FSU Biology - Ecology & Evolution
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Theoretical, Computational, and Mathematical Biology

Computational and mathematical theory is an essential part of modern biology. Theory offers insight into complex systems from developmental networks to food webs, revealing phenomena not easily diagnosed from observation alone and guiding the design of new studies and new experiments. Mathematical theory applied to the ecology of infectious disease helps identify the threshold levels of vaccination necessary to contain a pathogen and theory applied to the dynamics of fishery stocks helps delimit the rates of harvesting that allow the stock to be sustainable. Theoretical work also provides the foundation for new methods of analyzing data in a wide variety of ecological and evolutionary contexts, methods that usually bring new insights into longstanding questions or that enable empirical scientists to develop entirely new questions about biological processes.


Scott Burgess

My research combines ecological and evolutionary principles to study the population biology of coastal marine invertebrates. One main focus is on the evolution of dispersal, reproductive strategies, and life histories. Another main focus is on the ecology and evolution of cryptic species of corals in the genus Pocillopora. We typically use some combination of field and laboratory experiments, population, quantitative, and molecular genetics, and mathematical modeling/theory.

Michael Cortez

I use mathematical models to explore how adaptation and species interactions drive patterns observed across communities. Much of my past work has focused on predator-prey, host-pathogen, and other exploiter-victim systems.

Brian D. Inouye

At each level of organization, from genes to species to communities, one of the most exciting aspects of biology is diversity. Why do some communities consist of so many species, when others are dominated by just a few? The central goal of my research program is to join theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding how species coexist.

Don R. Levitan

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of marine invertebrates. My work examines the interactions between ecological processes, natural and sexual selection, and molecular evolution. I am particularly interested in how sperm availability and population density influence the evolution of gamete traits and reproductive behavior and the cascading effects of this selection on reproductive isolation and speciation.  I enjoy integrating field experiments and molecular studies with theory.

Austin R. Mast

My research program involves topics within the broadly defined area of biodiversity study. I am particularly interested in (1) the interplay of ecology and evolution that determines the form and function of plant life on Earth, (2) the use of biodiversity research specimens and digital information about them to bring that interplay into sharper focus, and (3) public engagement in the research to further science and STEM literacy goals.

Andrew Rassweiler

I am a quantitative marine ecologist with research interests straddling the linked fields of natural resource management and ecosystem resilience. I combine field experiments, data analysis and mathematical modeling to address basic and applied questions in temperate and tropical reef ecosystems.

Darin R. Rokyta

My research investigates the molecular and statistical properties of adaptive evolution. The overarching goal of my work is to develop a robust, quantitative model of adaptive evolution at the molecular level and the statistical methology to test the model predictions and assumptions.

Department of Scientific Computing Faculty2

Alan Lemmon

I study phylogenetic inference and genomics.

1: Can mentor graduate students in the Department of Biological Science
2: Cannot mentor graduate students in the Department of Biological Science