Christine E. Parent
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.