Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology News

Study Finds Epigenetics May Underlie Homosexuality

Is homosexuality genetic? It’s a long-running debate. Now researchers at UT say they’ve found a clue that may unlock the mystery. It lies in something called epi-genetics—how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches. A working group at NIMBioS used mathematical modeling that found the transmission of sex-specific epi-marks may signal homosexuality.

Professor Discusses Extinction of Tropical Birds at November 9 Science Forum

Alison Boyer

Alison Boyer, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has spent the past ten years studying the endangerment and extinction of Pacific island birds. She’ll be discussing her work at the UT Science Forum on Friday, November 9. The weekly presentations begin at noon on Fridays in room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena.

TN Vespre: Simberloff Receives Ramon Margalef Ecology Prize

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology professor Daniel Simberloff was officially awarded the Ramon Margalef ecology prize from the government of Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain on October 29. A Spanish news station, “Telenotícies Vespre” covered the awards ceremony, featuring an almost two-minute story on Simberloff.

UT, NIMBioS Study Finds Bullies Squelched When Bystanders Intervene

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A new national anti-bullying ad campaign urges parents to teach their kids to speak up if they witness bullying. One UT researcher has found that in humans’ evolutionary past, at least, helping the victim of a bully hastened our species’ movement toward a more egalitarian society.

Study Finds Female Choice Key to Evolutionary Shift to Modern Family

It is a question that has puzzled evolutionary biologists for years: Why did we stop being promiscuous and decide to settle down to start families? Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, may have found the answer, and it lies in the power of female choice.

TIME: The Ancient Sexual Revolution That May Have Spurred Human Monogamy

A mathematical model by Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is getting a lot of media attention. It has found that monogamous, romantic love — or, more prosaically, pair-bonding — may have evolved in a sexual revolution that could have laid down the roots of the modern family.

UT Scientist Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Daniel Simberloff

Professor Daniel Simberloff has received one of the highest honors to be bestowed upon an American Scientist. Simberloff, distinguished professor and the Gore-Hunger Professor of Environmental Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in research.