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Joe Deas



I am broadly interested in the effects of the environment on the evolution and development of female reproductive behavior and physiology. My PhD work was completed in the lab of Professor Martha S. Hunter at the University of Arizona in 2013, where I studied how the interaction between oviposition opportunities and parasitism risk influenced the evolution and phenotypic plasticity in oviposition behaviors in the seed beetle Mimosestes amicus. My first stint in postdoctoral work was in the lab of Professor Charles W. Fox at the University of Kentucky, where I studied mechanisms of maternal control of egg size in the seed beetle Stator limbatus, as well as the evolution of female oviposition behavior and larval competitive behavior in the cowpea bruchid, Callosobruchus maculatus. I also collaborated with Professor David Westneat, with whom I was a coauthor on a review about the integration of multiple environmental factors when expressing phenotypic plasticity.

To gain a mechanistic perspective of female reproductive development, I joined the Extavour lab in 2015 to study the regulation of ovarian growth in Drosophila melanogaster. I am also interested in the mechanisms of transgenerational effects of parental nutrition on ovarian development in offspring as well as the epigenetic inheritance of reproductive traits.


Deas, J. B. and Hunter, M. S. 2014. Egg and time limitation mediate an egg protection strategy. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 920-928.

Deas, J. B. and Hunter, M. S. 2013. Delay, avoidance, and protection in oviposition behavior in response to fine-scale variation in egg parasitism risk. Animal Behaviour,
86: 933-940.

Deas, J. B. and Hunter, M. S. 2012. Mothers modify eggs into shields to protect offspring from parasitism. Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 279: 847-853.

Peterson, M.A., Larson, E., Brassil, M. Buckingham, K., Juarez, D. Deas, J., Manglona, D. White, M. Maslan, J., Schweitzer, A., Monsen, K.J. 2011. Cryptic gametic interactions confer both conspecific and heterospecific advantages in the Chrysochus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) hybrid zone. Genetica. 139: 663-676.

Vandergast, A.G., Lewallen, E.A., Deas, J.B., Bohonak, A.J., Weissman, D.B., and Fisher, R.N. 2009. Loss of genetic connectivity and diversity in urban microreserves in a southern California endemic Jerusalem cricket (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Stenopelmatus “santa monica”). Journal of Insect Conservation 13: 329-345.