Paul Schmidt

Professor of Biology and Associate Chair of Department
225 Leidy Laboratory
Ecology and Biodiversity
Neurobiology, Behavior, and Physiology
Genetics, Epigenetics, Genomics

Ph.D., Brown University, 1999

Research Interests: 


evolutionary ecology, ecological and evolutionary genetics


As a research group, we are broadly interested in the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations that experience environmental heterogeneity over various spatial and temporal scales.  We seek to understand mechanistically how natural selection works in heterogeneous environments, the context dependency and many constraints on this process, and how this ultimately produces an adaptive response.   Our research combines extensive sampling of natural populations and –omics level characterizations, laboratory-based classical and molecular genetics, and experimentation conducted in both the field and laboratory.   Much of our work is centered on testing the functional significance of identified molecular polymorphism: establishing concrete links between allelic variation, physiologically mediated performance, and the differential fitness of genotypes among environments. 

For information about current research in my laboratory, please see our lab webpage.

Selected Publications: 

Paaby, A.B, A.O. Bergland, E.L. Behrman and P.S. Schmidt. 2014. An amino acid polymorphism in the Drosophila insulin receptor demonstrates pleiotropic and adaptive function in life history traits. Evolution 68(12): 3395-3409. 

 Bergland, A., E.L. Behrman, K.R. O’Brien, P.S. Schmidt and D.A. Petrov. 2014. Genomic evidence of rapid and stable adaptive oscillations over seasonal timescales in Drosophila. PLoS Genetics.

Paaby, A.B, M. Blackett, A.A. Hoffmann & P.S. Schmidt. 2010. Identification of a candidate adaptive polymorphism for Drosophila life history by parallel independent clines on two continents. Molecular Ecology 19: 760-774.

Schmidt, P.S., C.T. Zhu, J. Das, M. Batavia, L. Yang and W.F. Eanes.  2008. An amino acid polymorphism in the couch potato gene forms the basis for climatic adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 105(42) 16207-16211.

Courses Taught: 


BIOL 230 - Evolutionary Biology

BIOL 607 - Writing for Biologists