Assistant Professor of Biology
Biological families create opportunities for cooperative interactions but are also fraught with conflict. My research seeks to understand how cooperation and conflict among family members affect evolutionary change. I am especially interested in whether family life can be a catalyst for the formation of new species, how traits in parents and offspring coevolve, and whether conflict between family members can drive the evolution of complex adaptations. As a broadly trained evolutionary ecologist, I combine techniques and concepts from behavioral ecology, life-history theory, molecular biology, and experimental evolution to test evolutionary theory. My current research focuses on beetles in the genus Nicrophorus, however I also have strong interests in the ecology and evolution of placental fish.
Schrader, M., B. J. M. Jarrett, D. Rebar, and R. M. Kilner. 2017 Adaptation to a novel family environment involves both apparent and cryptic phenotypic changes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 284: 20171295.
Jarrett, B. J. M., M. Schrader, D. Rebar and R. M. Kilner. 2017 Cooperative interactions within the family enhance the capacity for evolutionary change in body size. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 0178.
Palmer, W. J., A. Duarte, M. Schrader, J. P. Day, R. M. Kilner, and F. M. Jiggins. 2016. A gene associated with social immunity in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 283: 20152733.
Schrader, M., R. M. Crosby*, A. Hesketh*, B. J. M. Jarrett, and R. M. Kilner. 2016. A limit on the extent to which increased egg size can compensate for a poor post-natal environment, revealed experimentally in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. Ecology and Evolution 6: 329-336.
Schrader, M., B. J. M. Jarrett, and R. M. Kilner. 2015. Using experimental evolution to study adaptations for life within the family. The American Naturalist 185: 610-619.
Recommended by the Faculty of 1000
Schrader, M., B. J. M. Jarrett, and R. M. Kilner. 2015. Parental care masks a density-dependent shift from cooperation to competition in burying beetle broods. Evolution 69: 1077-1084.
Schrader, M., R. C. Fuller, and J. Travis. 2013. Differences in offspring size predict the direction of isolation asymmetry between populations of a placental fish. Biology Letters 9: 20130327.
Apodaca, J. J., J. C. Trexler, N. Jue, M. Schrader,and J. Travis. 2013. Large-scale natural disturbance alters genetic population structure of the Sailfin Molly, Poecilia latipinna. The American Naturalist 181: 254-263.
Schrader, M. and J. Travis. 2012. Variation in offspring size with birth order in placental fish: a role for asymmetrical sibling competition? Evolution 66: 272-279.
Schrader, M., J. J. Apodaca, P. Macrae, and J. Travis. 2012. Population density does not influence male gonadal investment in the Least killifish, Heterandria formosa. Ecology and Evolution 2: 2935-2942.
Schrader, M. and J. Travis. 2012. Assessing the effects of population density and predation regime on the evolution of offspring size in populations of a placental fish. Ecology and Evolution 2: 1480-1490.