I study the genetics of adaptation, particularly whether mutations in gene-regulatory regions or protein-coding regions are the primary force driving adaptive phenotypic divergence.
Research experience is an integral part of scientific education and especially important for students who plan to continue to graduate programs in biological science. Undergraduate research experiences also provide important opportunities for students to explore career opportunities in STEM research and assess whether graduate research is the right path for them. Students in Ecology and Evolution gain research experience through Directed Independent Study projects, Honors in the Major, internships and paid positions, and national research fellowships. Undergraduate research experiences in the Ecology and Evolution Group are as varied as the students who undertake them. FSU undergraduates have measured the rates of evolution in competing bacteriophages, traveled to the forests of Panama to record bird vocalizations, quantified phylogeographic variation in eastern diamondback rattlesnake venom, and reconstructed the molecular phylogenies of mollusk species. Some students work with faculty advisors to design highly independent projects and seek external funding, while others collect and analyze data as part of an integrated team of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty researchers. A range of local, national, and international scholarships and fellowships are available to assist students seeking independent research experiences. The Useful Links page provides information on a variety of opportunities to get involved in research and to present your work at campus, regional, or national events.