Faculty Spotlight: Kira Delmore joined the faculty of Biology in September 2018 and is a new core faculty member of EEB. Dr. Delmore obtained her BSCH, MA and PhD at universities in Canada before spending 3 years as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in northern Germany. Her research is motivated by understanding where diversity originated in the natural world and how it is maintained. She is inspired by the varied ways in which hybrid zones can be used to understand this topic.
Chris Holland, Dr. Gil Rosenthal’s most recent PhD graduate, just landed a super postdoc on the evolution of domestication in salmon in Mike Blouin’s lab at Oregon State University. Congratulations, Chris!
At Texas A&M, the focus of Dr. Holland’s dissertation was identifying and studying pheromone communication in the naturally hybridizing swordtail fish, Xiphophorus birchmanni and malinche and their hybrid’s, in Dr. Gil Rosenthal’s lab. The goals of his project were to identify the location of pheromone production in male Xiphophorus and characterize interspecific differences in the chemistry of pheromone signals. Quantifying pheromone chemistry enabled me to assess signal variation among species and among populations and to directly test the role of pheromones as mechanisms of reproductive isolation. At Oregon State University, he studies selection on behavioral and physiological traits in hatchery in salmon and the evolution of domestication.
Spence Behmer is a professor in the Department of Entomology at TAMU, and the outgoing chair of EEB.
Dr. Behmer heads the Insect Physiology & Behavior Research Group (IPBRG), which studies insect physiology and behavior, including their ecological and evolutionary bases with an emphasis on using individual behavior as a tool to understand physiological and higher-level processes. The group uses a number of different insects in their research, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, Drosophila, and insects with sucking mouthparts (hemipterans).
Learn more about Dr. Behmer and the Behmer Lab at https://behmerlab.tamu.edu/
Megan Exnicios graduated with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Marine Biology from Tulane University.
Megan joined the Rosenthal Lab in the fall of 2016. She is broadly interested in animal behavior and the role behavior plays in mate choice. Finding a mate involves making decisions that can affect the fitness of the mating individual and the resulting offspring, and many factors come into play. She aims to look at one particular factor, the role that individual personality plays in making these decisions and the consequences. Do bold individuals tend to choose mates that are also bold, or do they prefer timid mates? She will be using two species of live-bearing freshwater fish – Xiphophorus malinche and X. birchmanni – and their hybrids to explore the effects of personality in mating preference.
Find out more about Megan at the Rosenthal Lab Web site.
David Bapst is a Lecturer in the Department of Geology & Geophysics and an EEB Associate Faculty member.
Dr. Bapst is an analytical paleobiologist, focusing on evolutionary relationships in the fossil record, date when lineages diverge from each other, and relationships among extinct organisms to say something about evolutionary processes in deep time.
He works on whatever group of organism is best for a particular question (because every fossil record is different), so his research includes everything from living brachiopods to fossil birds.
Find out more about Dr. Bapst at his department faculty Web page.