The Phillips lab works as an integrated team in which scientists with diverse backgrounds work on their own projects and also help each other to implement innovative approaches to solving complex problems.


Phillips Laboratory

Principle Investigator

Patrick Phillips
Professor, Department of Biology

Evolution of complex traits and gene interaction systems. Evolution of sex, aging, behavior, and stress response.


Phillips is also the Acting Executive Director of the new Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact (website)


Research Associates

Stephen Banse

Role of diet and behavioral choice in generating variability in reproduction and longevity. Dissection of complex metabolic networks in the prediction of late life phenotypes based on diet and metabolic state early in life.

John Willis

Molecular genetics of natural variation in stress response. Evolution of miRNAs and their targets. Natural variation in transcription factor binding.


Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Jessica Preston

Systems genetics of aging using high-throughput single-cell approaches.



Gavin Woodruff

Evolution of developmental systems. Developmental biology and biogeographic variation in C.sp. 34.



Graduate Students

Heather Archer

Epistasis and the evolution of genetic networks using the C. elegans lipd metabolism system as a model.



P. Alex De Verteuil

Late life and transgenerational effects of early life stress. Genetic pathways influencing stress and aging.



Katja Kasimatis

Evolution of sexual conflict. Sperm and seminal fluid proteomics.



Christine O'Connor

Genetic architecture of complex traits, how that genetic architecture is altered by evolutionary processes such as natural selection, using experimental evolution of stress response.



Lab Manager

Anna Coleman-Hulbert

Influence of natural genetic variation on the response to compounds that extend life- and health-span.



Research Assistants

Erik Johnson

Influence of natural genetic variation on the response to compounds that extend life- and health-span.



Kristin Robinson

Microfluidic approaches to studying aging, stress response and biodemography.



Megan Schauwecker

Molecular characterization of the genetic networks influencing natural variation in stress response; genome engineering.



Christine Sedore

Influence of natural genetic variation on the response to compounds that extend life- and health-span.




Sally Claridge

Experimental evolution of heat stress response.



Eric Hammerschmith

Developmental patterns in C. sp. 34




Juliana Rantisi

Transgeneration effects of stress on longevity.




Academic Positions of Former Lab Members

David Baltrus Ph.D. 2006 Assist Prof School of Plant Science, University of Arizona
Lori Cruze Res Assist 2006 Assist Prof Dept Biology, Wofford College
Suzanne Estes Ph.D. 2002 Assoc Prof Dept Biology, Portland State University
Janna Fierst Postdoc 2014 Assist Prof Dept Biology, University of Alabama
Behzad Germami-Naini M.S. 1997 Assist Prof Sackler School of Grad Biomed Sci, Tufts University
Erika Hersch-Green Ph.D. 2007 Assist Prof Dept Biological Sci, Michigan Tech University
Katrina McGuigan Postdoc 2005 Senior Lecturer School of Biol Sci, Univ. Queensland, Australia
Levi Morran Ph.D. 2009 Assist Prof Dept Biology, Emory University
Stephen Proulx Postdoc 2005 Assoc Prof Dept Ecol Evol & Marine Biol, UC Santa Barbara
Rose Reynolds Postdoc 2012 Assist Prof Dept Biology, William Jewell College
Andrew Stewart M.S. 1997 Assist Prof Biology Dept, Canisius College
Henrique Teotónio Postdoc 2002 Assist Prof Institut de Biologie de l'École Normale Supérieure, Paris
Julie Thompson Ph.D. 2002 Assoc Prof American Public University