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Gavin Woodruff

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Gavin C. Woodruff

Assistant Professor of Biology



Ph.D., University of  Maryland, College Park
 B.S., Georgia State university

405-325-4389 (Phone)
405-325-6202 (Fax)
RH 108

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What is the genetic, cellular, developmental, and evolutionary basis of phenotypic diversity? This question can be addressed from many perspectives— molecular geneticists, developmental biologists, population geneticists and ecologists have typically tackled these problems using very different approaches. However, as phenotype construction has multiple causes, a satisfying understanding of phenotypic diversity ultimately requires the integration of multiple points of view. I am currently using the nematode Caenorhabditis inopinata to connect functional genetics with evolution and ecology to understand the causes of phenotypic diversity. C. inopinata can grow to be nearly twice as long as its close relatives, which include the highly-studied model organism, C. elegans. Furthermore, it thrives in the fresh figs and is associated with its pollinating wasps; figs and fig wasps together represent a classic system in evolution and ecology. C. inopinata is then well-positioned to connect multiple disciplines that aim to understand the bases of phenotypic variation. To this end, I am harnessing genomic, evolutionary, and developmental genetic approaches to address these questions using this system.

Recent Publications

E.H. Hammerschmidth*, G. C. Woodruff*, and P. C. Phillips. “Opposing directions of stage-specific body length change in a close relative of C. elegans." 2020. bioRxiv.

G. C. Woodruff and A. A. Teterina. “Degradation of the repetitive genomic landscape in a close relative of C. elegans.” 2020. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 37: 2549–2567.

G. C. Woodruff, E. Johnson, and P. C. Phillips. “A large close relative of C. elegans is slow-developing but not long-lived.” 2019. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 19:74.

G. C. Woodruff and P. C. Phillips. “Field studies reveal a close relative of C. elegans thrives in the fresh figs of Ficus septica and disperses on its Ceratosolen pollinating wasps.” 2018. BMC Ecology. 18:26.

N. Kanzaki, I.J. Tsai, R. Tanaka, V.L. Hunt, K. Tsuyama, D. Liu, Y. Maeda, G. C. Woodruff, S. Namai, R. Kumagai, A. Tracey, N. Holroyd, K. Murase, H. Kitazume, M.-M. Billah, H. mien Ke, J. Wang, M. Berriman, P.W. Sternberg, A. Sugimoto, and T. Kikuchi. “Biology and genome of a newly discovered sibling species of Caenorhabditis elegans”. 2018. Nature Communications. 9:3216.

G. C. Woodruff, J. H. Willis, and P. C. Phillips. “Dramatic evolution of body length due to post-embryonic changes in cell size in a newly discovered close relative of C. elegans.” 2018. Evolution Letters. 2: 427-441.

N. Kanzaki*, G. C. Woodruff*, M. Akiba, and N. Maehara. “Diplogasteroides asiaticus n. sp., associated with Monochamus alternatus in Japan.” 2015. Journal of Nematology. 47:105.

N. Kanzaki, G. C. Woodruff, and R. Tanaka. “Teratodiplogaster variegatae n. sp. isolated from the syconia of Ficus variegata Blume on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan.” 2014. Nematology. 16: 1153–1166.

G. C. Woodruff, T. Maugel, C. Knauss, and E. S. Haag. “Mating damages the cuticle of C. elegans hermaphrodites.” 2014. PLoS ONE. 9:8.

J. Ting*, G. C. Woodruff*, G. Leung, N. R. Shin, A. D. Cutter, and E. S. Haag. “Intense sperm-mediated sexual conflict promotes reproductive isolation in Caenorhabditis nematodes.” 2014. PLoS Biology. 12:7.

*Equal contribution