Dr. Ashley Elias, Assistant Professor
(816) 271-4381 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ashley Elias has been at MWSU since 2019. Her research interests include behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, ichthyology, genomics, and bioinformatics. In particular, she studies the genetic basis of complex traits in fishes (such as: behavior, sex determination, and limb development). The variety of approaches and techniques provide a range of research options for students.
From Viruses to Vertebrates: A Freshwater Biodiversity Survey
This research will use traditional and molecular tools to sample and categorize the biological entities in the freshwater environments that occur on the Missouri Western State campus. Students that work on this project will gain lab and field experience as well as experience working with large, complicated sets of data.
This project is a collaborative effort between the labs of Dr. Elias, Dr. Ganong, Dr. Grantham, Dr. Mills, and Dr. Drake.
Requirements: Successful completion of at least one Biology course.
Mechanisms and adaptive significance of complex traits in fishes
This research looks at the genetic basis of complex traits, including behavior, migration, and sex determination, in fishes. This research looks at the genetic basis of complex traits, including behavior, sex determination, and limb development, in fishes. Current projects are examining behavioral variation and associated gene expression in migratory salmonids (brook trout and rainbow trout), the origins of the vertebrate paired-appendage gene regulatory network in an (paddlefish), and the evolution of genetic sex determination (African cichlids). The aim is to understand the generation and maintenance of variation we can observe in nature through the use of behavioral experiments, comparative approaches, and genomic and bioinformatic tools. With these combined approaches, we are beginning to understand the number, identity, and expression of genes underlying the standing phenotypic variability among and within wild fish populations. This research looks at the genetic basis of complex traits, including behavior, migration, and sex determination, in fishes.
Requirements: Interest in fish and ecology (such as behavior or development) OR molecular biology (such as wet lab work or analyzing genomic data).