Swanne Gordon

Washington University in St. Louis

Evolutionary Ecologist

'Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it'---Maya Angelou


I am a Canadian evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist whose research is built around the underlying question: why is there diversity in nature, and how is it maintained? I did my post-doc at the University of Jyväskylä and will be starting as an Assistant Professor at Washington University in St Louis in July 2019.

I was an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Johanna Mappes’s group at the University of Jyväskylä. Our research uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the selective forces maintaining colour polymorphism in the aposematic wood tiger moth Arctia plantaginis. Specifically, I focus on how trade-offs between natural and sexual selection may drive diversity in systems under positive frequency-dependent selection.

I also carry out experimental evolution studies in Trinidadian guppies Poecilia reticulata, to elucidate the mechanisms behind rapid adaptation to environmental change. I started my research on guppies during my graduate student years. For my MSc at McGill University (with Prof. Andrew Hendry), I tested adaptive theories of guppy evolution by competing introduced populations with their ancestral populations in their novel environments. During my PhD at the University of California, Riverside (with Prof. David Reznick), I used common garden and individual-based data on experimental guppy introductions to study the rapid evolution of colour and sex linkage.

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