Robert Krebs

Robert A. Krebs


Summary

My dual interests in biology and chemistry first took me to Virginia Tech, as the only university in Virginia then that offered a degree titled Biochemistry. In time, I pursued questions in WHY organisms behave the way they do, wording that indicated an interest in evolution and speciation. Thus I left chemistry and took a Masters studying morphological evolution and constraints. From there, I followed the famous line of Horace Greeley,'Go West, young man' to research behavioral mechanisms in speciation for a Ph.D. in Arizona, and several research positions: in population divergence and environmental variation in Australia, developmental variation in high temperature tolerance at the University of Aarhus, DK (with field work in the Canary Islands), and eventually the underlying molecular basis of such changes at the University of Chicago.

Tempering my westward migration, I came east to Cleveland, where since 1997 I have continued to study the relationship between environmental variation and genetic divergence within species, moving from a model species group, fruit flies, to freshwater mussels. These animals have largely failed to adapt to the changes of urban living, often declining in numbers or disappearing completely. Understanding their tolerance limits to diverse stresses in rivers and lakes is a critical step to initiate recovery, and also one necessary to understand the population biology of this enigmatic family of mollusks.

Biogeography Evolutionary Studies Freshwater Biology