Ecology, Evolution and Development
Historically, there has been much thought as to how an individual's environment and ecology (e.g., its resources, competitors, predators and simbionts) influence them, both developmentally and evolutionarily, to produce adaptive traits (Baldwin 1896; Schmalhausen 1949; Waddington 1959). However, it is still unclear how - and in what situations - the environment plays a creative role in phenotypic evolution. Thus, my research goals are driven by these two questions: 
How do environmental and endogenous signals interact to generate novel phenotypic variation? and What are the ecological and evolutionary consequences of this variation? Specifically, I have been investigating,
 
1. How do sex, tissue identity, and environmental conditions interact to create phenotypic variation?
2. What environmental or population parameters influence levels of environmentally dependent genetic variance?
3. How does niche construction constrain or enable population expansion into novel environments?
4. What is the role of environment-dependent epigenetic variation in local adaptation, and how can we use molecular tools to assess this variation across natural populations?
5. How do symbiotic partners constrain or enable populations from adapting to novel environments?
6. How does selection act on variation created by the interactions between genomes?
 
To answer these questions I use a wealth of approaches and a diversity of animal systems including nematodes, beetles and frogs! Please see my research links to learn more.