Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Our lab addresses the question of how complex traits originate during evolution. We primarily study invertebrate visual systems and eyes, addressing questions like, when did a particular phenotype evolve? When did the components of that phenotype evolve? Where did those components come from? What evolutionary processes and mechanisms were involved?

Postdoctoral Researchers

Cory studies the physiology and evolution of marine invertebrates, especially cnidarians. He applies experimental, bioinformatic, and evolutionary methods to sensory and behavioral traits like light perception and circadian rhythms.

Rebecca Varney is interested in the interplay of stress and the evolution of novel traits and works mainly in aquatic invertebrate systems.

Graduate Students

Seth is interested in the molecular evolution of visual systems.

His research focuses on the use of machine learning to explore opsin genotype:phenotype relationships and elucidate the functional evolution of opsins.


Thinking of joining our lab as a graduate student? (Click above)

If you are fascinated by evolution and driven to understand it and communicate what you learn to the world, you might be in the right place! 

Emily is interested in the biochemistry of bioluminescence in fishes and ostracods. She is currently working on isolating and characterizing proteins in midshipman fish. 

Cheyenne is interested in the evolution of biological rhythms. She is currently using behavioral assays to investigate the underlying mechanisms of circalunar rhythm in Cypridinid ostracods.

Lisa is interested in studying the evolution of novel traits, more specifically, the origin of the 'upper lip' and bioluminescence in ostracods. 

Bridget is interested in patterns of convergent evolution in molluscan novelties.