Dr. Alexander Badyaev

Positions and Education: 
  • Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2009- present
  • Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2006- 2009
  • Assistant Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2002-2006
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, College of Science & Mathematics, Auburn University, 2000-2002
  • Ph.D., Organismal Biology and Ecology, University of Montana, 1999
  • M.S., Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, 1994
  • M.S., Comp. Anatomy & Pop. Ecology, Moscow State University, Russia, 1992
  • B.S., Biology; Mathematical Biology, Moscow State University, Russia, 1989
Honors and Awards: 
  • Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected 2012
  • Kavli Foundation Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, elected 2013
  • Distinguished Career Teaching Award, College of Science, University of Arizona, 2017
  • The Mangelsdorf Distinguished Speaker, University of North Carolina, 2013
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Miami, 2012/2013
  • Elected Council of the Society for the Study of Evolution, Class of 2011
  • The Albert L. Tester Honorary Lecture, University of Hawaii, 2010
  • The Storer Foundation Lecture, University of California-Davis, 2010
  • The Jack & Pat Bryan Distinguished Lecture, Syracuse University, 2010
  • The John Tyler Bonner Lecture, Princeton University, 2009
  • Distinguished Early-Career Teaching Award, College of Science, University of Arizona, 2007
  • “Most Inspirational Faculty” distinction, COS seniors, U Arizona, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow in Science & Engineering, 2005-2010
  • Director, Cooper Ornithological Society, 2006-2009
  • NSF CAREER, 2005-2010
  • Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, elected 2009
  • Distinguished Visiting Researcher, Uppsala University, 2004-2008
  • John Maynard Smith Prize, European Society for Evolutionary Biology, 2001
  • Dobzhansky Prize, Society for the Study of Evolution, 2001
Editorial Work: 
  • Editor, Philosophy & Theory in Biology, 2010-2012
  • Associate Editor, Evolution, 2006-2009
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2004-2007
  • Associate Editor, Evolutionary Ecology, 2003-2010
  • Associate Editor, Functional Ecology, 2004-2008
  • Guest Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
  • Board of Editors, Year in Evolutionary Biology, 2007-pres.
  • Advisory Board, Philosophy & Theory in Biology, 2008-2010, 2012-pres.
Research Interests: 

Alex Badyaev’s research focus is at the interface of evolutionary developmental biology and evolutionary ecology, with specific focus on the understanding of the origin of adaptations. The central goal of his work is to understand the evolution of organismal architecture that reconciles innovation and adaptation.

Under this general umbrella, Badyaev lab studies the following empirical themes: 1) Origin, development, and evolution of avian color diversity, 2) Epigenetic remodeling and genetic adaptation in ontogeny of skeletal structures, 3) Relationship between epigenetic and genetic inheritance systems, 4) Role of stress in origin and diversification of organismal forms, 5) Evolution of behavioral and life history strategies, and 6) Evolution and ecology of sexual size dimorphism.

Read a profile of Alex Badyaev in the Spring 2003 issue of Desert News & Views (pdf file)

Selected Publications: 
  1. Badyaev, A.V., E.S. Morrison, V. Belloni, and M. J. Sanderson. 2015. Tradeoff between robustness and elaboration in carotenoid networks produces cycles of avian color diversification. Biology Direct 10: 45. doi:10.1186/s13062-015-0073-6
  2. Badyaev, A.V. 2014. Epigenetic resolution of the “curse of complexity” in adaptive evolution of complex traits. The Journal of Physiology 592: 2251–2260.
  3. Badyaev, A.V. and J. Bruce Walsh. 2014. Epigenetic processes and genetic architecture in character origination and evolution. Pp. 177-189 in Quantitative Genetics in the Wild. A. Charmantier, D. Garant, LEB Kruuk, Eds. Oxford University Press.
  4. Badyaev, A.V. 2013. "Homeostatic hitchhiking": a mechanism for the evolutionary retention of complex adaptations. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53: 913-922.
  5. Newman, S.A. N. Mezentseva, and A. V. Badyaev. 2013. Gene loss, thermogenesis and the origin of birds. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1289: 36-47.
  6. Landeen, E. A. and A.V. Badyaev. 2012. Developmental integration of feather growth and pigmentation and its implications for the evolution of diet-derived coloration. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 318: 59-70.
  7. Badyaev, A.V. 2011. Origin of the fittest: Link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology. Proceedings of Royal Society, Biological Sciences. Lond. 278: 1921-1929.
  8. Badyaev, A.V. 2011. How do precise adaptive features arise in development? Examples with evolution of context-specific sex-ratios and perfect beaks. Auk: Internat. J. Ornithol. 128: 467-474.
  9. Badyaev, A.V. 2010. The Beak of the Other Finch: Coevolution of genetic covariance structure and developmental modularity during adaptive evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences. 365: 1111-1126.
  10. Badyaev, A.V. and T. Uller. 2009. Parental effects in ecology and evolution: Mechanisms, processes, and implications. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences. 364: 1169-1177.
  11. Uller, T. and A.V. Badyaev. 2009. Evolution of “determinants” in sex-determination: A novel hypothesis for the origin of environmental contingencies in genetic sex determination. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 20: 304-312.
  12. Badyaev, A.V. 2009. Evolutionary significance of phenotypic accommodation in novel environments: An empirical test of the Baldwin effect. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 364: 1125-1141.
  13. Badyaev, A.V. 2008. Evolution despite natural selection? Emergence theory and the ever elusive link between adaptation and adaptability. Acta Biotheoretica 56: 249-255.
  14. Badyaev, A.V. 2008. Maternal effects as generators of evolutionary change: A reassessment. Pp: 151-161 In The Year in Evolutionary Biology 2008. C. D. Schlichting and T. A. Mousseau, Eds. Wiley-Blackwell.
  15. Badyaev, A.V., R. L. Young, K. P. Oh, and C. Addison. 2008. Evolution on a local scale: Developmental, functional, and genetic bases of divergence in bill form and associated changes in song structure between adjacent habitats. Evolution 62: 1951-1964.
  16. Badyaev, A.V., et. al. 2008. Evolution of sex-biased maternal effects: IV. Intra-ovarian growth dynamics links sex-determination and sex-specific acquisition of resources. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 449–460.
  17. Oh, K.P. and A.V. Badyaev. 2008. Evolution of adaptation and mate choice: Parental relatedness affects expression of phenotypic and genetic variance in a natural population. Evolutionary Biology 35: 111-124.
  18. Badyaev, A.V. and K. P. Oh. 2008. Environmental induction and phenotypic retention of adaptive maternal effects. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:3.
  19. Rutkowska, J. and A.V. Badyaev. 2008. Meiotic drive and sex determination: Molecular and cytological mechanisms of sex ratio adjustment in birds. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 363: 1675-1686.
  20. Badyaev, A.V. 2007. Evolvability and robustness in color displays: Bridging the gap between theory and data. Evolutionary Biology 34: 61-71.
  21. Badyaev, A.V. and E. A. Landeen. 2007. Developmental evolution of sexual ornamentation: Model and a test of feather growth and pigmentation. Integrative and Comparative Biology 47: 221-233.
  22. Young, R. L. and A.V. Badyaev. 2007. Evolution of ontogeny: linking epigenetic remodeling and genetic adaptation in skeletal structures. Integrative and Comparative Biology 47: 234-244.
  23. Badyaev, A.V. and C. M. Vleck. 2007. Context-dependent ontogeny of sexual ornamentation and a trade-off between current and future breeding efforts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20: 1277–1287.
  24. Young, R. L., T.S. Haselkorn, and A.V. Badyaev. 2007. Functional equivalence of morphologies enables morphological and ecological diversity. Evolution 61: 2480–2492.
  25. Badyaev, A.V., et. al. 2006. Sex-biased maternal effects reduce ectoparasite-induced mortality in a passerine bird. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States 103: 14406-14411.
  26. Badyaev, A.V. 2006. Colorful phenotypes of colorless genotypes: Towards a new evolutionary synthesis of animal color displays. Pp. 349-379 In Avian Coloration: Function & Evolution. Harvard Univ. Press.
  27. Young, R.L., and A.V. Badyaev. 2006. Evolutionary persistence of phenotypic integration: Influence of developmental and functional relationships on evolution of a complex trait. Evolution 60: 1291–1299.
  28. Oh, K.P. and A.V. Badyaev. 2006. Adaptive genetic complementarity in mate choice can coexist with preference for elaborate sexual traits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences 273: 1913-1919.

Contact Information

Lab Phone: 
(520) 621-4005
Office Phone: 
(520) 626-8830
Office Location: 
Lab Location: