Douglas Taylor

Commonwealth Professor of Biology
059 Gilmer Hall
(434) 982-5217
Lab: (434) 982-5218


  • B.S., Queen's University, 1986
  • M.S., Queen's University, 1988
  • Ph.D., Duke University, 1993

Research Interests

My students, post-docs and I study population genetics and molecular evolution. We are studying invasive species as models for the evolution of geographic range expansion. We also study how evolution is influenced by the fact that populations are distributed in space (population structure). Several projects focus on how selection at one level or organization subsumes, or is subsumed by, selection at higher levels of "levels of selection". This has led us into studies of genetic conflict such as epidemics of selfish genes within natural populations and mitochondrial diseases that result from the accumulation of parasitic organelles within cells. Our work involves a wide variety of methods: phylogenetics & molecular population genetics, field experiments, greenhouse experiments & crossing studies, theory.

For more information on research interests, see my lab webpage.

Representative Publications

  • Fields, P.D., D.E. McCauley, E.. McAssey, and D.R. Taylor. (2013). Patterns of cyto-nuclear linkage disequilibrium in Silene latifolia: genomic heterogeneity and temporal stability. Heredity, in press.
  • Sloan, D.B., Alverson, A.J., Chuckalovcak, J.P., Wu, M., McCauley, D.E., Palmer, J.D., and D.R. Taylor (2012). Rapid Evolution of Enormous, Multichromosomal Genomes in Flowering Plant Mitochondria with Exceptionally High Mutation Rates. PLoS Biology, 10(1): e1001241
  • Keller, S., K. Gilbert, P. Fields and D.R. Taylor. (2012). Bayesian inference of a complex invasion history revealed by nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity in the colonizing plant, Silene latifoliaMolecular Ecology, 21: 4721-4734.
  • Sloan, D.B., K. Müller, D.E. McCauley, D.R. Taylor, and H. Štorchová. (2012). Intraspecific variation in mitochondrial genome sequence, structure, and gene content in Silene vulgaris, an angiosperm with pervasive cytoplasmic male sterility. New Phytologist, 196: 1228-1239.
  • Sloan, D.B., Alverson, A.J., Wu, M., Palmer, J.D., Taylor, D.R. (2012). Recent acceleration of plastid sequence and structural evolution coincides with extreme mitochondrial divergence in the angiosperm genus SileneGenome Biology and Evolution, 4: 294-306.