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About Beth Reinke

My research program focuses on the evolution of biological diversity; what explains the enormous phenotypic variation we see in the animal kingdom? Animal coloration is an ideal trait with which to study diversity. It can be investigated with quantitative and experimental approaches and I use both in my research.

I approach this overarching question by addressing three different topics: the macroevolution of color, the mechanisms of coloration, and the long-term consequences of phenotypic variation in color.

Phenotypic variation often leads to demographic consequences because of inherent fitness differences in phenotypes. Understanding demographic variables like survival and senescence (an age-dependent decline in survival and reproduction) can explain variations in coloration within and between species, especially when those differences have underlying physiological mechanisms that impact fitness. To this end, I am an advocate for long-term research and maintain a long-term painted turtle field study in northern Wisconsin.
See my website for more info:


Present Assistant Professor, Northeastern Illinois University Biology


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