Todd Streelman, Associate Professor
Ph.D.,Biology, University of South Florida
Office: Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) 2244
Evolution and Development of Functional Systems
Research in the Streelman lab seeks creative solutions to general problems in evolutionary biology. We want to know how evolution works at multiple levels of biological organization. Our main study system is the cichlid fish assemblage of Lake Malawi, East Africa, where as many as 1,000 species have evolved in the last 500,000 years. We study cichlids in the field, in the laboratory, and in our tropical aquarium facilities. Our major research goals are to apply novel approaches to understand the genetic and developmental basis of cichlid phenotypes, and to use the cichlid model to learn new things about basic biological processes. Research is presently focused on the evolution of jaws, teeth, brains and behaviors because these traits have been important to cichlid diversification.
In the past few years, we have built an array of genomic resources to complement decades of natural history information. Using these tools in the context of wild cichlid populations, we aim to bridge the gap between ecology, genetics and development; and to create unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary teaching and collaboration. For example, we endeavor to work with GIT engineers, combining evolutionary genetics and biomechanics to understand cichlid jaws and teeth as dynamic, integrated and evolving functional systems.
Dr. Streelman’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture, The National Geographic Society and the National Institutes of Health.
2011 Loh, Y.-H.E., S.V. Yi and J.T. Streelman. Evolution of microRNAs and the diversification of species. In press, Genome Biology and Evolution. Epub, December 15, 2010: doi:10.1093/gbe/evq085. (LINK)
2011 Parnell, N.F. and J.T. Streelman. The macroecology of rapid evolutionary radiation. In press, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B., doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1950 (PDF)
2010 Sylvester, J.B., C.A. Rich, Y-H.E. Loh, M.J. van Staaden, G.J. Fraser and J.T. Streelman. Brain diversity evolves via differences in patterning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107: 9718-9723. (LINK)
2010 Fraser, G.J., R. Cerny, V. Soukup, M. Bronner-Fraser and J.T. Streelman. The odontode explosion: the origin of tooth-like structures in vertebrates. Bioessays 32: 808-817. (PDF)
2010 Lettieri, L. and J.T. Streelman. Colorful stripes send mixed messages to safe and risky partners in a diffuse cleaning mutualism. In press, J. Evol. Biol. (PDF)
2010 Ohazama, A., J. Blackburn, T. Porntaveetus, M.S. Ota, H.Y. Choi, E.B. Johnson, P. Myers, S. Oommen, K. Eto, J.A. Kessler, T. Kondo, G.J. Fraser, J.T. Streelman, U.F.J. Pardiñas, A. Tucker, P.E. Ortiz, C. Charles, L. Viriot, J. Herz and P.T. Sharpe. A role for suppressed incisor cuspal morphogenesis in the evolution of mammalian heterodont dentitions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107: 92-97. (LINK)
2010 Mims, M.C., C.D. Hulsey, B.M. Fitzpatrick and J.T. Streelman. Geography disentangles introgression from ancestral polymorphism in Lake Malawi cichlids. Molecular Ecology 19: 940-951. (PDF)
2009 Fraser, G.J., C.D. Hulsey, R.F. Bloomquist, K. Uyesugi, N.R. Manley and J.T. Streelman. An ancient gene network is co-opted for teeth on old and new jaws. PloS Biology 7(2): e1000031. (LINK)
2009 Lettieri, L., D. Boothe, K. Cheney, C. Mazel, N.J. Marshall and J.T. Streelman. Cleaner gobies evolve advertising stripes of higher contrast. J. Exp. Biol. 214: 2194-2203. (LINK)
2008 Loh, Y-H.E., L.S. Katz, M.C. Mims, T.D. Kocher, S.V. Yi and J.T. Streelman. Comparative analysis reveals signatures of differentiation amid genomic polymorphism in Lake Malawi cichlids. Genome Biology 9: R113. (LINK)