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Professor; Department Chair; Faculty Curator of Mammalogy, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates
I was an undergraduate student at Oxford University UK, a graduate student at Aberdeen University UK, and a postdoc at Universities of East Anglia, Oxford and York UK. I've held faculty positions at Universities of York and Cornell.
I am interested in the construction of post-glacial small mammal communities and have studied the natural colonization history of European shrews, voles, mice and small carnivores, revealing a wide range of species- and lineage-specific responses in terms of source areas and pattern of spread. Unnatural colonization history (i.e. transport by humans) is also of interest to me, particularly the way that the phylogeography of small mammals transported by humans can inform about the history of the humans moving them. Those separate lineages that make up a species and which are formed in different places and colonize in different ways, are genetically differentiated to various degrees and may become separate species themselves. I am interested in the speciation process and the analysis of hybrid zones to inform about that. I have, in particular, studied the origin of chromosomally distinctive lineages, and the hybrid zones between those lineages, using shrews and mice as models.
I teach a variety of courses at Cornell including: BioEE 1780 Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity, BioEE 4500 Mammalogy and BioEE 4501 Mammalogy.
Evolution, small mammals, speciation, phylogeography, archaeogenetics
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The Searle lab focuses on the evolutionary biology of several species of small mammals as they are perfect for understanding how species evolve, colonize new areas, and adapt to the environment. Additionally, we use them as trackers of human history and as models for conservation. The research in my lab has involved various aspects of the evolutionary biology of animals, particularly small mammals. There has been a focus on speciation using chromosomal races of the house mouse and common shrew as model systems. Natural hybrid zones have been a particularly fruitful field of study with instances where hybridizing races speciate, generate new races or show localized reduction in gene flow as revealed by genomic tools. It is important to know the geographic context of the speciating forms, and this is one reason why the lab is engaged in molecular phylogeographic studies. I am also interested in the construction of postglacial small mammal communities and have studied the natural colonization history of the European common shrew, pygmy shrew, bank vole, field vole, common vole, wood mouse and stoat (ermine), revealing a wide range of species- and lineage-specific responses in terms of source areas and pattern of spread. Unnatural colonization history (i.e., transport by humans) is also of interest to me, particularly the way that the phylogeography of small mammals transported by humans can inform about the history of the humans moving them. This archaeogenetic research has been a major extension of my evolutionary work.
- Jones, E.P., K. Skirnisson, T.H. McGovern, M.T.P. Gilbert, E. Willerslev, and J.B. Searle. 2012. Fellow travellers: A concordance of colonization patterns between mice and men in the North Atlantic region. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:35.
- Herman, J.S. and J.B. Searle. 2011. Post-glacial partitioning of mitochondrial genetic variation in the field vole. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278:3601-3607.
- White, T.A., M. Bordewich, and J.B. Searle. 2010. A network approach to study karyotypic evolution: the chromosomal races of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and house mouse (Mus musculus) as model systems. Systematic Biology 59:262-276.
- Searle, J.B., C.S. Jones, I. Gunduz, M. Scascitelli, E.P. Jones, J.S. Herman, R.V. Rambau, L.R. Noble, M.D. Gimenez, and F. Johannesdottir. 2009. Of mice and (Viking?) men: phylogeography of British and Irish house mice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B276:207-207.
- Kotlik, P.,V. Deffontaine, S. Mascheretti, J. Zima, J.R. Michaux, and J. B. Searle. 2006. A northern glacial refugium for bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103:14860-14864.
- Panithanarak, T., H.C. Hauffe, J.F. Dallas, A. Glover, R.G. Ward, and J.B. Searle. 2004. Linkage-dependent gene flow in a house mouse chromosomal hybrid zone. Evolution 58:184-192.
- Gage, M. J.G., C.P. Macfarlane, S. Yeates, R.G. Ward, J.B. Searle, and G.A. Parker. 2004. Spermatozoal traits and sperm competition in Atlantic salmon: relative sperm velocity is the primary determinant of fertilization success. Current Biology 14:44-47.
- Jaarola, M. and J.B. Searle. 2002. Phylogeography of field voles (Microtus agrestis) in Eurasia inferred from mitochrondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Ecology 11:2613-2621.
- Garagna, S., N. Marziliano, M. Zuccotti, J.B. Searle, E. Capanna, and C.A. Redi. 2001. Pericentromeric organization at the fusion point of mouse Robertsonian translocation chromosomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 98:171-175.
- Britton-Davidian, J., J. Catalan, M.G. Ramalhinho, G. Ganem, J.-C. Auffray, R. Capela, M. Biscoito, J.B. Searle, and M.L. Mathias. 2000. Rapid chromosomal evolution in island mice. Nature 403:158.
- Bilton, D.T., P.M. Mirol, S. Mascheretti, K. Fredga, J. Zima, and J. B. Searle. 1998. Mediterranean Europe as an area of endemism for small mammals rather than a source for northwards postglacial colonization. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B265:1219-1226.