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University of Oregon

William Bradshaw

Research Interests

We study evolutionary processes in the crucible of nature, always with an eye towards applications to real-world problems. Variation within and between populations over geographic latitudes from Florida to northern Manitoba and from sea level to the Appalachian highlands provides abundant end-products of natural evolutionary events. Questions asked in our laboratory are encompassed in the broader question, “What is the molecular genetic basis of evolutionary change in natural populations?” Our primary research organism is Wyeomyia smithii, a small mosquito that develops only within the water-filled leaves of the purple pitcher plant. Facilities unique to our lab include computer-controlled environment rooms unlike any others in the world, in which we are able to recreate any environment from the tropics to the polar regions of Earth. We use a variety of quantitative genetic, molecular, and genomic tools to answer a broad spectrum of questions and currently are focusing on the eradication of mosquito blood-borne disease world-wide.

Selected Publications (all available as .pdfs on Lab Website)

Bradshaw, W. E., Burkhart, J., Colbourne, J. K., Borowczak, R., Lopez, J., Denlinger, D. L., Reynolds, J. A., Pfrender, M. E., and Holzapfel, C. M. 2018. Evolutionary transition from blood feeding to obligate nonbiting in a mosquito. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115:1009-1014; Commentary: Armbruster, P. A. 2018. Molecular pathways to nonbiting mosquitoes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115:836-838.

Natural variation and genetics of photoperiodism in Wyeomyia smithii. 2017.  Adv. Genet. 99:39-71.

Bradshaw, W. E., Holzapfel, C. M. 2010. Light, time, and the physiology of biotic response to rapid climate change in animals. Annual Review of Physiology 72:147-166.

Emerson, K.J., Merz, C.R., Catchen, J.M., Hohenlohe, P.A., Cresko, W.A., Bradshaw, W.E., and Holzapfel, C.M. 2010.  Resloving postglacial phylogeography using high-throughput sequencing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:16196-16200.

Emerson, K.J., Bradshaw, W.E., and Holzapfel, C.M. 2009. Complications of Complexity: Integrating environmental, genetic and hormonal control of insect diapause. Trends Genetics 25:217-225.

Bradshaw, W.E., and Holzapfel, C.M. 2008. Evolution of animal photoperiodism. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 38:1 – 35.

Bradshaw, W.E. and Holzapfel, C.M. 2006. Climate change – Evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Science 312:1477 – 1478.

Bradshaw, W. E., Haggerty, B. P., and Holzapfel, C. M. 2005.  Epistasis underlying a fitness trait within a natural population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.  Genetics 169:485-488.

Bradshaw, W. E., and Holzapfel, C. M. 1986. Habitat segregation among European tree-hole mosquitoes.  National Geographic Research 2:167-178.


Bi 380 Evolution
Bi 464/564 Biological Clocks