Katja Kasimatis

Assistant Professor of Biology
PLSB 412
(434) 924-6879


  • B.S., University of California Santa Cruz (marine biology with Honors), 2013
  • Ph.D., University of Oregon, 2019
  • Postdoc, University of Toronto, 2019-2023

Research Interests

Why are there different sexes? What are the functional and evolutionary consequences of this sexual differentiation. The existence of sexual reproduction is so pervasive across complex organisms that it is easy to forget how extraordinary it is for such varying degrees of sexual differentiation to emerge from a largely shared genome, which has important short-term consequences for individuals and long-term influence on the evolution of species. Research in the lab leverages the power of the Caenorhabditis nematode model systems to relate the action of sex-specific selection on phenotypes to the evolution of their genetic architecture. Our ongoing work integrates genetic engineering, experimental evolution, genomics, population genetic theory, and evolutionary ecology to discover how sexual differentiation arises, persists, and impacts genomes.

Representative Publications

  • Kasimatis KR, Moerdyk-Schauwecker MJ, Lancaster R, Smith A, Willis JH & Phillips PC (2022) Post-insemination selection dominates pre-insemination selection in driving rapid evolution of male competitive ability. PLoS Genetics 18(2): e1010063.

  • Kasimatis, KR Abraham A, Ralph PL, Kern AD, Capra JA & Phillips PC (2021) Evaluating human autosomal loci for sexually antagonistic viability selection in two large biobanks. Genetics 217:1-10.

  • Kasimatis KR, Sanchez-Ramirez S, & Stevenson ZC (2021) Sexual dimorphism through the lens of genome manipulation, forward genetics, and spatio-temporal sequencing. Genome Biology and Evolution 13:1-13.

  • Kasimatis KR, Ralph PL & Phillips PC (2019) Limits to genomic divergence under sexually antagonistic selection. G3 9:3813-3824.

  • Kasimatis KR, Moerdyk-Schauwecker MJ, Timmermeyer N & Phillips PC (2018) Proteomic and evolutionary analyses of sperm activation identify uncharacterized genes in Caenorhabditis nematodes. BMC Genomics 19:1-13.

  • Kasimatis KR, Moerdyk-Schauwecker MJ & Phillips PC (2018) Auxin-mediated sterility induction system for longevity and mating studies in Caenorhabditis elegans. G3 8:2655-2662.

  • Kasimatis KR & Phillips PC (2018) Rapid gene family evolution of a nematode sperm protein despite sequence hyper-conservation. G3 8:353-362.

  • Borne F, Kasimatis KR & Phillips PC (2017) Quantifying male and female pheromone-based mate choice in Caenorhabditis nematodes using a novel microfluidic technique. PLoS ONE 12:e0189679.

  • Kasimatis KR, Nelson TC & Phillips PC (2017) The genomic signatures of sexual conflict. J. Heredity 108:780-790.

  • Kasimatis K & Riginos C (2016) No simple trade-offs: relationships between egg size, clutch size, spawning mode, adult body size, and latitude in reef fishes. Coral Reefs. 35:387-397.