested in how behavioral and morphological phenotypes reflect the joint pressures of selection on trophic and sexual performance.

Gerlinde Höbel, Adjunct Assistant Professor / Lecturer
Behavioral Ecology, Acoustic Communication
I am interested in the behavioral ecology of anurans, with special focus on acoustic communication, social interactions and sexual selection. Most of my research deals with adaptations to communicate in complex and dynamic environments (such as a frog chorus), and with the effects of social interactions on communication behavior.

Sara Hoot, Professor Molecular Plant Systematics
My research as a plant systematist focuses on the reconstruction of past evolutionary events and increasing our understanding of relationships among specific plant groups.

Jeffrey Karron, Associate Professor Plant Evolutionary
Ecology My research focuses on evolutionary processes occurring in flowering plant populations. I am particularly interested in understanding how plant mating systems evolve, and how insect pollinators influence pollen dispersal and patterns of paternity. Recent experiments in my laboratory have demonstrated that mating patterns are influenced both by ecological factors, such as population density and the presence of competing species, and by genetically inherited factors, such as floral morphology and floral display size.

Jerry Kaster, Associate Professor Aquatic Invertebrate Biology
A primary interest in our lab is understanding the evolutionary phenomena which lead to abrupt patches of invertebrate diversity. The central premise is that vast retooling of invertebrate structure and function precedes punctuated evolution which results in great diversity.

Emily Latch, Assistant Professor Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology
I am interested in the ways in which ecological processes (both natural and anthropogenic) shape the evolutionary trajectory of a species. How organisms respond to ecological change and variability may represent the first steps toward the evolution of genetic differences among populations, and ultimately influence the process of speciation.

Gretchen Meyer, Senior Scientist Plant-Animal Interactions
I have broad research interests in the areas of plant-animal interactions and conservation biology. I am particularly interested in the ecology and evolution of exotic, invasive plants.

James Reinartz, Senior Scientist Plant Ecology
I have broad interests in plant ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. My recent research has focused on wetland ecology and restoration, population biology of rare plants, and clonal growth of woody plants.

Rafael L. Rodríguez, Assistant Professor Behavioral Ecology
I am interested in the behavioral ecology of arthropods, especially behavior used in social interactions and sexual competition. Traits that function in these contexts provide some of the best examples of rapid diversification and elaboration. Besides the sheer fascination of this topic full of byzantine form and behavior, studying these traits brings insights into the processes of selection, adaptation and divergence.

Stefan Schnitzer, Associate Professor Plant Community Ecology / Tropical Ecology

I am interested in the mechanisms that allow plant species to coexist, the biology of plant invasions, and the dynamics of plant competition and forest regeneration. I conduct my research in tropical forests of Panama and Costa Rica and in temperate forests and grasslands of Wisconsin.


Rudi Strickler, Shaw Distinguished Professor Zooplankton -
To further our knowledge of the biological, physical, and chemical factors, which govern the "Umwelt" of planktonic micro-crustaceans. - To investigate the first principles involved in the interactions between algae and their herbivores, and herbivorous and carnivorous zooplankton. - To research and develop new methods of investigation appropriate to the temporal and spatial scales of plankton.

Linda Whittingham, Professor Behavioral Ecology
My research investigates how paternity, ecological factors and evolutionary history influence parental investment patterns and mating systems in birds. Birds provide an excellent opportunity to study parental investment theory, because in most species both males and female provide extensive parental care.

Erica Young, Assistant Professor and Algal Eco-physiology
My research can be divided into four main areas:
  • Photosynthesis and nutrient limitation in algae and plants
  • Nutrient ecology of wetland carnivorous plants
  • Phosphorus cycling in Lake Michigan
  • Invasive plants and long term change in wetland plant communities