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Welcome to Dr. Luca Fornelli

Neuron and Network

We're pleased to welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Luca Fornelli who joins our ranks this fall.

Fornelli will serve as an Assistant Professor of Biology. Luca's research focuses on the study of the proteins present in an organism, or proteomics, using high resolution mass spectrometry. Fornelli's lab will use top-down proteomics to study the specific modification patterns of proteoforms differentially localized in various sub-cellular compartments, or how different proteoforms derived from the same gene can distinguish between healthy and aberrant phenotypes.

Find out more about Dr. Fornelli's recent research on Google Scholar.



Welcome to Dr. Ricardo Betancur-R.

The OU Department of Biology is pleased to welcome Dr. Ricardo Betancur-R., who will join the faculty in Spring 2019.

Betancur will serve as an Assistant Professor of Biology and his research interests encompass various aspects of evolutionary ichthyology and  ecology, focusing primarily on the application of genomic tools and comparative approaches to understand patterns in the evolution, distribution, and diversification of fishes. Ricardo is engaged as as Principal Investigator in two separate (but related) collaborative NSF projects that seek to address the role of habitat transitions in parallel marine fish radiations (NSF-DEB Systematics) and to assemble the tree of life of fishes (NSF-DEB GoLife). He has also worked on research projects related to the evolutionary ecology of marine and freshwater fishes with an emphasis on the factors driving adaptive radiation and morphological diversification.

Find out more about Betancur's ongoing research at

welcome to dr. dahiana arcila

The OU Department of Biology, in concert with the Sam Noble Museum of Oklahoma Natural History, is pleased to welcome Dr. Dahiana Arcila, who will join the faculty in Spring 2019.

Arcila will serve as an Assistant Curator of Ichthyology and an Assistant Professor of Biology. Dahiana's research specializes in understanding  macroevolutionary dynamics using a combination of applied methods in comparative genomics. Her research goals ultimately seek to unravel the genetic bases of morphological adaptation as well as the factors that promote phylogenetic diversification. Further research also involves the integration of information from fossils and extant species to improve inferences in macroevolution. Arcila is particularly interested in general phenomena such as fish morphological evolution, convergence, adaptive radiations, and the integration of fossil and extant species.

Find out more about Arcila's ongoing research at



Welcome to Dr. Laura Stein

The OU Department of Biology is pleased to welcome Dr. Laura Stein, who will join the faculty in Fall 2019.

Stein will serve as an Assistant Professor of Biology. Her research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of behavioral plasticity, how behavior influences evolutionary patterns, and how experience, in particular between parents and offspring, shapes development. Laura uses an integrated approach incorporating behavioral observation, neuroendocrine approaches, and genomic tools to answer broad questions from both proximate and ultimate perspectives. Stein also uses two excellent models of plasticity and evolution, the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) and the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), to investigate outstanding questions in this field.

Find out more about Stein's current research at