Joseph Travis (Chair) is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science at Florida State University. Dr. Travis’ research and expertise is on understanding the interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes. In particular, he studies the demography of regulated populations and where, in the life cycle, natural selection operates most strongly. His current work focuses on the ecology and evolution of livebearing fishes such as guppies and mosquitofish. Dr. Travis began his career at Florida State as an assistant professor in 1980 and was promoted through the ranks, eventually serving as department chair (1991–1997) and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2005–2011). He teaches the undergraduate course in evolution for majors in biological science and a graduate course in population ecology. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Oecologia, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, and The American Naturalist, and served as editor of The American Naturalist from 1998 to 2002. Dr. Travis served as vice president (1994) and president (2005) of the American Society of Naturalists and is currently serving as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. He has also served on advisory boards for the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was a member of the National Academies Committee on Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct (2015–2018) and chair of the Committee on Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf (2018–2019). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctoral degree from Duke University.
Fred W. Allendorf is a Regents Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Montana. He was a professorial research fellow at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand, 2005–2012). He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and a NATO Fellow at Nottingham University in England. He is an evolutionary geneticist who has spent much of his career applying the theory and molecular techniques of population genetics to problems in conservation. Much of his work in evolutionary genetics has been devoted to understanding the genetics of salmonid fishes following a whole-genome duplication event (tetraploidy). He was the program director
of population biology at the National Science Foundation in 1989–1990, a Senior Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand in 2000–2001, and a Senior Fulbright Specialist at the University of Western Australia in 2013. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was president of the American Genetic Association in 1997, and he has served on the editorial boards of several international journals (e.g., Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Ecology, and Conservation Biology). He received the American Fisheries Society’s Award of Excellence in recognition of outstanding contributions to fisheries science and aquatic biology in 2011 and the Molecular Ecology Prize for lifetime achievements in the fields of molecular ecology and conservation genetics in 2015. He received a B.S. in zoology from Penn State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in fisheries and genetics from the University of Washington.
Liliana Cortés Ortiz is a research associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on understanding processes and mechanisms involved in the evolution and diversification of primates. Through the use of genetic and genomic approaches, Dr. Cortés Ortiz and her students address questions on the phylogenetics, phylogeography, and evolutionary history of neotropical primates. They also study a natural hybrid zone between two species of howler monkeys in Mexico to evaluate the importance of introgression as a source of genetic variation and identify the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation between hybridizing species. Her work includes field-based data/sample collection and laboratory-based molecular work. Dr. Cortés Ortiz is vice president for the neotropics—Mesoamerica of the primate specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Dr. Cortés Ortiz received a B.Sc. in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico, a M.Sc. in neuroethology also from the Universidad Veracruzana, and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of East Anglia in England.
Melanie Culver is an assistant professor at the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, which she joined in 2002. She is also a conservation geneticist and the assistant unit leader for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Dr. Culver’s research is focused on conservation genetics, and she specializes in molecular taxonomy, population genetics, landscape genetics, behavior ecology, wildlife management, and forensics, including the application of genome technologies to wildlife-related issues. She has worked on a variety of species including several felids and canids, black bear, water shrew, jumping mouse, bighorn sheep, raptors, muskellunge, and freshwater mussels. Dr. Culver has published more than 72 peer-reviewed papers and is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Heredity. She received her B.S. in biology (emphasis in biochemistry and molecular biology) from the University of Utah in 1984 and her Ph.D. in biology (emphasis in conservation genetics) from the University of Maryland in 1999, and she was a postdoctoral researcher at Virginia Tech from 1999 to 2002.
Diane P. Genereux is a research scientist in vertebrate genomic biology at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. She develops mathematical and statistical methods to address questions in population genetics, epigenetics, and genomics. She is the scientific manager of the 200 Mammals Project, an international collaboration that is using comparative genomics—specifically, the conservation of DNA sequence over evolutionary time—to identify genetic factors that underlie mammalian phenotypes. Her earlier work identified population genetic and demographic factors that shape the global distribution of fragile X syndrome and yielded new statistical methods for tracking epigenetic stability and change across mammalian development. She has also contributed work identifying genetic variants associated with canine--
compulsive disorder in pet dogs. Dr. Genereux is currently collaborating with veterinarians and wildlife biologists on a project to develop a powerful, cost-effective pipeline to identify the genomic basis of diseases in threatened and endangered species, many of which have very low genetic diversity. She has taught undergraduate courses in evolution, genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling and has written about genomic approaches in several undergraduate and medical textbooks as well as in the popular literature. She received her A.B. in history and biology from Brown University in 1999, and her Ph.D. in mathematical genetics from Emory University in 2005.
Kelley Harris is an assistant professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine in Seattle. In 2018, she opened her UW medicine lab, where she currently uses population genetic theory and high-throughput biological sequence analysis to study recent evolutionary history in humans and other species. One of her primary research interests is the evolution of mutagenesis. She is also broadly interested in the impact of demography, inbreeding, and hybridization on the dynamics of natural selection, particularly in the wake of gene flow between humans, Neanderthals, and other extinct hominids. Dr. Harris has developed a variety of computational methods for inferring population bottlenecks, divergence times, and admixture events at high resolution and has written about the impact of Neanderthal interbreeding on the fitness of archaic and modern humans. Her lab is developing new statistical models that refine the understanding of how genomes and populations evolve, using methods derived from coalescent theory to visualize and extract the information contained in huge databases of whole genomes. Dr. Harris graduated with a degree in mathematics from Harvard College (2009), then earned her M.Phil. in biological sciences from Cambridge University (2011) and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley (2015).
Elaine A. Ostrander is the chief of the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She also heads the Section of Comparative Genetics. Dr. Ostrander received her Ph.D. from the Oregon Health Sciences University and did her postdoctoral training at Harvard University. She then went to University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs where, with collaborators, she began the canine genome project and built the canine linkage and radiation hybrid maps. She worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington for 12 years before moving to NIH in 2004. Dr. Ostrander’s lab at NIH works in both human and canine genetics. She is best known for her studies of the domestic dog as a well-phenotyped species with an extensively documented population structure that offers unique opportunities for solving fundamental biological problems. Her lab developed the primary genomic mapping resources for the canine genetics field and applied them to studies of disease and morphology. Dr. Ostrander has published more than 350 papers. Her awards include the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Burroughs Welcome Award for Functional Genomics, the Asa Mays Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards for both her prostate cancer and canine genetics work, and the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2013. She was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.
P. David Polly is the Robert R. Shrock Professor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University (IU) and has secondary appointments in the departments of anthropology and biological sciences. A vertebrate paleontologist, Dr. Polly studies the morphological evolution of mammals and other vertebrates, including biogeography and speciation at regional and continental geographic scales, trait-based studies of community response to environmental change, and the quantitative analysis of morphology using geometric morphometrics and phylogenetics. Dr. Polly received his
Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. He recently served as the president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the director of the IU Center for Biological Research Collections, and the associate director of the Environmental Resilience Institute, and he was an Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar with the Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies.
Anne C. Stone is a Regents Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at the Arizona State University in Tempe. Her specialization and main area of interest is anthropological genetics, and her studies are cross-disciplinary, employing bioarchaeological, molecular genetic, population genetic, and genomic approaches. Currently, her research focuses on population history and understanding how humans and the great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments. Dr. Stone was a Fulbright Fellow (1992–1993) and a Kavli Scholar (2007) and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016, she was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the Journal of Human Evolution, and Molecular Biology and Evolution. Dr. Stone holds a B.A. in biology and archaeology from the University of Virginia (1989) and an M.A. (1992) and a Ph.D. (1996) in anthropology from Pennsylvania State University.