Dr. Ron Bonett

EPSCoR Research Focus: 
Observatory Network * Decision-Support System
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Science
The University of Tulsa
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B.S. | Biological Sciences | East Stroudsburg University | 1998
M.S. | Biological Sciences | East Stroudsburg University | 2000
Ph.D. | Quantitative Biology | University of Texas | 2004
Research Interests: 

Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR Researchers:
Socio-Ecological Systems' Adaptation to Climate Variability

Dr. Ron Bonett's research focuses on the influence of developmental and life history variation on patterns of reproductive isolation and biogeography; primarily using salamanders as a model system.

Given that amphibians are globally threatened, our research also has implications for biodiversity and conservation. Dr. Bonett and researchers in his lab approach these questions using a diversity of techniques including phylogeny reconstruction, phylogenetic comparative methods, ancestral state/area reconstruction, molecular evolution, and population genetics.  They also conduct ecological, behavioral and developmental studies in the laboratory and in the field.

Dr. Bonett's previous molecular endocrine research used laboratory model systems (Xenopus and mouse), and his lab is actively working to translate these questions and techniques to non-model systems to study the evolution of developmental mechanism in nature.

Dr. Bonett's participation in the OK EPSCoR climate variability research project will prove valuable in (1) the establishment of a first-of-its-kind, statewide, socio-ecological observatory, and (2) the development of a pilot decision-support system that provides researchers, educators and practitioners with data, models, tools and scenarios that are needed to explore and understand the social and ecological impacts of management and policy decisions.

Teaching Responsibilities: 
BIOL 3204: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIOL 1603: Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 3613/6613: Selected Topics in Vertebrate Zoology, Herpetology
Research Assistants Funded by EPSCoR: 

Austin Boardman (Staff)
Dept. of Biological Science, University of Tulsa
Research Focus:  Researching variable life histories in the Oklahoma salamander.
Email:  austinboardman@gmail.com


Timothy Clay (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Dept. of Biological Science, University of Tulsa
Research Focus:  Examining the biodiversity of Oklahoma wildlife using a GIS approach; and teaching a landscape ecology/GIS undergraduate and graduate course.
Email:  timothy-clay@utulsa.edu


Josh McLoud (Graduate Student)
Dept. of Biological Science, University of Tulsa
Research Focus:  Using meteorological variables and data analysis of fungal spore concentrations obtained from Cimarron River Valley air samples to determine if soil moisture improves fungal spore forecasts, and if so, which type.
Email:  josh-mcloud@utulsa.edu


Rashmi Mohanty (Graduate Student)
Dept. of Biological Science, University of Tulsa
Research Focus:  Modeling habitat suitability of the Juniperus species under future climate scenarios.
Email:  rashmiprava-mohanty@utulsa.edu

Key Publications: 

Access a selection of online publications by this researcher here.

  • Martin, S.D.*, Harris B.A.*, Collums J.R*, & Bonett, R.M. (2012). Life between predators and a small space: substrate selection of an interstitial space-dwelling stream salamander. Journal of Zoology 287, 205-214.
  • Emel, S.L.* & R. M. Bonett. (2011). Considering alternative life history modes and genetic divergence in conservation: a case study of the Oklahoma salamander, Conservation Genetics 12, 1243-1259.
  • Bonett, R.M., Steffen M.A.*, Trujano-Alvarez A.L., Martin S.D.*, McAllister, C.T., and Bursey, C.R. (2011). Distribution, intensity, and genetic diversity of Clinostomum metacercariae (Trematoda:Digenea), in a modified Ozark stream system. Journal of Parasitology 97, 177-184.
  • Bonett, R.M., Hoopfer E.D.*, and Denver R.J. (2010). Molecular mechanisms of corticosteroid synergy with thyroid hormone during tadpole metamorphosis. General & Comparative Endocrinology 168, 209-219.
  • Bonett, R.M. & Chippindale P.T. (2006). Streambed microstructure predicts evolution of development and life history mode in the plethodontid salamander, Eurycea tynerensis. BMC Biology 4, 6.
  • Bonett, R. M., Hu F., Bagamasbad P.* & Denver R.J. (2009). Stressor and glucocorticoid-dependent induction of the immediate early gene Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9): implications for neural development and plasticity. Endocrinology 150, 1757-1765.
  • Bonett, R.M., Chippindale P.T., Moler P.A., Vandevendar R.W. & Wake D.B. (2009). Evolution of gigantism in amphiumid salamanders. PLoS ONE 4, 5.
  • Timpe, E.K.*, Graham, S.P.* & R. M. Bonett. 2009. Phylogeography of the brownback salamander reveals patterns of local endemism in southern appalachian springs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52, 368-376.
  • Bonett, R.M., Kozak K.H., Vieites D.R., Bare A.*, Wooten J.A.*, & Trauth S.E. (2007). The importance of comparative phylogeography in diagnosing introduced species: a lesson from the seal salamander, Desmognathus monticola. BMC Ecology 7, 7.
  • Bonett, R.M. & Chippindale P.T. (2004). Speciation, phylogeography and evolution of life history and morphology in the salamanders of the Eurycea multiplicata complex. Molecular Ecology 13, 1189-1203.
Curriculum Vitae: