Jason Kolbe


My research examines how recent, human-mediated global change phenomena, such as biological invasions, climate change, and urbanization, drive evolutionary change in natural populations. I strive to understand the evolutionary response of invading populations to the rapid environmental shifts that accompany invasion of a new geographic region. I focus on clarifying the evolutionary mechanisms behind phenotypic changes during introductions, with particular emphasis on how the changing ecological context affects patterns of natural selection and phenotypic plasticity, and how invasion history regulates patterns of genetic variation within and among populations. This work integrates field and laboratory studies of evolutionary genetics, ecological morphology, physiological ecology, and environmental niche modeling. The primary goal of my research is to understand how evolutionary processes facilitate or constrain the ability of alien species to invade non-native areas in order to accurately predict the future course of invasions.


Ph.D. 2005, Washington University in St. Louis
M.S. 2000, Iowa State University
B.S. 1995, Morningside College

Selected Publications

  1. Kolbe, J.J. M. Kearney, and R. Shine. 2010. Modeling the consequence of thermal trait variation for the cane toad invasion of Australia. Ecological Applications 20:2273-2285.
  2. Kolbe, J.J., A. Larson, J.B. Losos, and K. de Queiroz. 2008. Admixture determines genetic diversity and population differentiation in the biological invasion of a lizard species. Biology Letters 4:434-437.
  3. Kolbe, J.J., A. Larson, and J.B. Losos. 2007. Differential admixture shapes morphological variation among invasive populations of the lizard Anolis sagrei. Molecular Ecology 16:1579-1591.
  4. Kolbe, J.J., R.E. Glor, L. Rodriguez-Schettino, A. Chamizo-Lara, A. Larson, and J.B. Losos. 2007. Multiple sources, admixture, and genetic variation in introduced Anolis lizard populations. Conservation Biology 21:1612-1625.
  5. Kolbe, J.J., R.E. Glor, L. Rodriguez-Schettino, A. Chamizo-Lara, A. Larson, and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.


BIO 282G - Sapiens: the changing nature of human evolution
BIO 396 - Biology & Society