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Edward D. Burress, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar | Wainwright Lab

Department of Evolution and Ecology

University of California, Davis

Ph.D., Auburn University 2017, Biological Sciences


Research interests: adaptive radiation, ecological opportunity, morphological diversification and innovations

I'm a postdoctoral scholar in the Wainwright Lab at University of California, Davis. I am broadly interested in evolutionary ecology, especially topics such as adaptive radiation, ecological opportunity, adaptive landscapes, morphological diversification, and functional innovation. Currently, I am mostly interested in patterns and rates of trait evolution among cichlid fishes, particularly oral and pharyngeal jaw evolution. I am also curious about the influence of colonization- and innovation-associated ecological opportunity during the evolutionary history of cichlids. For example, cichlids have colonized many ecosystems such as lakes and rivers that may have provided unique opportunities for those lineages. Similarly, all cichlids possess modified pharyngeal jaws that provide a strong biting mechanism, which provided access to previously inaccessible resources. How these events and traits altered cichlids trajectory across the adaptive landscape motivates much of my current research.

I am fascinated by ecological speciation and adaptive radiation in which populations/species exhibit dramatic morphological and ecological divergence coupled with shallow genetic divergence. Understanding the evolutionary histories of such lineages is complex and therefore I have employed phylogenomic methods, namely UCEs and RADseq, to study these unique systems.


I am also interested in community- and population-scale ecology, particularly trophic patterns among aquatic organisms, including minnows, tetras, and macrocrustaceans.

Contact: edwarddburress'at'gmail'dot'com

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