Assistant Professor of Biology
Work in the Parker Lab addresses a fundamental question in biology: how predictable is evolution, and to what extent is evolutionary change predetermined by ancestral conditions? Parker established a unique model system to address this question: rove beetles that live symbiotically inside colonies of ants and termites. Such species embody evolution in the extreme, with dramatic behavioral, anatomical and chemical adaptations for life as social parasites. Parker’s research promises to reveal basic insights into the molecular, genetic and neurobiological changes that underlie the evolution of interspecies interactions in the animal kingdom.