Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Presentation Title: “Evolutionary Innovations in Extreme Environments: Hermaphroditic Fish Adapted to Life on Land”
Ryan L. Earley is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Alabama. He received his PhD from the University of Louisville and was an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia.
Earley is a member of the Evolution Working Group, Center for Prevention of Youth Behavior Problems, and Center for Freshwater Studies at The University of Alabama. He recently participated in two workshops sponsored by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center that aimed to forward next-generation approaches to the evolution of complex social behavior and evolutionary developmental biology.
Earley received a 2012 National Alumni Association Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award for his commitment to employing hypothesis-driven active-learning strategies in the classroom, where he teaches animal behavior and endocrinology, and as a research mentor to over 130 undergraduate students since arriving at The University of Alabama in 2008.
His integrative research program focuses on the physiological and evolutionary mechanisms driving variation in reproductive behavior, attractiveness, aggression, risk-taking, and life history traits in a variety of fish species. Earley’s laboratory houses one of Earth’s most intriguing creatures, the mangrove rivulus fish (more than 4,500 animals). This fish is the only vertebrate capable of “cloning” itself through sexual reproduction and can live out of water for over two months.