An internationally renowned scholar in the field of evolutionary biology, Professor Jonathan Losos joins the Washington University faculty in January 2018.
Losos most recently served as the Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and curator in herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. In partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo, he will lead the Living Earth CollaborativeTM, a new academic center dedicated to advancing the study of biodiversity. The Living Earth CollaborativeTM will serve as a hub to facilitate interdisciplinary research among plant and animal biologists and other scholars across a wide range of fields, bringing together the world’s leading scholars in the field of biodiversity to address the most pressing issue facing humankind today — the ability to sustain life on Earth.
Within the biology department at Washington University, the primary focus of the Losos Lab is on the behavioral and evolutionary ecology of lizards and the study of evolutionary adaptation of wild species to urban habitats. Major questions concern how lizards interact with their environment and how lizard clades have diversified evolutionarily. Addressing such questions requires integration of behavioral, ecological, functional morphological, and phylogenetic studies. A major focus has been the evolutionary radiation of Caribbean Anolis lizards, but other lizard radiations are also being studied. A newly-developing line of research concerns whether and how species are adapting to urban environments.