Department of Biological Sciences

Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Research

Welcome to the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology research cluster in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wright State University. We study and teach about organisms, their evolution, and their relationship with their environment. We are passionate about our research and about our positive contribution to the world through teaching and conservation. Our core disciplines include:

Ecology. We study ecology at a wide variety of scales and from a diversity of perspectives, including chemical, physiological, population, community and ecosystem ecology.

Evolution. Given its fundamental role in biology, each of us incorporates evolutionary perspectives in our research from studies of genes and proteins at the molecular level to broad scale comparative patterns of structure and function across organisms. Our foci include such topics as molecular evolution, population genetics, speciation, and phylogenetic systematics.

Conservation. Human activities have had deleterious effects on many species, habitats and processes in the natural world. We research and teach ways of finding, measuring, evaluating and mitigating such impacts using scientific tools. Subject areas include biological invasions, population dynamics and genetics, ecosystem functioning, consequences of land use and management changes, and modeling the effects of climate change.

Our research and teaching spans a wide range of organisms, including microbes, algae, plants, nematodes, insects, benthic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. We study these organisms in a diverse range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, from the campus woods to Ecuadorian tropical cloud forests and African Great Lakes. We also engage in laboratory-based experiments and analyses in such disciplines as genetics, ecosystem ecology, physiology, taxonomy, botany, and ecoinformatics. Our campus facilities include a greenhouse, aquarium room, plant, insect, and fish collections, and a forested, 75 hectare biology preserve. Students take classes at our Dayton and Lake campuses, and field courses at the Florida State Marine Biology Lab and in the Amazon rainforest.

Brief descriptions of EEE biology faculty research interests are listed below. For more thorough descriptions of research and training opportunities, please view the websites of individual faculty members.

Research Interests

  • Distribution and abundance of species over space and time
    Volker Bahn, Ph.D.
  • Speciation genetics; morphological evolution; evolution of adaptive gene complexes
    Scott Baird, Ph.D.
  • Induced plant responses to herbivores and pathogens and the chemical ecology of invasive plants, insects, and microbes
    Don Cipollini, Ph.D.
  • Chemosensitivity and effects of environmental temperature on poikilotherms
    Lynn Hartzler, Ph.D.
  • Biogeochemical cycling at the aquatic--terrestrial interface; anthropogenic impacts
    Katie Hossler, Ph.D.

  • Aquatic ecology; freshwater fish and gastropod assemblage and environmental trends; ecomorphology; conservation
    Stephen Jacquemin, Ph.D.

  • Molecular evolution and genetic diversity; DNA bioinformatics; forensic DNA analysis
    Dan Krane, Ph.D.
  • Evolution of populations/species; influence of natural selection on non-coding DNA
    Jefferey Peters, Ph.D.
  • Evolutionary biology, community ecology, and statistical modeling for exploring abiotic and biotic factors which influence host-microbe interactions
    Megan Rua, Ph.D.

  • Phylogenetics, Evolution and Ecology of Parasitic Insects
    John Stireman
  • Interactions between attached algae and herbivorous fish in Lake Tanganyika
    Yvonne Vadeboncoeur, Ph.D.