Overview

Research in the Cheviron Lab focuses primarily on addressing questions at the interface between integrative physiology, functional genomics and evolutionary biology. These questions range from mechanistic investigations of physiological adaptation and acclimatization responses to comparative analyses of the importance of environmental gradients in population divergence, speciation, and biodiversity conservation.  We work primarily with birds and mammals that are distributed across broad elevational, latitudinal and salinity gradients using integrative approaches that draw on techniques from functional genomics to physiological ecology. Our research it organized around six broad and overlapping themes.

We use deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and other high-elevation species to study how natural selection act on hierarchical physiological and biochemical pathways to produce integrated adaptive phenotypes.

We use deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and other high-elevation species to study how natural selection act on hierarchical physiological and biochemical pathways to produce integrated adaptive phenotypes.

Systems Biology of high altitude adaptation

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We are working to determine the molecular mechanisms that underlie phenotypic flexibility in range of species from Peromyscus mice to Dark-eyed Juncos and Green Anoles, and we are using this information to ask questions about speed and limits of phenotypic flexibility in relation to changing abiotic conditions. (photo by S. Rice)

We are working to determine the molecular mechanisms that underlie phenotypic flexibility in range of species from Peromyscus mice to Dark-eyed Juncos and Green Anoles, and we are using this information to ask questions about speed and limits of phenotypic flexibility in relation to changing abiotic conditions. (photo by S. Rice)

MECHANISMS & EVOLUTION OF PHENOTYPIC FLEXIBILITY

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In conjunction with collaborators at the University of Wyoming and Cornell University, we are investigating the mechanisms and ecological consequences of altered energetics in chickadee hybrids.

In conjunction with collaborators at the University of Wyoming and Cornell University, we are investigating the mechanisms and ecological consequences of altered energetics in chickadee hybrids.

AEROBIC PERFORMANCE & metabolic HYBRID BREAKDOWN

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We are studying the types of mutations that contribute differences in gene expression and how these mutations influence gene regulatory network structure and the expression of complex traits. 

We are studying the types of mutations that contribute differences in gene expression and how these mutations influence gene regulatory network structure and the expression of complex traits. 

Gene Expression & Complex trait evolution

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We are studying the degree of regulatory plasticity and regulatory canalization in Peromyscus  and other species that differ in the amount of environmental variation they experience species to gain insights into relative contributions of phenotypic plasticity and genotypic specialization in local adaptation. (photo by Cole Wolf) 

We are studying the degree of regulatory plasticity and regulatory canalization in Peromyscus  and other species that differ in the amount of environmental variation they experience species to gain insights into relative contributions of phenotypic plasticity and genotypic specialization in local adaptation. (photo by Cole Wolf) 

plasticity vs. genotypic specialization in adaptation

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We are examining the role of environmental gradients in promoting genetic and morphological divergence among in species that are distributed along them. These landscape-scale studies help to place our mechanistic investigations into a broader phylogeographic context. (photo by P. Benham) 

We are examining the role of environmental gradients in promoting genetic and morphological divergence among in species that are distributed along them. These landscape-scale studies help to place our mechanistic investigations into a broader phylogeographic context. (photo by P. Benham) 

DIVERSIFICATION ALONG ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS

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