April Harlin Cognato

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2004

21 Natural Science
Office Telephone: 517-432-5157
cognatoa@msu.edu


Molecular Evolution; Evolution of Developmental Processes; Molecular Ecology; Phylogeography; Quantitative Phylogenetics; Bioinformatics, Behavioral Ecology

An important goal of evolutionary biologists is to explain the acquisition and loss of novel traits, such as organs, structures, physiological processes and genes. Currently, my research involves evolution at the level of genes, either in regulation or function, which underlie important episodes of change in the evolutionary history of complex organisms. I am particularly interested in those traits that are under sexual selection, namely those involved in regulating physiological interactions between males, females, and offspring as a result of a species’ reproductive physiology and mating systems.In addition, research in my lab involves the use of molecular markers to examine the molecular ecology and systematic biology of a wide range of taxa.

Representative Publications

Harlin-Cognato, A. D., T. Markowitz, B. Würsig, and R. L. Honeycutt. In press. Multi-locus phylogeography of the dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus): Passive dispersal via the west-wind drift or response to prey species and climate change? BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Harlin-Cognato, A. D., and R. L. Honeycutt. 2006. Multi-locus phylogeny of dolphins in the subfamily Lissodelphininae: Character synergy improves phylogenetic resolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6: 87-92.

Harlin-Cognato, A. D., E. A. Hoffman, and A. G. Jones. 2006. Gene co-option without duplication during the evolution of a male pregnancy gene in pipefish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 103:19407-19412.

Harlin, A. D., R. L. Honeycutt, J. W. Bickham. 2006. Glacial refugia and the phylogeography of Steller’s sea lion (Eumatopias jubatus) in the North Pacific. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19:955-969.

Harlin, A. D., C. S. Baker, R. L. Honeycutt, T. M. Markowitz, and B. Würsig. 2003. Genetic structure, diversity, and historic demography of New Zealand’s dusky dolphin. Journal of Mammalogy 84(2):702-707.