Erica Larson

Assistant Professor, Evolution

What I do

My lab studies how sexual selection and genomic conflict shape the evolution of reproduction, and how divergence in these key reproductive traits contribute to speciation.

Specialization(s)

evolutionary biology

Professional Biography

  • Assistant Professor, University of Denver, 2017 - present
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, 2013 - 2017

Degree(s)

  • PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, 2013
  • BS, Biology, Western Washington University, 2004

Research

In the Larson Lab, we want to understand the origins of species diversity and how evolutionary forces drive speciation. The evolution of reproductive traits is central to this process. Males and females interact in diverse ways, both before and after mating. They also interact at different organizational levels—as individuals, gametes, sex chromosomes, and genes that have evolved male and female-biased functions. The evolution of reproductive traits is at once cooperative and antagonistic. Individuals have to be able to reproduce, but males and females can have conflicting interests. We study how sexual selection and genomic conflict shape the evolution of reproduction, and how divergence in these key reproductive traits contribute to speciation.

Featured Publications

Larson, E. L., Brassil, M. M., Maslan, J., Juarez, D., Lilagan, F., Tipton, H., et al. (2019). The effects of heterospecific mating frequency on the strength of cryptic barriers. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 32(9), 900-912.
Taylor, S. A., & Larson, E. L. (2019). Insights from genomes into the evolutionary importance and prevalence of hybridization in nature. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3, 170-177.
Larson, E. L., Vanderpool, D., Sarver, B. A. J., Callahan, C., Keeble, S., Provencio, L. P., et al. (2018). The evolution of polymorphic hybrid incompatibilities in house mice. Genetics, 209, 845–859.
Larson, E. L., Kopania, E. E. K., & Good, J. M. (2018). Spermatogenesis and the evolution of mammalian sex chromosomes. Trends in Genetics, 34(9), 722-732.
Larson, E. L., Keeble, S., Vanderpool, D., Dean, M., & Good, J. (2017). The composite regulatory basis of the large X-effect in mouse speciation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34, 282-295.

Awards

Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Population Genetics Article published in Genetics Awarded for “The evolution of polymorphic hybrid incompatibles in house mice”, 2019