Dr. Christopher L. Parkinson

Principal Investigator

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Current Positions:

  • Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences & Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University

Previous Positions:

  • Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of Central Florida (UCF)

  • Special Assistant to the Provost on Faculty Cluster Initiatives, UCF

  • Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Office of Research and Commercialization, UCF

  • Provosts Faculty Fellow, Academic Affairs, UCF

  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology, UCF

  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, UCF

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Section of Amphibians and Reptiles, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Biology, Indiana University

  • Ph.D., University of Louisville, Environmental Biology, 1996.

  • B.S. and B.S., Ohio University, Wildlife Biology and Field Botany, 1990.

Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr. Edward A. Myers

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I’m an evolutionary biologist and herpetologist, my research addresses questions in comparative population genomics and diversification of snakes by integrating genomic, morphological, and spatial data. Broadly my work is focused on understanding the processes that generate genomic diversity and initiate population structure as well as better understanding the evolution of reptiles. In the Parkinson Lab I will be reconstructing biogeographic history and assessing patterns of community assembly within New World viperids and using comparative genomics to understand trait evolution.


Ph.D. Students

Rhett M. Rautsaw, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

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My interests lie at the intersection of evolutionary genetics and ecology. I am interested in trait evolution and ecological genomics; understanding how changes in the environment and niche space shape the genome and how selection acts to maintain these phenotypes. I hope to focus my career on convergent evolution to understand how similar phenotypes evolve across evolutionary distant lineages. Reaching these objectives require the combination of ecological, genetic, and geospatial data in order to fully understand the mechanisms driving distant taxa to occupy such similar niches.

Ramses Rosales

Ph.D. Student

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Coming soon!

M.S. Students


Tristan Schramer

M.S. Student


I'm interested in integrating population genomics, phylogeography, and phylogenomics to better understand how processes like hybridization impact the evolution of genomes and species across the speciation continuum. I'm currently using genomics to examine the evolutionary history of North American watersnakes (Nerodia spp.) and investigate the role of gene flow and adaptation in the diversification of the group.


Jade Mellor

M.S. Student

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Broadly speaking I'm interested in biodiversity and where traits are located spatially and why. I am currently working on a project involving the potential presence of a Mojave Toxin homolog in Crotalus lepidus. I plan to use computational methods to see how this homolog was introduced to the population and where it is geographically located.

Tucker Heptinstall
M.S. Student


On a broad scale, my interests lie in the conservation of imperiled reptiles. I am interested in using ecological genomics, population genomics, and bioinformatics to broaden the horizons of conservation biology. Project description coming soon!


Undergraduate Students

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