An evolutionary biologist, Alan O. Bergland studies the genetic basis of rapid and cyclic adaptation in the wild. His research uses genomic tools to understand the evolutionary dynamics of microevolution and adaptation, to determine the ecological causes and consequences of rapid adaptation, and to resolve the molecular genetic basis and physiological determinants of life-history traits that contribute to rapid adaptation. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded him a grant to study the genetics and physiology of adaptation in fruit flies and water fleas to variation in selection pressures associated with seasons and predation, respectively.
The long-term vision of Bergland’s research is to understand the extent, molecular mechanisms, and ecological causes and consequences of rapid and cyclic adaptive evolution in the wild. Systematically addressing these questions across a range of taxa, Bergland’s work uses modern tools to address old and fundamental questions and makes an intellectual commitment to work at the interface of evolution, ecology, and genetics. In so doing, his research will provide insight into the forces that maintain fitness related genetic variation in the wild.
Bergland received B.S. degrees in biology and philosophy from the University of Oregon. He received his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Brown University, where he was an Oliver Cromwell Gorton Arnold Fellow. His postdoctoral research was conducted in the Biology Department at Stanford University and was supported by a NIH post-doctoral fellowship.