Assistant Professor of Biology
Spencer Hall 161 / ext. 3597
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.