My research lies at the intersection of ecology and evolutionary biology, in that I approach questions about how changes in climate and habitat shape organisms and communities in a way that considers their evolutionary implications. My work integrates studies of molecular, morphological, ecological, and behavioral variation, and I focus mainly on amphibians because their diversity provides an exciting backdrop for exploring the interplay between ecology and evolution across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The questions I ask address:
- How climate and host/pathogen evolution shape the dynamics of wildlife diseases
- The effects of changes in climate on species distributions and diversity
- How reproductive isolation evolves during speciation
- The natural history and conservation of endangered amphibians.
Yang, Y., M. R. Servedio and C
Yang, Y., M. R. Servedio and C. L. Richards-Zawacki (2019) Imprinting sets the stage for speciation. Nature. 574(7776): 99-102
Brannelly, L. A., M. E. B. Ohmer, V. Saenz, C.
Brannelly, L. A., M. E. B. Ohmer, V. Saenz, C. L. Richards-Zawacki (2019) Effects of a shortened hydroperiod on larval development and post-metamorphic immune defenses in a temperate amphibian. Functional Ecology 33: 1952-1961.
Robak, M. J., L. K. Reinert, L. A. Rollins-Smith, C. L. Richards-Zawacki (2019) Out in the cold and sick: Low temperatures and fungal infections impair a frog’s skin defenses. Journal of Experimental Biology 222: jeb.209445.
Voyles, J., D. C. Woodhams, V. Saenz, A. Q. Byrne, R. Perez, G. Rios-Sotelo, M. J. Ryan, M. C. Bletz, F. A. Sobell, S. McLetchie, L. Reinert, E. B. Rosenblum, L. A. Rollins-Smith, R. Ibanez, J. M. Ray, E. J. Griffith, H. Ross, C. L. Richards-Zawacki (2018) Amphibian recoveries and shifts in disease dynamics are not due to pathogen attenuation. Science 359: 1517-1519.
Dr. Richards-Zawacki received her PhD with L. Lacey Knowles in 2007 from the University of Michigan, performed her post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Institute and UC Berkeley,, held a position as Assistant Professor at Tulane University, and joined the department in 2015.