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Ben Fitzpatrick

October 30, 2009

Ben Fitzpatrick

Ben Fitzpatrick

Ben Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, recently published a paper about hybrid salamanders in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which became a feature story in the New York Times “Science” section. Fitzpatrick, an evolutionary biologist, works on the genetics of speciation with salamanders. Fitzpatrick and co-workers discovered that barred tiger salamanders, brought into California from Texas by bait dealers 50 years ago, mate with the native California tiger salamanders, to produce a hybrid that has a voracious appetite. The hybrids devour available food supplies, resulting in population declines among other native amphibians, including California tiger salamanders, which are classified as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.

Fitzpatrick received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, in 2004. He joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2005. Visit Ben Fitzpatrick’s webpage.

Selected Publications

Ryan, M. E., J. R. Johnson, and B. M. Fitzpatrick. 2009. Invasive hybrid tiger salamander genotypes impact native amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 106: 11166-11171.

Fitzpatrick, B. M., J. A. Fordyce, and S. Gavrilets. 2009. Pattern, process and geographic modes of speciation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22:2342-2347.

Fitzpatrick, B. M. 2009. Power and sample size for nested analysis of molecular variance. Molecular Ecology 18: 3961-3966.

Fitzpatrick, B.M., J.R. Johnson, D.K. Kump, H.B. Shaffer, J.J. Smith, and S.R. Voss. 2009. Rapid fixation of non-native alleles revealed by genome-wide SNP analysis of hybrid tiger salamanders. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 176.

Fitzpatrick, B. M., K. Shook, and R. Izally . 2009. Frequency-dependant selection by wild birds promotes polymorphism in model salamanders. BMC Ecology 9:12.

Pasachnik, S. A., B. M. Fitzpatrick, T. J. Near, and A. C. Echternacht. 2009. Gene flow between an endangered endemic iguana, and its wide spread relative, on the island of Utila, Honduras: When is hybridization a threat? Conservation Genetics 10: 1247-1254.

Visit the Quest Gallery at Trace, UT’s digital archive, to access publications of other Quest Scholars of the Week.