Evolutionary Patterns and Processes

Research in our department spans the micro- to macroevolution continuum and includes the evolution of genes and genomes; the developmental basis of evolutionary change; the interplay between ecology, behavior and evolution; and the origin, maintenance, and classification of diversity. Faculty in many other departments collaborate in a Cornell-wide program in evolutionary biology that is characterized by exceptional depth, breadth and balance.

Evolutionary genetics and comparative genomics are now central to understanding evolutionary change. These approaches focus on the ways in which evolutionary processes shape patterns of genetic variation within and between species, the roles of natural and sexual selection in evolutionary change, and the genetic architecture of speciation and adaptation. New approaches in genomics and proteomics allow detailed analysis of how novel structures and functions arise, reveal past population histories and can help explain the current distributions of plants and animals. EEB faculty use these cutting-edge tools to study many complex systems and topics, including fertilization biology, immune function, organ development, sexual selection, behavior, patterns of diversification, and species interactions.

Many labs in EEB construct and/or use evolutionary trees to address questions about both evolutionary and ecological change. We use evolutionary trees as a framework to study sexual selection, adaptation, behavioral evolution, the origin of novel traits, the evolution of form and function, and rates of diversification within and between clades. Evolutionary trees also provide important structure for revealing the implications of environmental change for biodiversity, including causes and consequences of anthropogenic or natural extinction, determinants of range limits, the interaction between disease and global climate change, and the impacts of disease on genetic and phenotypic diversit

Related people

Image of Charles F Aquadro
Charles F Aquadro

Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences

Image of Leslie Babonis
Leslie Babonis

Assistant Professor

Image of William Bemis
William Bemis

Professor Faculty Curator of Ichthyology, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates

Image of Andrew G. Clark
Andrew G. Clark

Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Population Genetics

Image of Andre Alfons Dhondt
Andre Alfons Dhondt

Professor and Edwin H. Morgens Professor of Ornithology, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Image of Abby Grace Drake
Abby Grace Drake

Senior Lecturer

Image of Stephen Paul Ellner
Stephen Paul Ellner

Horace White Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Image of Monica Ann Geber
Monica Ann Geber

Professor Emeritus

Image of Swanne Gordon
Swanne Gordon

Assistant Professor CALS Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Image of Megan Greischar
Megan Greischar

Assistant Professor co-Leader for Diversity and Inclusion

Image of Brian Lazzaro
Brian Lazzaro

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor

Image of Andrés López-Sepulcre
Andrés López-Sepulcre

Assistant Professor

Image of Irby J Lovette
Irby J Lovette

Fuller Professor of Ornithology Senior Director for Academic Affairs and Director of the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Director, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates

Image of Amy R. McCune
Amy R. McCune

Professor Emerita

Image of Peter McIntyre
Peter McIntyre

Associate Professor Dwight Webster Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow

Image of Andrew Moeller
Andrew Moeller

Assistant Professor Faculty Curator of Mammalogy, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates

Image of Corrie Moreau
Corrie Moreau

Martha N. & John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity Director & Curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection

Image of Ian Owens
Ian Owens

Professor Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Image of Robert D. Reed
Robert D. Reed

Professor Associate Curator of Lepidoptera, Cornell University Insect Collection

Image of Jeremy B Searle
Jeremy B Searle

Professor Emeritus

Image of Maren Vitousek
Maren Vitousek

Associate Professor

Image of Kelly Zamudio
Kelly Zamudio

Professor Emerita

All research areas

Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Science    Biology Education Research    Community Ecology and Population Biology    Evolutionary Patterns and Processes    Intimate Organismal Interactions and Chemical Ecology    Organismal Biology    Sustainability, Environment and Conservation