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Erik Ragsdale

Erik Ragsdale | Principal investigator


Posdoctoral fellow, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (2010-2014)
Ph.D., University of California, Riverside (2009)

L111 Foundations in Biology: Diversity, Evolution, and Ecology (lecture, Fall)
Z620 Systematics (graduate seminar, Spring)
Z620 Evolution of Development (graduate seminar, Spring)


Sofia Casasa

Sofia Casasa | Postdoctoral researcher

Evolution of nuclear receptor-mediated developmental plasticity

My research focuses on the developmental and genetic mechanisms, as well as evolutionary consequences, of phenotypic plasticity. Previously, my work used Onthophagus horned beetles to better understand the mechanisms of nutrition-responsive horn growth, as well as the potential role of plasticity in evolutionary diversification. In the Ragsdale lab, I investigate the function and evolution of polyphenism genes across diverse, predatory nematode species.



Joana Projecto Garcia

Joana Projecto-Garcia | Postdoctoral researcher

Novel protein interactions making up a polyphenism switch

I am a molecular biologist with a special interest in adaptation mechanisms of organisms facing extreme environmental conditions. Until now my research has focused on the evolutionary history and comparative function of respiratory adaptation mechanisms in invertebrates and vertebrates living in hypoxic environments (low oxygen availability). Following this interest in evolutionary solutions to stress conditions, my research in the Ragsdale lab focuses on the molecular evolution and comparative function of a polyphenism switch in predatory nematodes.


Joseph Biddle

Joe Biddle | Graduate student

Comparative function and evolutionary analysis of polyphenism genes

My research interests are fueled by the diversity of life. I have a particular interest in how developmental/molecular/genetic programs have been differentially deployed for novel traits. Previously, I worked to understand the functionality of signaling pathways during both embryonic and post-embryonic animal development. In context I examined the role that these events have during morphogenesis in the marine annelid, Chaetopterus variopedatus and during development of the butterfly eyespot (a novel trait) in Vanessa cardui. In the Ragsdale lab, I study the comparative function of polyphenism genes among predatory nematodes.



Katelynn Moore | Research assistant

Nematode husbandry



Marc Allison | X490 research undergraduate

Molecular characterization of polyphenism switch genes



Ryan Mueller | X490 research undergraduate

Physiological studies of polyphenism mutants



Lab alumni

Where are they now?





Interested in joining the lab? Please contact Erik Ragsdale for more information.

Department of Biology
Indiana University
915 E. 3rd Street, Myers Hall 100
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA


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