Graduating with Highest Honors

Congratulations to Morran Lab undergraduates Will Milligan and Jae Hoon Cho for successfully defending their Honor’s Theses and graduating with Highest Honors!


Jae Hoon’s thesis is entitled, “Parasite virulence and the maintenance of outcrossing in the Caenorhabditis elegans and Serratia marcescens system”
Jae Hoon is heading to Amherst College as a research technician for Dr. Michael Hood.

Will and Levi Graduate 2017
Will and Levi, College of Arts and Sciences Graduation, Emory University, May 2017

Will’s thesis is entitled, “An empirical test of Baker’s Law”
Will is off to Columbia University as a grad student in the JD/PhD program in Biological Sciences.


New Publication for Postdoc Mandy Gibson

Mandy Gibson just had a paper published in Evolution Letters – it’s the first accepted paper in the first issue of this brand new journal! Evolution Letters is a joint journal between the US and European evolutionary biology societies and is supposed to fill in the gap in impact factor between the current of evolutionary biology journals, i.e. Evolution, and really big journals like Science

“The two-fold cost of sex: experimental evidence from a natural system” 2017 Evol Letters 1(1): 6-15.

“Theory by Maynard Smith in the 70’s proposed the two-fold cost of males as the primary cost of sex in dioecious species (species with separate males and females). Here, we experimentally validate this theory. In the snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, there is indeed a two-fold cost of sex.”

You can find the open-access article here, plus commentary on the Evolution Letters blog.

Morran Lab in Action!

 Morran lab team members are always happy to strike a very science-y pose!

Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium

A few of the Morran Lab undergraduates presented work at this year’s Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS) on April 19th and 20th!

Chris BURSSenior Chris Stadnick discussing his project with Biology Professor Chris Beck.


Giang and HopiSenior Giang Ha talking with Dr. Hopi Hoekstra of Harvard University, our keynote speaker for the Biology Undergraduate Symposium.


Julie #1

Julie #2Junior Julie Lin discussing her research project!

Rema LeviRema (from Dr. Meleah Hickman’s Lab) discussing her project to a group of faculty, including Levi, and Maggie, the small dancer.

Congrats to all who presented posters, and also a shout out to Jae Hoon Cho and Will Milligan for successfully defending their senior honors theses!

Movie Stars

The Morran lab makes its acting and directing debut in “The Red Queen Game.” Signe White and McKenna Penley star as hand models, and our lab bench stars as the background. Thanks to Josh Kushner for the original score!

Mandy Gibson created this video to show teachers and students how to play the Red Queen Game in their classrooms. The game is a simple and hands-on way to teach host-parasite coevolution and test the hypothesis that host-parasite coevolution maintains genetic variation. The open-access publication describing the game and its underlying concepts can be found here, and additional resources are available on Mandy’s site.


Two new publications from Morran Lab members. Way to go, team!

Hoang KL, Morran LT and Gerardo NM (2016) Experimental Evolution as an Underutilized Tool for Studying Beneficial Animal–Microbe Interactions. Front. Microbiol. 7:1444. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01444

Get access here!


Slowinski, S. P., Morran, L. T., Parrish, R. C., Cui, E. R., Bhattacharya, A., Lively, C. M. and Phillips, P. C. (2016), Coevolutionary interactions with parasites constrain the spread of self-fertilization into outcrossing host populations. Evolution. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/evo.13048

Check out the lab’s full list of publications here.