I am interested in understanding how organisms respond to their environment at the individual level (plasticity and acclimation), at the population level (evolution), and how these responses can varies across species. For my postdoctoral research I will be working on projects that address the following questions: 1) How do gene networks that link physiological stress and life-history traits evolve? 2) What is the persistence (transient, lifetime, or transgenerational) of epigenetic modification to the genome in response to physiological stress in ectotherms, and do these modifications play a role in adaptive acclimation. Additionally, I am interested in evolutionary systems biology. I will be working to develop a theoretical framework and computational models to make predictions on about how complex traits can evolve by integrating empirical data on molecular networks with life-history evolutionary theory, population processes, and ecological factors towards.
Current – 2015: James S. McDonnell Post-doctoral Fellow in Complexity Science. Advisor: Dr. David Allison
2007-2012: PhD in Genetics. Advisors: Drs. Anne Bronikowski and Jo Anne Powell-Coffman, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A
Dissertation Title: The evolution of stress response and life history traits in natural populations of garter snakes.
2002-2005: Research Employment
1999-2003: MS in Zoology, Advisor: Dr. Stephen Karl, University of South Florida, Tampa, emphasis in Evolutionary Genetics, Molecular Ecology, and Conservation Genetics.
Thesis Title: Population Structure of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in Florida, using microsatellites.
1994-1998 BS in Zoology, minor in Genetics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A. Graduated ‘With Distinction’.
I am supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation 1st Century Science Initiative – Postodoctoral Program in Complexity Science/Complex Systems-Fellowship Award Grant number 220020353. My ongoing research is also funded by the National Science Foundation through the following grants: Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant number 1011350, National Science Foundation to Anne Bronikowski (IOS – 0922528), and the Iowa State University Center for Integrative and Comparative Genomics.
In August, 2015, Tonia completed her training with us and moved on to a position as Assistant Professor in the Auburn Department of Biology. She can be contacted at email@example.com