Jeremy B Searle

Professor Emeritus


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.

I am Leader for Diversity and Inclusion in EEB, chairing the department’s DEI committee and representing the department in college and university diversity and inclusion efforts.

Research Focus

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 and genomic phylogenetic and 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, Cabrera 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.



  • Kunerth, H.D., S.M. Bogdanowicz, J.B. Searle, R.G. Harrison, B.S. Coates, G.M. Kozak, and E.B. Dopman. in press. Consequences of coupled barriers to gene flow for the build-up of genomic differentiation: Reproductive barriers and coupling in corn borers. Evolution.

  • Sless, T.J.L., et al. 2022. Phylogenetic relationships and the evolution of host preferences in the largest clade of brood parasitic bees (Apidae: Nomadinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 166:107326.

  • Pustilnik, J.D., J.B. Searle and P.D. Curtis. 2021. The effects of red fox scent on winter activity patterns of suburban wildlife: evaluating predator-prey interactions and the importance of groundhog burrows in promoting biodiversity. Urban Ecosystems, 24, 529-547.

  • Johnson, B.B., J.B. Searle and J.P. Sparks. 2021. Genome size influences adaptive plasticity of water loss, but not metabolic rates in lungless salamanders. Journal of Experimental Biology 224:jeb242196.

  • Vara, C., et al. 2021. The impact of chromosomal fusions on 3D genome folding and recombination in the germ line. Nature Communications 12:2981.

  • Cucchi, T., et al. 2020. Tracking the Near East origins and European dispersal of the house mouse. Scientific Reports 10:8276.

  • Markova, S., M. Hornikova, H.C. Lanier, H. Henttonen, J.B. Searle, L.J. Weider, and P. Kotlik. 2020. High genomic diversity in the bank vole at the northern apex of a range expansion: the role of multiple colonizations and end-glacial refugia. Molecular Ecology 29:1730-1744.

  • Searle, J.B., P.D. Polly, and J. Zima. (eds) 2019. Shrews, Chromosomes and Speciation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Vara, C., et al. 2019. PRDM9 diversity at fine geographical scale in wild house mice reveals contrasting evolutionary patterns of the zinc finger domain in continental versus island populations. Molecular Biology and Evolution 36:1686-1700.

  • Fletcher, N.K., P. Acevedo, J.S. Herman, J. Pauperio, P.C. Alves, and J.B. Searle. 2019. Glacial cycles drive rapid divergence of cryptic field vole species. Ecology and Evolution 9:14101-14113.

  • Barbosa, S., F. Mestre, T.A. White, J. Pauperio, P.C. Alves, and J.B. Searle. 2018. Integrative approaches to guide conservation decisions: using genomics to define conservation units and functional corridors. Molecular Ecology 27:3452-3465.

  • Barbosa, S., J. Pauperio, S.V. Pavlova, P.C. Alves, and J.B. Searle. 2018. The Microtus voles: resolving the phylogeny of one of the most speciose mammalian genera using genomics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 125:85-92.

  • Ballen, C.J., C. Wieman, S. Salehi, J.B. Searle, and K.R. Zamudio. 2017. Enhancing diversity in undergraduate science: self-efficacy drives performance gains with active learning. CBE-Life Sciences Education 16:ar56.

  • Gimenez, M.D., D.W. Forster, E.P. Jones, F. Johannesdottir, S.I. Gabriel, T. Panithanarak, M. Scascitelli, V. Merico, S. Garagna, J.B. Searle, and H.C. Hauffe. 2017. A half-century of studies on a chromosomal hybrid zone of the house mouse. Journal of Heredity 108:25-35.

  • Hulme-Beaman, A., K. Dobney, T. Cucchi, and J.B. Searle. 2016. An ecological and evolutionary framework for commensalism in anthropogenic environments. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31:633-645.

  • Gimenez, M.D., T. Panithanarak, H.C. Hauffe, and J.B. Searle. 2016. Empirical demonstration of hybrid chromosomal races in house mice. Evolution 70:1651-1658.

  • Didion, J.P., et al. 2016. R2d2 drives selfish sweeps in the house mouse. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33:1381-1395.

  • Chmatal, L., S.I. Gabriel, G.P. Mitsainas, J. Martinez-Vargas, J. Ventura, J.B. Searle, R.M. Schulz, and M.A. Lampson. 2014. Centromere strength provides the cell biological basis for meiotic drive and karyotype evolution in mice.  Current Biology 24:2295-3000.

  • Kotlik, P., S. Markova, A. Stratil, V. Slechta, and J.B. Searle. 2014. Adaptive phylogeography: functional divergence between haemoglobins derived from different glacial refugia in the bank vole. Proceedings of the Royal Society B281:20140021

  • Martinkova, N., et al. 2013. Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular Ecology 22:5205-5220.

  • White, T.A., S.E. Perkins, G. Heckel, and J.B. Searle. 2013. Adaptive evolution during an ongoing range expansion: the invasive bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland. Molecular Ecology 22:2971-2985.

  • Jones, E.P., H.M. Eager, S.I. Gabriel, F. Johannesdottir, and J.B. Searle. 2013. Genetic tracking of mice (and other organisms) to infer human history. Trends in Genetics 29:298-308.

  • Pauperio, J., J.S. Herman, J. Melo-Ferreira, M. Jaarola, P.C. Alves, and J.B. Searle. 2012. Cryptic speciation in the field vole: a multilocus approach confirms three highly divergent lineages in Eurasia. Molecular Ecology 21:6015–6032.

  • Herman, J.S. and J.B. Searle. 2011. Post-glacial partitioning of mitochondrial genetic variation in the field vole.  Proceedings of the Royal Society B278:3601-3607.

  • 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.

  • Searle, J.B., P. Kotlik, R.V. Rambau, S. Markova, J.S. Herman, and A.D. McDevitt. 2009. The Celtic fringe of Britain: insights from small mammal phylogeography. Proceedings of the Royal Society B276:4287-4294.

  • 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.

  • Gunduz, I., M. Jaarola, C. Tez, C. Yeniyurt, P.D. Polly, and J. B. Searle. 2007. Multigenic and morphometric differentiation of ground squirrels (Spermophilus, Scuiridae, Rodentia) in Turkey, with a description of a new species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43:916-935.

  • Pialek, J., H.C. Hauffe, and J.B. Searle. 2005. Chromosomal variation in the house mouse: a review. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 84:535-563.

  • 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.

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