• The Hoekstra Lab

    We use wild and laboratory rodent populations to study the molecular, genetic, and developmental basis of evolutionary change

  • Our Lab

    We combine field and laboratory work to study adaptation in natural populations.

  • From Morphology to Behavior

    The Hoekstra Lab uses natural populations of rodents to study the genetic basis of adaptation – from morphology to behavior.

  • Flats from the MCZ Collection

    The lab uses natural history collections to study temporal changes in morphological variation.

  • Long Tails

    PhD student Emily Hager studies the tail morphology and climbing behavior of arboreal forest deer mice.

  • Video Analysis of Burrowing Behavior

    Graduate student Nicole Bedford uses custom video analysis software to measure burrowing behavior in mice.

  • Linking Pheonotypic Variation

    Morphometrics allow us to link phenotypic variation with genetic changes.

  • Pigment Patterning in Vivo

    Viral vectors are used to test the role of genes, and their underlying developmental mechanisms, on pigment patterning in vivo.

  • Outreach

    Lab members do science outreach work in local schools and museums.

  • Monogamous vs. Promiscuous

    Recent postdoc Heidi Fisher studied sperm cooperation in monogamous versus promiscuous species of mice.

  • Experiment in Progress

    We work with former postdoc Rowan Barrett, using field enclosures to measure fitness in natural populations of mice.

  • Burrowing Behavior

    Postdoc Caroline Hu is studying the neural basis of burrowing behavior in deer mice.

  • Skeletal Evolution

    PhD student Emily Hager works with both laboratory and field populations to study skeletal evolution in mice.

  • In the Lab

    Graduate student Nicole Bedford is studying burrowing behavior in a controlled lab environment.

  • In the field

    We collect DNA from wild populations of mice across North America.

  • Quantifying Natural Variation

    Postdoc Andrés Bendesky uses automated methods to quantify natural variation in mouse behavior.

  • Natural Selection & Cryptic Pigmentation

    We have used plasticine models to evaluate if natural selection favors cryptic pigmentation in deer mice.

  • Reproductive Traits & Sexual Selection

    We study the genetic basis of reproductive traits (such as sperm morphology and behavior) influenced by sexual selection.

  • Basis of Burrowing

    Graduate student Nicole Bedford is studying the genetic and neurobiological basis of burrowing in wild mice.

  • Parental Behavior

    Graduate student Caitlin Lewarch is interested in the genetic and neurobiological basis of nesting behavior in Peromyscus.

  • Pigmentation Pattern Formation

    Postdoc Ricardo Mallarino uses evo-devo techniques to uncover the mechanisms underlying pattern formation in different mammals.

  • Natural Trait Variation

    Graduate student Nicole Bedford is studying the evolutionary history of natural populations.

  • Hair Pigmentation

    Postdoc Ricardo Mallarino studies the developmental basis of pigmentation and patterning in mammals.