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Christine E. Parent

Christine Parent

Assistant Professor


Life Sciences South 257


(208) 885-4016

Mailing Address

Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter MS 3051
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051

Research: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

  • Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology, Simon Fraser University, 2008
  • M.Sc. Biology, Carleton University, 2000
  • B.Sc. Biology, McGill University,1998

Research in the Parent lab centers on the evolutionary process of diversification in lineages exposed to novel environment. Our general approach is to (1) observe present-day patterns of biodiversity to infer past evolutionary processes, and (2) test those processes with manipulative experiments in laboratory populations. We use field observations, comparative analyses, laboratory experiments, molecular phylogenetics, and integrate them with theoretical modeling. Island systems (natural or experimental) are the main focus of our research attention.

I first visited the Galapagos islands when I was 18 years old. At that moment I decided that I wanted to study evolutionary biology. After completing my B.Sc. in Biology at McGill University, I started doing research on the Galapagos islands, first for my M.Sc. and then later for my Ph.D. In total I have spent over 2 years on the islands, collecting samples and data throughout the archipelago. During my Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University I started working on Galapagos endemic land snails, arguably one of the most remarkable groups of species on these islands. During my postdoctoral work at the University of Austin in Texas, I collaborated with Dan Bolnick conducting experimental work with lab populations of flour beetles. I tested ideas related to the process of diversification that cannot be addressed in the field. While at UT Austin I also worked with Mark Kirkpatrick and Mathew Leibold, with whom I have ongoing collaborations. Lastly, I spent slightly more than a year at University of California Berkeley, working in collaboration with Bree Rosenblum on the evolutionary convergence of lizards and terrestrial invertebrates in WhiteSands New Mexico.

  • Gillespie, RG and CE Parent. in press. Adaptive Radiation. In: Oxford Bibliographies in Evolutionary Biology. Ed. JB Losos. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Cameron, RAD, KA Triantis, CE Parent, MR Alonso, M Ibanez, AMF Martins, RL Ladle, and RJ Whittaker. 2013. Snails on oceanic islands: testing the general dynamic model of oceanic island biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 40:117–130.
  • 2012 Falk, JJ, CE Parent, D Agashe, and DI Bolnick. 2012. Drift and selection entwined: Asymmetric reproductive isolation in an experimental niche shift. Evolutionary Ecology Research 14: 403–423.
  • Parent, CE. 2012. The (often ignored) role of vicariance in evolutionary diversification on oceanic islands. Frontiers of Biogeography 3(4):130-132.
  • Losos, JB and CE Parent. 2010. The speciation-area relationship. In: Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited. Losos, JB & RE Ricklefs (eds).
  • Parent, CE and BJ Crespi. 2009. Ecological opportunity in adaptive radiation of Galápagos endemic snails. The American Naturalist 174: 898-905.
  • Parent, CE, A Caccone, and K Petren. 2008. Colonization and diversification of Galápagos terrestrial fauna: a phylogenetic and biogeographical synthesis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 363: 3347-3361.
  • Parent, CE and BJ Crespi. 2006. Sequential colonization and rapid diversification of Galápagos endemic land snail genus Bulimulus (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora). Evolution 60: 2311-2328.
  • Green, DM and C Parent. 2003. Variable introgression in a hybrid zone in the toads, Bufo americanus and B. fowleri. Copeia 2003: 34-43.


Department of Biological Sciences

Physical Address:
Life Sciences South 252

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Phone: (208) 885-6280

Fax: (208) 885-7905


Web: Department of Biological Sciences