The Committee on Evolutionary Biology (CEB) is a unique interdepartmental and inter-institutional graduate student training program dedicated to the study of Evolutionary Biology. Faculty and students in the program are engaged in interdisciplinary studies at time scales that range from single generations to the entire history of life and at organizational scales from the molecular to the global.
Nicole Bitler Kuehnle studies native and non-native range expansion in marine mollusks. Nicole’s research uses fossil and modern data on marine clams and snails to compare evolutionary changes in species that have expanded geographic ranges along their native coasts with changes in invasive species that have crossed ocean basins with (accidental or intentional) human assistance. Nicole hopes to evaluate biological characteristics that may confer an expansion advantage (for example, body size), analyze changes in shell shape between the source and colonized regions in both native and invasive expansions, and experimentally assess the contribution of genetic evolution to such shell shape variation. Despite the negative consequences of invasive species, they may offer a window into the rapid evolutionary adaptation that occurs in a recently colonized region over contemporary timescales.Read More about Nicole Bitler Kuehnle or visit the Spotlight Archive.