Laura Bartley, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Plant Biology
lbartley at Website
Plant molecular biology, molecular evolution, genome evolution, genetic diversity
I am interested in the genetic and genomic signatures of evolution. Currently my research focuses on a grass diverged and expanded family of enzymes, some members of which function in grass-diverged aspects of cell wall synthesis, while others show evidence of neofunctionalization within grass species. I am also conducting an association genetics study to identify switchgrass genetic variation that correlates with heritable cell wall variation.
Elizabeth Bergey, Associate Professor of Biology, Oklahoma Biological Survey
lbergey at
Ecology of stream invertebrates and algae, conservation biology, land snail ecology
My research interests are broad with a central theme of interactions between organisms and their environment, often in a conservation context. Projects include: the distribution of diatoms with respect to substrate roughness, biodiversity of invertebrates in springs, and ‘Why there are so many non-native snails in urban areas?’.
Eli Bridge, Assistant Professor of Biology, Biological Survey
ebridge at
Behavior, endocrinology, evolution of life histories, avian migration
In general terms, my research investigates the mechanisms and evolutionary forces that influence behavioral and anatomical traits. More specifically, I am interested in the evolution of avian life histories—how birds negotiate tradeoffs among demanding activities such as breeding, feather molt, and migration. In addition, I am attempting to discern the role of parental programming in free-living bird populations. Parental programing occurs when adult behavioral phenotypes (i.e. personalities) are determined early in life based on how parents behave toward their offspring. To help enable my research, I have helped to develop several new technological tools that allow biologists with difficult tasks such as tracking small migratory birds and providing supplemental food to specific members of a population..
Ari Berkowitz, Professor of Biology
ari at
Neuronal mechanisms of behavioral choice and movement control
I conduct electrophysiological, neuroanatomical, and pharmacological experiments on the turtle spinal cord control of swimming and scratching, to address how the nervous system selects and generates an appropriate behavior for each circumstance an animal faces.
Richard Broughton, Professor of Biology
rbroughton at, Website
Molecular evolution, phylogenetics, population genetics, comparative genomics
My reasearch employs evolutionary patterns in DNA sequence data to investigate processes that generate and maintain biological diversity. This includes fundamental questions related to population divergence and adaptation, patterns of phylogenetic relationships, and the evolution of genomes in fishes.
Amy V. Callaghan, Assistant Professor, Botany and Microbiology
acallaghan at
Biochemistry, Physiology and Genetics of Sulfate-Reducers. Anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. Microbial ecology of hydrocarbon-impacted environments
The biochemistry and genetics of aerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation have been explored for more than seven decades. However, very little is known regarding the comparable activities and processes in anaerobic bacteria, which are difficult to isolate and characterize. Through the use of genomics, proteomics, metabolite profiling, and molecular tools, my research focuses on elucidating the novel biochemical reactions governing the anaerobic biodegradation of alkanes, paraffins (long-chain alkanes), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These studies ultimately serve as a platform for field investigations aimed toward characterizing microbial communities associated with contaminant degradation.
Philip B Chilson, Associate Professor of Meteorology, EEB Associate
chilson at Website
Atmospheric physics, radar remote sensing, precipitation studies
There exists obvious links between weather and the environment. To better facilitate our understanding of these links and the ensuing interactions, it is sometimes necessary to remotely probe the atmosphere at small spatial and temporal scales. A common theme in my research has been the development and application of new sensor technologies in order to probe the atmosphere at such scales. The focus of my studies has been on the use of clear-air and weather radars as remote sensing tools. Recently, however, I have also been exploring the use of various in-situ instruments and numerical models in my research.
Robert Cichewicz, Professor of Chem/Biochem, EEB Associate
rhcichewicz at Website
Natural products, plant, marine, and microbial natural product chemistry, fungi, myxomycetes
Research focuses on defining the chemical nature of the secondary metabolites produced by living organisms.  These highly bioactive compounds serve a variety of essential functions as defensive toxins, venoms, potent chemical messengers, allelopathogenic agents, and many others.
Lynn Devenport, Professor of Psychology, EEB Associate
ldeven at
Cognitive adaptations, foraging, caching
Identifying and characterizing a priori knowledge animals possess about their environment and use to make better foraging decisions. Research is carried out with ground-dwelling sciurids in the field and laboratory.
Kathleen E Duncan, Res. Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
kathleen.e.duncan-1 at
microbial community diversity, microbial ecology of chemically impacted soil, microbial evolution: population structure, gene transfer and genetic variation, modes of speciation, Bacillus species
My research is centered on gaining a greater understanding of how microbial diversity is structured at several different levels; that is, how genetic and ecological factors affect communities, species, and populations, and how they respond as environments change. I have studied the effects of changing environments using manmade disturbances such as contamination by petroleum and salt water. Another main branch of my research focuses on gene transfer, genetic variation, and speciation in the genus Bacillus.
Wayne J. Elisens, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
elisens at Website Herbarium Website
Plant Systematics & Evolution, Biogeography, Taxonomy, Floristics
My research interests are at the interface of systematics, evolutionary biology, and biogeography with a special emphasis in the lineage formerly identified as the family 'Scrophulariaceae'. I utilize a broad range of experimental protocols to investigate phylogenetic and taxonomic relationships, biogeographic pattern, and modes of evolution among plant lineages. A special emphasis is placed on combining field, laboratory, and herbarium investigations
Ola Fincke, Professor of Biology
fincke at Website
Behavioral and evolutionary ecology
Using insect models, I investigate how intra- and interspecific interactions at the level of larvae and adults drive the evolution of reproductive behavior. Current projects include female specific polymorphisms, learned mate recognition, and consequences of forest fragmentation on neotropical insect populations.
J. Phil Gibson, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology and Biology
jpgibson at
plant reproductive biology, population genetics and mating system analysis, seed dispersal and germination
I am interested in the interaction between plant life history and population genetic diversity and structure. The primary focus of this research is to understand how unique reproductive strategies shape the levels and structuring of diversity within and among populations of species with highly fragmented distributions.
Bruce Hoagland, Associate Professor of Geography, EEB Associate
bhoagland at

Coming soon...

K. David Hambright, Professor of Biology
dhambright at website
Limnology and zooplankton ecology
Ecological interactions between freshwater consumer and prey species are the primary focus of my research. My studies have covered a broad range of organisms ranging from fishes to bacteria. I am particularly interested in understanding how consumers affect community and ecosystem level dynamics through direct and indirect effects on microbial assemblages via mechanisms such as selective consumption, alteration of competitive forces, and changes in nutrient cycling dynamics. Students working in my lab are free to explore any topic in aquatic ecology and evolutionary biology..
Ken Hobson, Associate Professor of Biology
khobson at
Entomology; behavior and ecology of insects, forest ecology, insect biodiversity, chemical ecology
I am interested in understanding the causes and ecological consequences of insect behavior. I use scolytid bark beetles in California, New Zealand and Oklahoma as a model system to examine how proximal causes, such as insect host selection decisions, can produce ultimate effects, such as bark beetle outbreaks that may kill mature trees across large forest areas.
Marielle Hoefnagels, Associate Professor of Biology, Microbiology and Plant Biology
hoefnagels at Website
Mycology, biology education
I have expertise in plant pathogenic and mycorrhizal fungi. I am also a general biology textbook author, and I am interested in classroom computer technology.
Michael Kaspari, George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Biology
Director of the EEB Graduate Program
mkaspari at,  Website
Community ecology, macroecology, scaling, ants, litter, brown food web, tropics
Our lab addresses the basic question, "how and why do properties of ecological communities vary as you move from place to place?".  We also are particularly fond of ants, and use them as model organisms to ask a variety of questions, from their physiological ecology to their impact on ecosystem function.
Jeffrey F Kelly, Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Biological Survey
jkelly at Website
Conservation biology, terrestrial fauna of Oklahoma, avian ecology
I study (1) the ecology and conservation of birds and (2) current and historic distributions of vertebrates in Oklahoma. I welcome inquiries from students interested in pursuing a broad range of graduate research projects as well as those that share my current research interests, which include the application of stable isotope techniques to understand the migratory ecology of songbirds and riparian zone ecology and management, particularly the impact of riparian vegetation structure on animal communities.
Rosemary Knapp, Professor of Biology
rknapp at
Behavioral endocrinology, behavioral ecology, physiological ecology
My research is aimed at understanding the endocrine and other physiological mechanisms underlying variation in reproductive behavior. Currently my work is focused on understanding how hormones and energetic considerations influence the development and adult expression of alternative male reproductive phenotypes and male parental behavior in several species of fish.
Lee R. Krumholz, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
krumholz at Website
Genetics of sulfate reducing bacteria, Microbial Ecology of a Sulfur spring, Bioremediation of Radionuclides in anoxic aquifers
Research focuses on physiology and ecology of sulfate reducing and other anaerobic bacteria. We are attempting to understand mechanisms for the natural geochemical processes carried out by anaerobic bacteria and their communities.
Cecil M Lewis Jr., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, EEB Associate
cmlewis at Website
Population Genetics; Peopling of South America; Evolution of Disease Associated Genetic Variation; Anthropological Genetics
My labs address questions concerning the distribution and evolution of human genetic variation. To address these questions, I have collected and/or analyzed ancient DNA, genetic data from hypervariable mitochondrial regions, from autosomal functional regions, and a genome-wide survey of Short Tandem Repeats. Research topics include human population history, the evolution of disease associated genetic variation, and the relationship between cultural, environmental and genetic variation.
Paul A Lawson, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
paul.lawson at Website
Systematics, taxonomy, microbial community diversity, gastrointestinal ecology, hot springs, biocorrosion, clinical and veterinary pathogens
My research encompasses a broad canvas of interests that include the isolation and characterization of microorganisms from a wide variety of ecosystems. I use both molecular and classical methods (16S and chemotaxonomic) in a polyphasic approach for microbial taxonomy. The molecular revolution as given unprecedented insights into microbial diversity, it is now the time to isolate the individual members of these communities. Using this approach, we can now begin to understand the complex interplay between community members that ultimately lead to stable ecosystems.
Yiqi Luo, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
yluo at Website
Ecosystems Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Global Change Biology
The major issues my lab is addressing are: (1) how global environmental change alters function and structure of terrestrial ecosystems and (2) how terrestrial ecosystems regulate chemical compositions (such as carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and climate change.
Richard Lupia, Associate Professor of Geology
rlupia at
Paleobotany, palynology, paleoecology, macroevolutionary patterns, terrestrial ecosystem change
My primary research focuses on changes in the vegetation occurring during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age, specifically the latest Pennsylvanian through the Early Permian (~310-275 million years ago) of Oklahoma and Kansas. My students and I are investigating the palynology—pollen and spores—of core and outcrop samples collected in north-central Oklahoma to establish the timing and magnitude of the shift from “humid-adapted” vegetation of the Pennsylvanian to “arid-adapted” vegetation of Permian. I am also interested in the diversification of heterosporous ferns that coincided with the Cretaceous expansion of flowering plants. Combining analyses of specimens from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains using scanning electron microscopy with database compilations, details of their taxonomic and morphologic diversification are emerging..

J. P. Masley, Assistant Professor of Biology
masley at website
Evolutionary genetics, morphological evolution, speciation, evolution of development
The primary goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms that generate biodiversity. We use molecular and genomic technologies to study how genetic change directs the development of differences between species and ultimately gives rise to two important evolutionary processes— speciation and phenotypic evolution. We study four closely related species of the Drosophila melanogaster species complex (D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. sechellia, D. mauritiana), which allows us to take advantage of the arsenal of genetic, genomic, and molecular tools available in D. melanogaster.

Heather McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Botany and Microbiology
heather.mccarthy at website
Physiological Ecology, Global Change, Urban Ecology, Ecohydrology, Elevated CO2 effects on ecosystems, Forest Carbon Cycling
My research uses physiological and ecosystem ecology to explore how tree and forest-scale water and carbon cycle processes respond to global change factors, including changes in water availability, extreme weather events, elevated atmospheric CO2, and urbanization. I am also interested in how ecosystems can be managed to moderate environmental changes.

Mark Meo, Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, EEB Associate
mmeo at Website
Environmental policy analysis, science and technology policy, global environmental change, corporate environmental management
Mark Meo is a Research Fellow in Science and Public Policy at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include environmental policy innovation, technological innovation of energy systems, watershed management and decision making, and sustainable development.

Bob Nairn, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, EEB Associate
nairn at Website
Ecosystem biogeochemistry, wetlands science, ecological engineering
Bob Nairn has conducted research on created wetland structure and function, riparian restoration, wetland functional and biological assessment, rural and urban surface water quality, and bio-monitoring techniques. His current research focuses on ecosystem biogeochemistry and ecological engineering, with specific emphases on the coupled understanding of water quality improvement performance and ecological function, development of sustainable treatment designs, and materials recycling.
Michael A. Mares, Professor of Biology
mamares at
South American mammals, biogeography, deserts, conservation, ecology, and museology
I study the evolution of desert mammal communities, the taxonomy and systematics of South American mammals, and the ecology, conservation, and biogeography of mammals, with emphasis in South America.
Edie Marsh-Matthews, Professor of Biology
emarsh at
Life history evolution and ecology, community ecology
My current research examines maternal provisioning tactics in fishes (with a focus on mother-to-embryo transfer of nutrients in livebearers), effects of drought on stream fish communities, and long-term variation in structure in fish assemblages
Bill Matthews, Professor of Biology
wmatthews at
Fish Ecology, Ichthyology
My work focuses on stream fish community ecology, with emphasis on long-term change due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors; on the role of fish in stream ecosystems; on distributional ecology and zoogeography of freshwater fishes; and on reservoir fish ecology.

David McCauley, Professor of Biology
dwmccauley at
Comparative developmental biology
Research in my lab is focused on the evolution of vertebrate-specific neural crest cells. We use embryology, genetics and molecular biology tools to investigate the evolution of neural crest development. Our work focuses primarily on how the neural crest develops in a basal jawless vertebrate, the sea lamprey, and in zebrafish, a model organism that has become a critical tool in developmental biology. We are investigating how molecular mechanisms have evolved that have led to differentiation of the neural crest into derivatives such as cartilage, pigment, and much of the peripheral nervous system.

Michael Patten, Adj Associate Professor, Biology, Director of Research Sutton Avian Res. Center
mpatten at, Sutton Avian Research Center
Evolutionary ecology, biogeography, conservation biology
My interests are varied, but I am, in essence, an evolutionary ecologist with a bent toward quantitative ecology and biogeography. The principal driving force behind my work and a common thread in most of my publications is an abiding interest in how things work. I seek to uncover ecological mechanisms of how things came to be or why they are the way they are, whether behavioral differences in recently diverged taxa, geographic distributions of vertebrate taxa, relative influences of bottom-up and top-down effects in ecosystem control, or extrinsic factors that affect life-history evolution and persistence of populations of declining species.

Thomas S. Ray, Professor of Biology
tray at
Evolution, origin of complexity
I am interested in how the process of evolution generates novelty and complexity. I am using artificial evolving systems to explore the process.

Ingo Schlupp, Professor of Biology
schlupp at
Stability of gynogenetic mating systems; Evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction; Sexual selection; Population biology of amphibians and fishes with a focus on conservation biology; Evolution of cave fish.
Research interests: My primary interest is to understand the maintenance of sexual reproduction. To address this I study a mating system in which an asexual fish and a sexual fish coexist in the same habitat. The asexual fish, the Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) reproduces via gynogenesis, which means the need sperm to trigger embryogenesis. Sperm is provided by males of two other species, the Sailfin molly (P. latipinna) and the Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana), but the male genes are not used. This leads to interesting questions about male mating behavior and the stability of such gynogenetic mating systems. In addition to this I have a general interest in sexual selection. Another area of interest is the population biology fishes including conservation biology. I conducted a long term study on European Common toads (Bufo bufo). Finally, I am interested in the evolution of cave animals using a cave fish (Poecilia mexicana) as a model system.

Cameron Siler, Assistant Professor of Biology
camsiler at
Evolutionary biology, biogeography, conservation genetics, herpetology
I use genetic patterns to understand evolutionary processes in amphibians and reptiles. My program takes a broad, multifaceted approach to understanding vertebrate diversity, including investigating the evolution of morphology and body-form, geography, and speciation in island archipelago systems.

Lara Souza, Assistant Professor Microbiology and Plant Biology and BIological Survey
lara.souza at
Plant ecology, invasion ecology, global change biology, grassland carbon cycling
My research program focuses on the role of global change, such as biological invasions and climatic change, in shaping the structure of plant communities and associated ecosystem processes. More specifically, I investigate the role of resource and climatic gradients, and the interplay of such factors, in structuring diversity across and within species in natural plant communities across spatial and temporal scales. Further, I quantify how diversity, both within and across species, mediates ecosystem properties such as productivity and net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange in the context of global change
Bradley S. Stevenson, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
bradley.stevenson at Website
Microbial ecology, adaptation to low-oxygen environments, cultivation and study of novel microbes
My research involves the use of both traditional and cultivation-independent molecular approaches to study the diversity of microbial communities, focusing on the "uncultivated majority" of microorganisms in global nutrient cycling. As a result of this work, we are now studying several novel strains of Acidobacteria and Verrucomicobria, two bacterial phyla that are prevalent in many environments but have few cultured representatives. Another focus of my research is on the ecology and evolution of bacteria that are adapted to environments with low oxygen fluxes. The prevelance of low oxygen flux in terrestrial and aquatic environments, the diverse, largely uncultured microbial populations adapted to these conditions, and their potential roles in these ecosystems offer great potential for discovery.
Ralph S. Tanner, Professor ofMicrobiology and Plant Biology
rtanner at Website
Clostridia, acetogens, wastewater
Current research interests include water/wastewater microbiology (identification of two new indicator bacteria), and novel anaerobes (clostridia and SRB) in bioremediation and industrial microbiology.
Caryn C. Vaughn, Presidential Professor of Biology,
cvaughn at Web Page
Stream ecology, conservation biology
My students and I are pursuing a variety of basic and applied ecological questions using stream benthic organisms as models. My current work uses the freshwater mussel guild as a model system to study species functional roles in ecosystems and how roles vary with environmental context
Lawrence J. Weider, Professor of Biology,
ljweider at Website
Evolutionary ecology, ecological genetics, aquatic ecology
My research interests center on studying the mechanisms (e.g. selection, migration) that influence the maintenance of genetic diversity in natural populations, using the freshwater zooplankter, Daphnia, as my primary model organism. I use a variety of molecular (e.g. DNA sequencing) and ecological (e.g. life-table, selection experiments) techniques to address questions in evolutionary ecology.
Gary Wellborn, Associate Professor of Biology, Director of Oklahoma Biological Station
gwellborn at Website
Ecology, evolution, and behavior
My research examines the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity. My current work evaluates these processes in a species complex of freshwater.
Xiangming Xiao, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology
xiangming.xiao at
Ecosystems ecology, remote sensing, global change biology
My research interest includes global-scale land use and land cove change, biogeochemical cycles, agriculture, and ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. A variety of research tools are employed in our studies, including satellite remote sensing and modeling.
Jizhong Zhou, Presidential Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Director Institute for Environmental Genomics
jzhou at Website
Genomics, soil ecology, gene function , gene regulatory networks
See Dr. Zhou's biography here.