Erica Larson

Assistant Professor

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

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, 2013
  • BS, Biology, Western Washington University, 2004

Professional Affiliations

  • Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • American Genetics Association
  • American Society of Naturalists
  • Entomological Society of America

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.

Areas of Research

speciation
hybridization
sexual selection
sex chromosome evolution
population genetics and genomics
evolution of gene expression

Featured Publications

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 Genetic Article, Genetics
  • Provost’s Diversity Fellowship , Cornell University
  • American Association of University Women Fellowship, AAUW
  • Robert H. Whittaker Award for Outstanding Presentation , Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant , Agriculture & Life Sciences, Cornell University