As evolutionary biologists we seek to understand the fundamental principles that explain how change occurs in life over the course of time. Speciation, one of the cornerstones of Darwinian theory, is the process whereby one gene pool is divided into two. Our research elucidates sympatric speciation or the dividing of gene pools in the absence of geographic or physical isolation, and in the face of gene flow. We use a multidisciplinary research strategy that utilizes molecular biology, field ecology, and population genetics to address the question of how two populations of a species develop into two distinct species.

Research News

Meredith Doellman’s work on the genomics of geographic and host-related variation in Rhagoletis pomonella has been published in Genes. See it here online!

Cheyenne Defense


Congratulations to Dr. Cheyenne Tait, who successfully defended her dissertation, “Mechanisms of ecological divergence and speciation: Genetic and neurophysiological bases for fruit volatile discrimination behavior in the apple maggot fly (Rhagoletis pomonella)” on November 16!

Gilbert St. Jean


Our lab is actively recruiting prospective students who share similar research interests. Contact Prof. Feder at