Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Name Office/Email/Website Research Area Research Description                     
Ensminger,  Ingo
Associate Professor             
DV 3050
Physiology, Plant Biology
Research in the Ensminger lab is focusing on the physiology of plants to understand the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying adaptation and acclimation of plants to their environment. In particular we are interested in the mechanisms by which environmental change impacts trees and forests from molecular to species and ecosystem levels. The understanding of these mechanisms is not simply for scientific interest. It addresses some of the fundamental questions in global change research and is indispensable to the justification of how plants will respond to climate change.                                                         
Gwynne, Darryl T
Behaviour, Physiology & Anatomy of Organisms;
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems
A key focus has been how male investment in reproduction (particularly mate-feeding) controls the operation of sexual selection and the evolution of sexual differences in mating, ornaments, and weaponry used in sexual competition. The systems under study have included insects and spiders in which males feed their mates, particularly orthopteran insects (crickets, katydids and New Zealand weta). One focal species, the Mormon cricket, appears to show variable life history not only in sexual behaviour but also in apparent "phases" (solitary versus gregarious).                                          
Johnson, Marc
Associate Professor
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems; 
Genetics, Genomics & Molecular Evolution
My lab's research bridges the diverse questions and techniques from community ecology, genetics and evolution. Our interests are broad, but all aspects of research in the lab seek to understand the dynamic interplay between the ecology and evolution of species interactions, particularly as it relates to plant-animal interactions.
Kotanen, Peter
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems
I study ecological interactions between plants and their natural enemies (herbivores and pathogens). My recent research has centred on the effects of natural enemies on non-native species; ongoing projects focus on the question of whether escape from natural enemies promotes the survival and spread of exotic plants, and whether escape from enemies is more likely in marginal populations. Other research has included studies of seed ecology and of the effects of grazing by northern goose populations.
Levine, Joel
Professor & Chair
Social Interaction Networks (SINs), Perception and Recognition of Others in the Group, Biological Clocks
We study social networks and how the social environment influences individual behaviour.
McCauley, Shannon
Associate Professor
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems;
Freshwater Ecology
I am a freshwater ecologist with research interests in how processes act across spatial scales to affect community structure and species distributions. At the local scale I am particularly interested in how predator-prey interactions affect community structure, while at the regional scale I have investigated the role of dispersal in shaping communities and species distributions. 
McMeans, Bailey
Assistant Professor
winter physiology& ecology
fish & food webs
Our research explores how aquatic animals respond to changes in the environment (e.g. temperature) via changes in their physiology (e.g. lipid profiles) and ecology (e.g. feeding behavior). We are also interested in the ramifications of these organism-level responses for the structure and stability of food webs.
We combine theory with field-based methods in Arctic seas, temperate lakes and tropical floodplains. These study systems all share drastic seasonal fluctuations in environmental characteristics.
Ness, Rob
Assistant Professor
Genetics, Genomics & Molecular Evolution,
Theoretical & Computational Biology
The genetic variation required for evolution by natural selection is generated by mutation, which creates new variants, and recombination, which shuffles those variants into new combinations. In my lab we combine experimental evolution, computational biology, population genetics and genomics to uncover how the generation of variation at the molecular level interacts with genetic drift and natural selection to drive patterns of biological diversity.
Ratcliffe, John
Associate Professor
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems;
Behaviour, Physiology & Anatomy of Organism
My students and I study the auditory neuroethology and cognitive ecology of echolocating bats, focusing on acoustic signal production and reception for the purposes of locating prey and discriminating good food from bad. We also study the design and evolution of hearing and defensive signals in moths and other insects with bat-detecting ears.     
Reisz, Robert
Paleontology, Paleoecology, Biodiversity & Systematics, Vertebrate Evolution
Vertebrate Paleontology. During much of my career I have studied the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates with a focus on the origin of amniotes, their anatomy, phylogeny and ecology. Paleozoic amniotes not only record the first successful adaptation of vertebrates to a fully terrestrial mode of life, but are also at the base of subsequent adaptive radiations that eventually gave rise to modern reptiles, birds and mammals. These fossils therefore provide a unique opportunity for studies of the origin and evolutionary radiation of all amniotes.
I have also studied the anatomy, embryology and growth, and evolutionary relationships of a variety of other vertebrates, including lungfish, dissorophoid amphibians, diadectomorph tetrapods, and basal dinosaurs.
Short, Steven
Associate Professor
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems, Microbes
My research focuses on the molecular ecology of aquatic microorganisms. As the major primary producers in freshwater and marine ecosystems, phytoplankton are key components of aquatic food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, the discovery of abundant viruses in all aquatic environments suggest that they are important agents of phytoplankton mortality. Thus, my research focuses on the role of viruses in phytoplankton population and community ecology. To better understand the complex interactions of phytoplankton and their viruses, I use quantitative molecular techniques to examine their community composition and dynamics in natural environments and laboratory cultures.
Stefanovic, Sasa
Plant (Molecular) Systematics, Heterotrophic Plants, Phytogeography, (Organellar) Molecular Evolution
My research employs molecular and traditional tools addressing plant systematics questions at both higher and lower taxonomic level as well as molecular mechanisms underlying organellar genome evolution in plants.
Wagner, Helene
Ecology of Populations, Communities & Ecosystems
Spatial Ecology: Assess spatial patterns within populations and communities to infer underlying processes and assembly rules.
Metacommunity dynamics: Relate scale-dependent components of species diversity within and among community to landscape structure and landscape change.
Landscape Genetics: Provide a mechanistic link by testing landscape effects on gene flow.