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University of Oregon

William Bradshaw

Research Interests

Only model organisms live in a world of endless summer. Animals in the real world live in seasonal environments where fitness is determined by the ability to exploit the favorable season, the ability to mitigate the effects of the unfavorable season, and the ability to make a timely transition between the two lifestyles. We explore the genetic basis of physiological, developmental and reproductive adaptations over seasonal climatic gradients as a window into evolutionary processes governing the differentiation of populations in nature. We use quantitative genetic and molecular approaches to explain the evolution of functional phenotypes. We employ unique computer-controlled environment rooms to create climates from the tropics to the arctic and determine experimentally the adaptive significance of genetic and phenotypic variation in real-world, seasonal contexts.

Selected Publications

Bradshaw, W. E., Holzapfel, C. M. 2010. What season is it anyway? Circadian tracking vs. photoperiodic anticipation in insects. Journal of Biological Rhythms 25:155-165.

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. 2008. Genetic response to rapid climate change: it’s seasonal timing that matters. Molecular Ecology 17:157 – 166.

Mathias, D.M., Jacky, L., Bradshaw, W.E., and Holzapfel, C.M. 2007. Quantitative trait loci associated with photoperiodic response and stage of diapause in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Genetics 176:391 – 402.

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

Bradshaw, W.E., Holzapfel, C.M., and Mathias, D. 2006. Circadian rhythmicity and photoperioidism in the pitcher-plant mosquito: Can the seasonal timer evolve independently of the circadian clock? The American Naturalist 167: 601 – 605.

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.


Bi 380 Evolution
Bi 464/564 Biological Clocks
Bi 473/573 Quantitative Ecology