The Grosberg Lab
College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
4349 Storer Hall
(530) 752-1114



Gros Docs


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Jason Addison (2007-2008)

Prior to coming to UCD, I was a postdoc with Grant Pogson at UCSC where I used nuclear genealogies to study several aspects of population genetic structure, natural selection, and species level relationships in both California sea mussels (Mytilus californianus) and sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus spp.). I am interested in understanding both the contemporary and historic factors that influence the patterns of genetic structure within and among closely related species. Clearly, complex interactions between demographic history, gene flow, natural selection, genetic drift, and mating systems all act to shape unique patterns of genetic structure. Together with Rob Toonen (Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology), Mike Hart (Simon Fraser University), and Maria Byrne (University of Sydney), we aim to disentangle some of these factors by studying the population genetic consequences of life history evolution in a group of 11 asterinid sea stars for which the evolutionary reduction or the complete loss of a planktonic dispersing larvae has independently occurred several times. By conducting population genetics in a phylogenetic framework we may ask whether the parallel evolution of similar life histories causes parallel evolution of predicted population genetic patterns. Our approach also enables us to compare lineages with similar life histories in order to access the role of historic processes such as climate change and range expansion in generating patterns that are inconsistent with evolved life history differences.

Dr. Jason Addison
Department of Biology,
University of New Brunswick
Fredericton , NB

Mike Dawson (2005-2006)

Feel like you're drifting though life?  A long way from home?  Misunderstood?  Odds stacked against you?  Maybe you're a marine plankter.  If so, Mike and Rick have a place you can stay; it's small, cold, and dark, but it's got a door and we'll get you liquored up for free.  If that kills you (which it will), we'll give you PCR.  It won't bring you back to life, but it will immortalize you in one of a series of fabulous studies on the population genetic consequences of dispersal, recruitment, and/or living near the edge of your species' range. Building on a demographic study of the mole crab Emerita analoga by Jennifer Diehl, we're looking for genetic evidence of 'sweepstakes' i.e. chance events that lead to very high variance in reproductive success of broadcast spawning marine invertebrates.  We're also looking for evidence of recruitment limitation in northern populations of the limpet Macclintlockia scabra because Sarah Gilman showed animals in these populations could, if they had the opportunity, survive in places beyond their current range limit.  Finally, with Dr. Eric Sanford, we're studying the volcano barnacle Tetraclita rubescens which, according to available information, extended its range ~300 km northward since circa 1980.  In addition, Mike has active research interests in scyphozoan systematics, comparative biogeography and phylogeography, rapid evolutionary radiation in marine zooplankton, conservation genetics of marine fishes, and the community ecology of marine lakes.  For more information, see The Scyphozoan, the Coral Reef Research Foundation, and Mike's home page.

Dr. Michael N. Dawson
Assistant Professor
School of Natural Sciences
University of California, Merced

Mike Loeb (2003-2006)

Mike is currently a CPB post-doc in our lab. Prior to coming to UCD, he was at Simon Fraser University, where he completed a postdoc in Bernie Crespi’s lab. Mike’s research aims to understand the factors that mitigate conflicts during the evolutionary transition from solitary to social living. Tingid lace bugs are his beloved study system, because they show behaviors that range from solitary reproduction to cooperative adult care of young. He uses field studies, lab experiments, and population genetics to explore the maintenance of this variation. Future work will focus on the costs and benefits of group-foraging in gregarious tingid nymphs. This project will examine self-restraint and mutual policing as mechanisms that suppress competition in group-feeding nymphs. Rick and Mike are collaborating on a review of mechanisms of cooperation which they are certain will blow the doors off the field.

Mike's home page

CPB Post-doctoral fellow

John Wares (2002-2004)

John’s work focuses on historical ecology, mostly of marine communities. He uses a variety of molecular and theoretical approaches to re-construct the demographic, genetic, and geographic history of marine communities. He’s also worked on the conservation genetics of Gila trout. In collaboration with the Packard-sponsored Partnerships for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), John is now coordinating several projects sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation that relate current and historic patterns of dispersal and recruitment of near shore marine invertebrates along the Pacific Coast to patterns of genetic structure.

Dr. John Wares
Assistant Professor
University of Georgia, Athens

Alex Wilson (2000-2003)

Alex’s dissertation research focused on the genetic consequences of sexual and asexual reproduction in aphids and implications for the gain and loss of sex. While a Grosdoc, she worked on measuring the costs and benefits of intergenotypic fusion and aggression in Hydractinia, as well as reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships of the sibling species complex of North Atlantic Hydractinia. Alex left UCD to become a PERT fellow at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona, where she returned to studying her beloved homopterans.

Dr. Alex Wilson
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

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