Associate Professor
Ph.D. (2004) University of Rochester
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2012
  • Associate Editor, Evolution, 2010-2012
  • Council Member, American Genetics Association, 2011-2013
  • Reviewing Editor, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2009-2012
  • Lilly Teaching Fellow, 2009-2011
  • New Scholar in Aging, Ellison Medical Foundation, 2009
  • Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 2009
  • OVPR Research Fellow, 2009
  • Grant Support -
    • "CAREER: Evolutionary genetics of mate dsicrimination in the fly Drosophila subquinaria," NSF"Catalyzing International Collaborations: Dissecting mate choice in the wild: mate choice and the among-population divergence of signal traits and mate preferences," NSF (with H. Rundle, U. Ottawa)
    • “Effects of the Y chromosome on senescence," Ellison Medical Foundation
    • "Dissertation Research: The genetics of female preference in Drosophila subquinaria," NSF (with E. Bewick)
    • "Dissertation Research: Polyandry and meiotic drive in Drosophila neotestacea," NSF (with C. Pinzone)
  • Research Interests -
    • What shapes genetic and phenotypic diversity in natural populations? We are broadly interested in the interaction between evolution, genetics, and ecology. The first main topic of research in the lab is how organisms adapt to their environment. We are interested in the genetic basis of ecologically important traits and how evolutionary forces such as selection and gene flow interact in the processes of adaptation and speciation. The second main topic of research is how the genetic environment affects gene evolution. For example, factors such as the pattern of inheritance, the level of recombination, and the presence of selection at nearby genes can have significant consequences for how a gene responds to selection. To address these questions we take an integrative approach, and combine molecular techniques and classical Drosophila genetics with theoretical modeling, behavioral observations, and field studies. We use various species of Drosophila because they are tractable in both genetic and ecological studies.
Research Area: 
Selected Publications: 
  • Coyle, D.R., J. Pickering, K.A. Dyer, F.R. Lehman, J.E. Mohan, and K.J.K. Gandhi. 2013. Dynamics of an unprecedented outbreak of two native moth species, Cissusa spadix and Phoberia atomaris (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), on Oak trees (Quercus spp.) in the Southeastern USA. American Entomologist, in press.
  • Curtis, S., J. Sztepanacz, B.E. White, K.A. Dyer, H. Rundle, and P. Mayer. 2013. Epicuticular compounds of Drosophila subquinaria and D. recens: Identification, quantification, and their role in female mate choice. Journal of Chemical Ecology, online early. DOI: 10.1007/s10886-013-0284-1
  • Debban, C.L. and K.A. Dyer. 2013. No evidence for behavioral adaptations to nemtode parasitism by the fly Drosophila putrida. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, online early. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12158
  • Giglio, E.M. and K.A. Dyer. 2013. Divergence of premating behaviors in the sister species Drosophila subquinaria and D. recens. Ecology and Evolution 3: 365-374.
  • Dyer, K.A., M.J. Bray, and S.J. Lopez. 2012. Genomic conflict drives patterns of X-linked population structure in Drosophila neotestacea. Molecular Ecology 22: 157-169.
  • Dyer, K.A. 2012. Local selection underlies the geographic distribution of sex-ratio drive in Drosophila neotestacea. Evolution 66: 973-984.
  • Dyer, K.A., C. Burke, and J. Jaenike. 2011. Wolbachia-mediated persistence of mtDNA from a potentially extinct species. Molecular Ecology 20: 2805-2817.
  • Dyer, K.A., B.E. White, M.J. Bray, D.G. Piqué, and A.J. Betancourt. 2011. Molecular evolution of a Y chromosome to autosome gene duplication in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28: 1293-1306.
  • Jaenike, J. and K.A. Dyer. 2008. No resistance to male-killing Wolbachia after thousands of years of infection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 1570-1577.
  • Unckless, R.L., L.M. Boilio, M. Schifano, and K.A. Dyer. 2008. Isolation and characterization of 30 polymorphic microsatellites from the mycophagous fly Drosophila innubila. Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 939-942.
  • Dyer, K.A. 2007. Identification and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite loci from the mycophagous fly Drosophila neotestacea. Molecular Ecology Notes 7: 1120–1122.
  • Dyer, K.A., B. Charlesworth and J. Jaenike. 2007. Chromosome-wide linkage disequilibrium as a consequence of meiotic drive.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 1587-1592.
  • Jaenike, J., K.A. Dyer, C. Cornish and M.S. Minhas. 2006. Asymmetrical reinforcement and Wolbachia infection in Drosophila. PLoS Biology 4: 1852-1862.
  • Dyer, K.A. and J. Jaenike. 2005. Evolutionary dynamics of a spatially structured host-parasite association: Drosophila innubila and male-killing Wolbachia. Evolution 59: 1518-1528.
  • Dyer, K.A., M.S. Minhas and J. Jaenike. 2005. Expression and modulation of embryonic male-killing in Drosophila innubila: Opportunities for multi-level selection. Evolution 59: 838-848.
  • Shoemaker, D.D., K.A. Dyer, M. Ahrens, K. McAbee and J. Jaenike. 2004. Decreased diversity but increased substitution rate in host mtDNA as a consequence of Wolbachia endosymbiont infection. Genetics 168: 2049-2058. 
  • Dyer, K.A. and J. Jaenike. 2004. Evolutionary stable infection by a male-killing endosymbiont in Drosophila innubila: Molecular evidence from the host and parasite genomes. Genetics 168: 1443-1455. 
  • Guindon, S., A.G. Rodrigo, K.A. Dyer and J.P. Huelsenbeck. 2004. Modeling the site-specific variation of selection patterns along lineages.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101: 12957-12962.
  • Huelsenbeck, J.P. and K.A. Dyer. 2004. Bayesian estimation of positively selected sites. Journal of Molecular Evolution 58: 661-672.
  • Jaenike, J., K.A. Dyer and L.K. Reed. 2003. Within-population structure of competition and the dynamics of male-killing Wolbachia. Evolutionary Ecology Research 5: 1023-1036.
  • Ross, C.L., K.A. Dyer, T. Erez, S.J. Miller, J. Jaenike and T.A. Markow. 2003. Rapid divergence of microsatellite abundance among species of Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution 20: 1143-1157.
  • Price, C.S.C., K.A. Dyer and J.A. Coyne. 1999. Sperm competition in Drosophila males involves both displacement and incapacitation. Nature 400: 449-452.
Research Interests Detail: 

Evolutionary genetics in Drosophila: interaction between genetics, evolution, and ecology; how organisms adapt to their environment; how genetic environments affect gene evolution