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About Merrill A. Peterson

My research focuses on the ecology and evolutionary biology of herbivorous insects. My main interests center on understanding the determinants of the genetic differentiation of populations. Thus, I have examined the influence of temporal isolation, geographic isolation, dispersal strategies, and diet breadth on the degree to which populations are genetically subdivided. Currently, I am using this perspective to understand the evolution of reproductive barriers between hybridizing beetles. A second area of interest focuses on how mutualistic interactions influence both the population dynamics and community structure of herbivorous insect species on desert willows.


Present Faculty Member, Western Washington University Western Expert
Present Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Western Washington University Department of Biology


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Contact Information

Phone: (360)650-3636
Office: BI 312
Alternate email:


Books (1)

Articles (26)