Angela J. Roles

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

Oberlin College

Michigan State University

Wake Forest University

AWARDS & FELLOWSHIPS

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am interested broadly in ecological genetics and conservation biology. During my appointment at Oberlin College, I have initiated studies of the population biology of three native Ohio crayfish species of the genus Orconectes, one of which is invasive outside of southwestern Ohio. My lab has pursued a variety of questions in population biology of crayfishes including studies of competitive interactions, paternity analysis, hybridization, morphological variation, and basic population genetics. Our approaches include field collection of data or specimens, and molecular laboratory techniques such as PCR and sequencing.

Following from my graduate work, I am also interested in the study of genetic variation from production and maintenance to the distribution of variation among populations of a species. Genetic variation is the raw material of evolutionary change and the ultimate source of that variation is spontaneous mutation. Once generated, the dynamics of genetic variation are governed by the forces of genetic drift, natural selection, and gene flow. My research interests intersect both the origins of variation and its subsequent distribution. My thesis research focused on the effects of spontaneous mutations, accumulated over multiple generations, on fitness in the plants Raphanus raphanistrum and Arabidopsis thaliana. I am interested in the expression of mutational variation in field environments, genotype by environment interaction for new mutations and identifying the effects of spontaneous mutations at the molecular level, on gene expression. I have also recently initiated work on the epigenetic effects of spontaneous mutations and the heritability of epigenetic alterations in Arabidopsis thaliana.

RESEARCH STUDENTS

Students completing Honors Theses under my direction are marked with an asterisk (*).

Oberlin College Undergraduates

  1. Si Wang, 2011-present.
  2. Connor Bacon, 2011-present.
  3. Jonathan Levin, 2011-present.
  4. James Williams, 2009-present.*
  5. Jonah Joffe, 2012.
  6. Sierra Zuber, 2010-11.*
  7. Sunjana Supekar, 2010-11.*
  8. Marta Robertson, 2008-11.*
  9. Chase Nelson, 2009-10.*
  10. Katherine Muller, 2009-10.*
  11. Anthony Bonifonte, 2009-10.
  12. Mark Muthersbaugh, 2008-09.
  13. Nathan Kingery, 2008-09.
  14. Elizabeth Baird, 2007-09.*
  15. Ariel Kahrl, 2007-09.*
  16. Nicholas Bunce-Herring, 2008.
  17. Erica Borg, 2006-08.*
  18. Laura Boyd, 2006-08.
  19. Adrian Oei, 2007.

Michigan State University Undergraduates

  1. Sarah Hodgson, 2004-05.
  2. Teddi Bearman, 2001.

Battle Creek Math & Science Center (High School Interns)

  1. Natalie Bush, 2005.
  2. Jonathon Kamm, 2003.
  3. Katrina Miller, 2003.
  4. Trent Thompson, 2002.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Oberlin College

Michigan State University

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

  • Sigma Xi, Oberlin College Chapter, 2008-present.
  • Society for the Study of Evolution, 2001-present.

    SERVICE

  • Oberlin Schools Farm Collaborative Advisory Board, Oberlin City School District, 2012-present.
  • Co-organizer of Biology Department Seminars, Oberlin College, 2011-12.
  • Biology Faculty Liaison to the Biology Majors, Oberlin College, 2010-11.
  • Co-organizer of Science Fridays Faculty Seminar Series, Oberlin College, 2007-08.
  • Co-organizer of Philosophy of Science seminar at Kellogg Biological Station, 2004.
  • MSU Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program: Vice-President, 2003-05.
  • MSU Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program: Seminar Committee member, 2001-02.
  • Reviewer for Evolution, Plant Physiology, USDA, NSF.

    INVITED SEMINARS

    1. "Tracing the impact of recent selection on the human genome." Oberlin College, Science Friday Faculty Seminar Series, 2011.
    2. "How history shapes biology: Detecting the signature of historical events in the genome." Oberlin College, Parents & Family Weekend Faculty Talks, 2011.
    3. "Topics in evolutionary ecology: The impact of genetics on species invasions." Baldwin-Wallace College, Department of Biology, 2011.
    4. "Molecular markers and conservation biology: Using DNA to inform species management decisions." Washington & Jefferson College, Department of Biology, 2010.
    5. "Interactions between native and invasive crayfish species." University of Akron, Department of Biology, 2009.
    6. "Aquatic invasive species." Oberlin College, Guest Lecture for ARTS 092: Renegade Nature, 2009.
    7. "Crayfish population biology." Oberlin College, Science Fridays Faculty Seminar Series, 2008.
    8. "An evolutionary perspective on spontaneous mutation." Oberlin College, Department of Biology, 2006.

    CONFERENCE POSTERS PRESENTED

    Undergraduate authors are marked with an asterisk (*).

    1. Measuring DNA methylation variation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolution Meetings 2011. Presented by M. Robertson*.
    2. Differential gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana mutation accumulation lines. Evolution Meetings 2010. Presented by C. Nelson*.
    3. Freshwater conquistadors: Hybridization between native and invasive crayfish in northeast Ohio. Evolution Meetings 2010 and 18th Symposium of the International Association of Astacology 2010. Presented by K. Muller*; co-authored with R. Laushman.
    4. Ecological and population genetic patterns of invasion of the rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) into the range of Sanborn's crayfish (O. sanbornii). 35th Natural Areas Conference 2008. Co-authored with E. Borg*, A. Kahrl*, E. Baird*, M. Robertson*, and R. Laushman.
    5. Are populations of multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) hybridizing with the native swamp rose (R. palustris)? Evidence from molecular markers. 35th Natural Areas Conference 2008. Co-authored with N. Bunce-Herring* and R. Laushman.
    6. DNA sequence-based identification of rootlets used in gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) nest linings. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2008. Presented by K. Dirks*; co-authored with M. Garvin.
    7. Population biology of Orconectes crayfish using microsatellites. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2008. Prepared by A. Kahrl*; co-authored with R. Laushman.
    8. Mutation accumulation measured under stress in wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum). Evolution Meetings 2003. Co-authored with J. Conner.
    9. Mutation accumulation in wild radish. Society for the Study of Evolution Annual Meeting, 2002. Co-authored with J. Conner.
    10. The effect of nine generations of mutation accumulation on lifetime female fitness on wild radish in the field. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, 2002. Co-authored with J. Conner.
    11. Epistasis for fitness in evolving yeast populations. Southeastern Ecology, Evolution and Population Group, 1999. Co-authored with C. Zeyl.

    CONFERENCE PAPERS PRESENTED

    Undergraduate authors are marked with an asterisk (*).

    1. Spontaneous mutations and fitness. Evolution Meetings 2011. Presented by C. Fenster; co-authored with M. Rutter, J. Conner, R. Shaw, F. Shaw, K. Schneeberger, S. Ossowski, and D. Weigel.
    2. Was Lamark right? Measureing variation in DNA methylation patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2011. Presented by M. Robertson.*
    3. The effects of sublethal exposure to metolachlor on the agonistic interaction between a native and an invasive Orconectes crayfish species in the Lake Erie Basin. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2011. Presented by S. Supekar.*
    4. A genetic and morphological investigation of a north-central Ohio crayfish invasion. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2011. Presented by S. Zuber*; co-authored with R. Laushman.
    5. Field measurements of GEI for spontaneous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolution Meetings 2010. Co-authored with M. Rutter, C. Fenster, J. Conner.
    6. Relationship between water quality and genetic diversity in Orconectes sanbornii, O. obscurus, and O. rusticus. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference 2008. Prepared by E. Borg.*
    7. Mutation accumulation assayed in two environments: field and greenhouse. Evolution Meetings 2004. Co-authored with J. Conner.

    PUBLICATIONS

    Undergraduate authors are marked with an asterisk (*).

    1. Kahrl*, A., Laushman, R.H., and A.J. Roles. (in prep) A comparative study of multiple paternity in two native species of Orconectes crayfish.
    2. Zuber*, S.T., Muller*, K., Laushman R.H., and A.J. Roles. (in prep) Hybridization between an invasive and a native species of Orconectes crayfishes in north-central Ohio.
    3. Roles, A. J., M. Rutter, C. Fenster, and J. Conner. (in revision for resubmission to Evolution) Field measurements of genotype by environment interaction for fitness caused by spontanteous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana.
    4. Rutter, M., Roles, A., Conner, J., Shaw, R., Shaw, F., Schneeberger, K., Ossowski, S., Weigel, D., and C.B. Fenster. (in press) Spontaneous mutations and fitness. Evolution.
    5. Roles, A. J. and J. Conner. 2008. Fitness effects of mutation accumulation in a natural outbred population of wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum): Comparison of field and greenhouse environments. Evolution 62:1066-1075.
    Updated February 2011
    by Angela Roles