Laura Geyer

I am an evolutionary biologist with interests in molecular evolution and the biogeography of marine organisms. I’m interested in using molecular tools to answer questions about the patterns and processes surrounding speciation.

My current research focuses on the evolution of the gamete recognition protein bindin in a group of tropical sea urchins in the genus Echinometra. I am interested in the role that bindin plays in creating a barrier to hybridization in these urchins and how that is related to the rapid speciation in this group. The five Indo-west Pacific species of Echinometra represent the most closely related sea urchin species known. By combining information abut the biogeographic distribution of these species and detailed study of their population genetics and the evolution of their mating system, I hope to be able to describe the process of speciation in this group.

Curriculum vitae (view PDF)


Geyer, L. B. and Palumbi S. R. (Submitted) Conspecific sperm precidence in two species of tropical sea urchins.

Landry, C., Geyer, L. B., Arakaki Y., Uehara, T. and Palumbi S. R. (In Prep) A recent speciation event in the Indo-West Pacific: rapid evolution of gamete recognition and sperm morphology in cryptic species of sea urchin.

Geyer L. B. and Palumbi S. R. (2003) Reproductive character displacement and the genetics of reproductive isolation in tropical sea urchins. Evolution. In Press.

Palumbi, S. R., Grabowski, G., Duda, T., Tachino, N. and Geyer, L. (1997) Speciation and the evolution of population genetic structure in tropical Pacific sea urchins. Evolution 51: 1506-1517. View PDF

McDonald, J. H., Verrelli, B. C., and Geyer, L.B. (1996) Lack of Geographic Variation in Anonymous Nuclear Polymorphisms in the American Oyster, Crassostrea virginica . Molecular Biology and Evolution 13:1114-1118

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