Stephen De Lisle

Stephen De Lisle

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    I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in understanding the adaptive origins of phenotypic diversity. Although my interests are broad, much of my research has focused on testing non-traditional models of sexual dimorphism and understanding how the evolution of such ‘ecological’ sexual dimorphisms may or may not influence the structure of ecological communities and the dynamics of evolutionary radiation.  I do this using a combination of experimental and comparative approached that bridge community ecology, microevolution, and macroevolution.

    As a post doc at Lund, I am expanding the scope of this research to understand how phenotypic plasticity evolves at the macroevolutionary scale and the role that plasticity may play in processes such as speciation and range expansion.  In particular, I will be focusing on plasticity in thermal tolerance and phenology in odonates (“Dragonflies and damselflies”).  Dragonflies and damselflies are characterized by complex life histories where optimal timing of metamorphosis depends on seasonal cues that differ across environments; the evolution of plasticity in phenology of life history transitions and thermal tolerance thus plays a potentially important role in adaptation and diversification. This work will entail at least two components: comparative analysis of the evolution of temperature-flight period reaction norms, using large-scale observational datasets, as well as field experiments aimed at linking microevolution of plasticity to broader scale macroevolutionary patterns.

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