Skip to content Skip to navigation

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

J. Michael Beman
Associate Professor
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Microbial ecology
  • Oceanography
  • Global environmental change
(209) 228-4713
Full Profile
Michael N. Dawson

Millions of species demonstrate that evolution happens, but few illuminate the process. Professor Dawson's lab focuses on elucidating the origins, maintenance, and loss of marine biodiversity, from molecular to ecosystem levels. His specific interests are:


  • How molecular variation explains and causes differences between individuals, populations, species, and higher taxa
  • How the environment shapes and is shaped by genetic, organismal, population, and community variation

His lab's work scales from micro- to macro-evolution and integrates biological and physical sciences. Topic areas include:

  • Adaptation, ecological genetics and evolutionary ecology
  • Population genetics, phylogeography, biogeography and phylogenetics
  • Speciation, systematics and taxonomy
  • Behavior and morphology
  • Climate change, invasive species and marine protected areas
(209) 228-4056
Full Profile
A. Carolin Frank
Associate Professor

The Plant Microbiome, including:

  • Function, diversity, and dispersal 
  • Forest tree microbiomes
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Bacteria and fungi
  • Genomics and metagenomics
  • Ecosystem implications
(209) 228-4153
Full Profile
Stephen Hart Stephen C. Hart

Professor Hart's research explores the controls of biogeochemical processes and productivity in managed and wildland terrestrial ecosystems using methods such as:

  • Ecological genetics to isotopic analyses
  • Computer simulation modeling
  • Elucidate the biotic and abiotic factors that regulate terrestrial ecosystem structure and function

His research group is currently investigating:

  • Biological and geochemical controls on ecosystem development along a three million year, semi-arid soil chronosequence
  • Influence of the genetics of dominant plants on ecosystem processes
  • Effects of forest restoration treatments (e.g., thinning with or without prescribed fire) and wildfire on ecosystem carbon and water balance, soil microbial communities, and belowground processes
  • Efficacy of insect communities as indicators of forest ecosystem health
  • Utility of the 15N natural abundance signature of soil microbes as an integrator of nitrogen cycling processes
  • Impact of climatic change on soil-plant-atmosphere interactions; and the effects of water diversion on riparian forest
(209) 228-4656
Full Profile
Jessica Blois
Associate Professor

Ecological and evolutionary responses to past, recent and future environmental change, using approaches such as:


-niche/community modeling

(209) 228-2256
Full Profile
Jason Sexton
Assistant Professor
  • Plant adaptation
  • Species range limits
  • Biological invasions
  • Biological responses to global change
  • Evolutionary conservation science
  • Human cultural adaptive capacity
(209) 228-2426
Full Profile
Emily Moran Emily Moran
Assistant Professor
Dispersal, local adaptation and the interplay between ecological and evolutionary responses to environmental change in plants.
(209) 228-2423
Full Profile
Danielle Edwards
Assistant Professor

Professor Edwards' research focuses on understanding how the environment affects the evolution of phenotype and behavior in reptiles. To do this, she incorporates ecological, genomic, behavioral and phenotypic information to look at:

  1. how the landscape affects evolutionary history;
  2. how shifts in ecological niche drive phenotypic evolution; and
  3. how ecological and sexual selection combine during speciation.

She is also interested in using integrative studies to inform conservation management strategies for endangered and vulnerable reptiles and amphibians.
(209) 228-2596
Full Profile
Mark Sistrom Mark Sistrom
Assistant Professor

Professor Sistrom works broadly across a number of bacterial and viral systems to explore evolutionary  hypotheses using high throughput sequencing and bioinformatics methods. In particular,  he is interested in:

  • How microbial populations change over space and time.
  • What selective pressures lead to emergent disease.
  • How the evolutionary properties of microbes can be exploited to manage or eliminate disease.

He is interested in collaborative projects that look at pertinent evolutionary questions in a range of biological systems using big data approaches.
Full Profile
Justin Yeakel
Assistant Professor
Full Profile
Emily Jane McTavish
Assistant Professor

Evolution, phylogenetics, genomics, computational biology
(209) 228-3453
Full Profile
Gordon Bennett
Assistant Professor
Full Profile