The mission of the Schwartz Lab is to discover new knowledge of how environmental stressors regulate life history traits such as reproduction and longevity in natural animal populations, bridging the gap between evolutionary biology and biomedical research.


  • Project: Repeated Evolution of Small Body Size in Island Reptiles Genetics, Physiology and Life History
  • A new vertebrate model to study the role of growth factors IGF1 and IGF2 in sex dimorphism of longevity and aging.
  • Stress Resilience, Molecular Damage, and Fitness
  • Stress Response and Stress Resilience Within and Across Generations

Research interests:

  • Evolution of Molecular Stress Response Networks
  • Maternal Effects / Epigenetics
  • Life History Trade-offs (i.e. reproduction, growth and aging)
  • Biology of Aging
  • Mitochondrial Energetics and Evolution
  • Population and Conservation genetics

Our research projects focus on animal populations including reptiles, birds, and even Daphnia! Most projects include some combination of field work studying the animals in their natural environments, "wet lab" work on DNA, RNA or cells in our molecular lab, and "dry lab" work on the computer (or remote super computers) studying "big" genomic data.

Biological Science
PhD, Iowa State University, Genetics, 2012
MS, University of South Florida, Zoology, 2003
BS, Iowa State University, Zoology, 1998