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Daniel Bolnick

Bolnick, Daniel
Associate Professor



Main Office: PAT 607A Phone: 512 471-2824

Alternate Office: PAT 606-612 Phone: 512 471-1964

Mailing Address:
University of Texas at Austin
Section of Integrative Biology
1 University Station, C0930
Austin,TX 78712

Research Lab Members:
  • Brock, Chad
  • Jiang, Yuexin
  • Snowberg, Lisa
  • Stutz, William

  • Research Summary:
    Work on my lab is focused on the following themes: 1. What is the genetic, immunological, and ecological basis of host adaptation to spatially heterogeneous parasite communities? This work includes field experiments testing local adaptation by hosts and parasites, analyses of selection and population genetics of candidate genes and the genome, and immunological measures of host responses to pathogens. 2. How is genetic and phenotypic variation maintained within populations despite the generally purifying effect of natural selection? Specifically, under what conditions does natural selection or mating system promote genetic variation? We focus on variation in feeding behavior, trophic morphology, immunology, and male color, and the relationships between these variables. 3. How does genetic and phenotypic variation within populations affect the outcome of ecological community dynamics? We focus on a range of ecological interactions, including gut-microbe communities, to parasite communities, to prey and predator communities and food webs. 4. What ecological and genetic processes promote adaptive divergence between populations, and when is this adaptation going to occur in parallel or not? 4. What is the ecological and genetic basis of speciation? In pursuing this work, we use a combination of observational field work, field and lab experiments, population genetics/genomics, immunology, and mathematical theory. Most work in the lab uses the threespine stickleback as a model organism. Specific projects include: 1) Tests of balancing selection, frequency-dependent selection, and spatial heterogeneity in maintaining diversity at MHC loci in three-spine stickleback. 2) Quantitative genetic analysis to understand the genetic basis of immunological adaptation to spatially varying parasite communities. 3) Evaluating the role of diet variation in assortative mating within populations of threespine stickleback. 4) Building mathematical models to understand the ecological effects of diet variation and assortative mating within species. 5) Investigating the relationship between natural selection and adaptive habitat preferences in adaptation.

    2011 . Bolnick, D.I., P. Amarasekare, M. Araujo, R. Bürger, Y. Jiang, J. Levine, M. Novak, V. Rudolf, S. Schreiber, M. Urban, D. Vasseur, Why intraspecific trait variation matters in ecology, Trends In Ecology and Evolution. 26: 183-192
    2011 Schreiber, S.J., R. Burger, D.I. Bolnick, The community effects of phenotypic and genetic variation within a predator population, Ecology view
    2011 Agashe, D., and D.I. Bolnick, Effects of founding genetic variation on adaptation to a novel resource, Evolution
    2011 Ingram, T., W.E. Stutz, D.I. Bolnick, Does intraspecific size variation in a predator affect its diet diversity and top-down control of prey? , PLoS One
    2010 Sih, A. D. I. Bolnick, B. Luttbeg, J.L. Orrock, S.D. Peacor, L.M. Pintor, E. Preisser, J.S. Rehage, J.R. Vonesh, Predator-prey naïveté, antipredator behavior, and the ecology of predator invasions, Oikos 119: 610-621
    2010 Berner, D., W.E. Stutz, and D.I. Bolnick, Diversification in phenotypic (co)variances among lacustrine populations of threespine stickleback, Evolution 64: 2265-2277
    2010 Mathews, B., K.B. Marchinko, D.I. Bolnick, A. Mazumder, Specialization of trophic position and habitat use by sticklebacks in an adaptive radiation, Ecology 91: 1025-1034
    2010 Agashe, D., and D.I. Bolnick, Intraspecific genetic variation and competition interact to facilitate niche expansion, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Ser. B 277: 2915-2924
    2009 Preisser, E.L., D.I. Bolnick, When predators don't eat their prey: nonconsumptive predator effects on prey dynamics, Ecology 89: 2414-2415
    2009 E.L. Preisser, D.I. Bolnick, and J. Grabowski, Resource dynamics influence the magnitude of non-consumptive effects of predators on prey, Ecology Letters 12: 315-323
    2009 Baptestini, E.M., M.A.M. de Aguiar, D.I. Bolnick and M.S. Araujo, The shape of the competition and carrying capacity kernels affects the likelihood of disruptive selection, Journal of Theoretical Biology 259: 5-11
    2009 Araujo, M.S., D.I. Bolnick, L. A. Martinelli, A.A. Giaretta, and S.F. dos Reis. , Individual-level diet variation in four species of Brazilian frogs, Journal of Animal Ecology 78: 848-856
    2009 Bolnick,D.I. L. Snowberg, C. Patenia, O. L. Lau, W. E. Stutz, and T. Ingram, Habitat choice contributes to adaptive divergence between lake and stream populations of three-spine stickleback, Evolution 63: 2004-2016
    2009 Bolnick, D.I., and J. Paull, Diet similarity declines with morphological distance between conspecific individuals, Evolutionary Ecology Research 11: 1217-1233
    2009 Hendry, A., D.I. Bolnick, D. Berner, and C.L. Peichel, Forth and back on the speciation continuum: explorations with stickleback, Journal of Fish Biology 75: 2000-2036
    2009 . Bolnick, D.I., T. Ingram, L.K. Snowberg, W.E. Stutz, O.L. Lau, and J.S. Paull, Ecological release from interspecific competition leads to decoupled changes in population and individual niche widths, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Ser. B 277: 1789–1797
    2008 Caldera, E. J., and D. I. Bolnick , Effects of colonization history and landscape structure on genetic variation within and among lacustrine populations of three-spine sticklebacks in a watershed, Evolutionary Ecology Research 10: 1-24
    2008 Kitano, J., D.I. Bolnick, D.A. Beauchamp, S. Mori, T. Nakano, and C.L. Peichel, Reverse evolution of armor plates in the threespine stickleback, Current Biology 18: 769-774
    2008 Bolnick, D.I., M. Turelli, H. López-Fernández, P.C. Wainwright, and T.J. Near, Does accelerated mitochondrial evolution explain ‘Darwin’s corollary’?: asymmetric viability of reciprocal F1 hybrids in centrarchid fishes, Genetics 178: 1037-1048
    2008 Bolnick, D.I., and O.L. Lau, Predictable patterns of disruptive selection in three-spine stickleback, American Naturalist 172: 1-11
    2008 Preisser, E.L., Bolnick, D.I. , The many faces of fear: categorizing the pathways and impacts of nonconsumptive predator effects on prey populations, PLOS One 3: e2465
    2008 Áraujo, M., P.R. Guimaraes, R. Svanbäck, A. Pinheiro, P. Guimaraes, S. Reis, and D.I. Bolnick, Network analysis reveals contrasting effects of intraspecific competition on individual vs. population diets, Ecology 89: 1981-1993
    2008 . Peckarsky, B. L., P.A. Abrams, D.I. Bolnick, L. Dill, J. Grabowski, B. Luttbeg, J. Orrock, S. Peacor, E.L. Preisser, O. Schmitz, G. Trussell, Rewriting the Textbooks: The relative importance of consumptive and non-consumptive predator effects in classic studies of predator-prey interactions, Ecology 89: 2416-2425
    2008 L. K. Snowberg, and D. I. Bolnick, Assortative mating by diet in a phenotypically unimodal but ecologically variable population of stickleback, American Naturalist 172: 733-739
    2008 Bolnick, D. I., E. J. Caldera, and B. Matthews, Evidence for asymmetric migration load in a pair of ecologically divergent lacustrine stickleback populations, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 94: 373-387
    2007 Svänback, R., and D. I. Bolnick, . Intraspecific competition drives increased resource use diversity within a natural population, . Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Section B 274: 839-844
    2007 Áraujo, M.S., D.I.Bolnick, G. Machardo, A. Giaretta, and S. Reis, Using δ13C stable isotopes to quantify individual-level diet variation, Oecologia 152: 643-654
    2007 Bolnick, D.I., R. Svänback, M. Araujo, L. Persson. , More generalized populations are also more heterogeneous: comparative support for the niche variation hypothesis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 10075-10079
    2007 Bolnick, D. I., and B. Fitzpatrick, Sympatric speciation: theory and empirical data, Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 38: 459-487
    2007 Bolnick, D.I., , The ‘invisible hand’ leaves an evolutionary fingerprint, Current Biology 17: 596-597
    2007 Bolnick, D.I. and P. Nosil. , Migration load and the strength of selection, Evolugion 61: 2229-2243
    2007 H. López-Fernández, and D.I. Bolnick, Is partial hybrid viability due to incomplete penetrance are parents heterozygous for Dobzhansky-Mueller incompatibilities? , PLoS One 2007: e1294
    2007 Áraujo, M., G. Machardo, A. Giaretta, S. Reis, and D.I.Bolnick, Individual-level diet variation in four species of Brazilian frogs (Leptodactylidae), Copeia 2007: 855-865
    2007 Bolnick, D. I. , ANOPA: ‘statistical’ systematics for young earth creationists, Reports of the National Center for Science Education 26: 22-31
    2006 Bolnick, D. A., D. I. Bolnick, and D. G. Smith, Y Chromosomes Reveal Assymetric Male and Female Genetic Histories in Eastern North America, Molecular Biology and Evolution 23: 2161-2174
    2006 Bolnick, D. I. and C. E. Miller. , Intergeneric spawning between the Sacramento Perch (Archoplites interruptus) and the Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestrus), Teleostei: Centrarchidae., American Midland Naturalist 156: 299-304
    2006 Bolnick, D. I. , A multi-species outcome of a common model of sympatric speciation, Journal of Theoretical Biology 241: 734-744
    2006 Bolnick, D. I., T J. Near, and P. C. Wainwright, Body size divergence promotes post-zygotic reproductive isolation in centrarchids, Evolutionary Ecology Research 8: 903-913
    2005 Wainwright, P. C., M. E. Alfaro, D. I. Bolnick, and C. D. Hulsey, Many-to-one mapping of form to function: a general principle of organismal design., Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 256-262
    2005 Alfaro, M.A., D.I. Bolnick, and P.C. Wainwright, Evolutionary consequences of many-to-one mapping of jaw morphology to mechanics in Labrid fishes, American Naturalist. 165: e140 – e154
    2005 Preisser, E., D. I. Bolnick, and M. F. Benard, Scared to death? behavioral effects dominate predator-prey interactions, Ecology 86: 501-509
    2005 Svanbäck, R. and D. I. Bolnick, An optimal foraging approach to modeling individual specialization., . Evolutionary Ecology Research 7: 993-1012
    2005 Near, T.J., D. I. Bolnick, and P. C. Wainwright, Fossil calibrations and molecular divergence time estimates in centrarchids fishes (Teleostei: Centrarchidae), Evolution 59: 1768-1782
    2005 Bolnick, D. I., and T. J. Near, Tempo of post-zygotic reproductive isolation in sunfishes (Teleostei: Centrarchidae), Evolution 59: 1754-1767
    2005 Bolnick, D. I. and E. L. Preisser, . Resource availability modifies the strength of trait-mediated predator-prey interactions, Ecology 86: 2771-2779
    2004 Alfaro, M.A., D.I. Bolnick, and P.C. Wainwright, The evolutionary dynamics of complex biomechanical systems, Evolution 58: 495-503
    2004 Near, T.J., D.I. Bolnick, and P.C. Wainwright, Investigating phylogenetic relationships of the Centrarchidae (Actinopterygii: Perciformes) using DNA sequences from mitochondrial and nuclear genes., Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 344-357
    2004 Bolnick, D. I. , Waiting for sympatric speciation, Evolution 58: 895-899
    2004 Bolnick, D.I, Does intraspecific competition generate disruptive selection? An experimental test in natural populations of sticklebacks, Evolution 58: 608-618
    2003 Bolnick, D.I., and M. Doebeli, Sexual dimorphism and adaptive speciation: two sides of the same ecological coin, Evolution 57: 2433-2449
    2003 Bolnick, D.I., R. Svanbäck, J.A. Fordyce, L.H. Yang, J.M. Davis, C.D. Hulsey, and M.L. Forister. , The ecology of individuals: incidence and implications of individual specialization. , American Naturalist 161: 1-28
    2002 Bolnick, D.I., and L. Ferry-Graham, Optimizing prey capture behaviors to maximize expected net benefit, Evolutionary Ecology Research 4: 843-855
    2002 Ferry-Graham, L. D.I. Bolnick, and P.C. Wainwright, Using functional morphology to examine the ecology and evolution of specialization, Integrative and Comparative Biology 42: 265-278
    2002 Bolnick, D.I., L.H. Yang, J.A. Fordyce, J.M. Davis, and R. Svanbäck, Measuring individual-level diet specialization, Ecology 83: 2936–2941
    2001 Bolnick, D.I, Intraspecific competition favours niche width expansion in Drosophila melanogaster, Nature 410: 463-466
    1999 Orians, C.M., D.I. Bolnick, B.M. Roche, R. S. Fritz, and T. Floyd, Water availability alters the relative performance of Salix sericea, Saliz eriocephala, and their F1 hybrids, Canadian Journal of Botany 77: 514-522