My research uses the mangrove rivulus (Krypotlebias marmoratus) as a model system. Mangrove rivulus fish are the only known self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrate; that is, individuals possess both male and female reproductive organs and can thus fertilize themselves. In natural populations and in the laboratory, long bouts of self-fertilization result in completely homozygous animals. These individuals produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent and all siblings. By generating isogenic strains of these fish we have the ability to expose genetically identical individuals to a variety of environmental conditions and examine the effects of environmental conditions, in absence of genetic effects, on an individual's phenotype. Conversely, we can expose genetically distinct individuals to a single environmental condition and examine the effects of individual genotype, in absence of environmental effects, on an individual's phenotype. My research is primarily focused on the latter. I intend to examine a number of phenotypic traits from multiple, genetically distinct lines of mangrove rivulus fish, all raised in a common garden environment. I will examine population-level differences in trait covariances and link this to patterns of local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. Although my time is mainly spent in lab I do on occasion venture out into the field to get my hands dirty helping my fellow colleagues or myself; including field work in the Florida Keys and areas surrounding Tuscaloosa, Al. Contact: Email Mark
Earley RL, Hanninen AF, Fuller A, Garcia MJ & Lee EA (2012). Phenotypic plasticity and integration in the mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus): a prospectus. Integrative & Comparative Biology, in press.
Garcia MJ, Sivaraman B, Paiva L, Lennox M, Wong SC & Earley RL (2012). Effects of fighting experience on future contest success in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). Ethology, 118: 821-834.
Garcia MJ, Murphree J, Wilson J, & Earley RL. Experience Effects: Changes in Perceived Fighting Ability or By-Product of Metabolic Changes? Prepared for Frontiers in Zoology