School of Biological Sciences

Patrick Carter

Name: Patrick Carter
Field of Study: Evolutionary Physiology
Title: Professor & Associate Director, Undergraduate Program
Degrees: Ph.D., Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
Homepage: Click
Office: 217 Heald
Phone: 509-335-1447
Fax: 509-335-3184
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman WA 99164-4236

Research Interests

  • Development and application of function-valued trait methods to the evolution of complex traits.
  • Genetic variation and evolution of growth ontogenies in flour beetles.
  • Domestication evolution of growth and swimming performance ontogenies in laboratory populations of rainbow trout.
  • Temperature adaptations in rainbow trout body shape, growth and sprint speed


My research focuses on the evolution of the integrated phenotype. Using ideas and methods from evolutionary and quantitative genetics, physiological ecology, and comparative physiology, my lab group addresses questions on the evolution of function-valued traits, the correlated responses of multiple traits to selection, and the relative effects of selection and drift on trait evolution. Our goal is to provide a fundamentally deeper understanding of the evolution of the entire phenotype and of evolutionary processes. Currently three major projects are being conducted in my lab: development and application of function-valued trait methods to the evolution of complex traits; evolution of growth, body shape, swimming performance and behavioral ontogenies in laboratory populations of rainbow trout; and genetic variance in and evolution of growth ontogenies in flour beetles.  Please see my web page (address above) for more information, especially if you are a prospective student.

Representative Publications

(Note: *WSU undergraduate student, **WSU graduate student)

Campbell, J.M.**, P.A. Carter, P.A. Wheeler, and G.H. Thorgaard. 2015. Aggressive behavior, brain size and domestication in clonal rainbow trout lines. Behavior Genetics 45:245-254. 

Kingsolver, J.G, N. Heckman, J. Zhang, P.A. Carter, J.L. Knies, and J. Stinchcombe. 2015. Genetic variation, simplicity and evolutionary constraints for function-valued traits. The American Naturalist 166: E166-E181. Bellinger**, K, G.H. Thorgaard, and P.A. Carter. 2014. Effects of domestication on growth and swim performance in rainbow trout. Aquaculture 420-421:154-159. 

Gervini, D. and P.A. Carter. 2014. Warped functional analysis of variance. Biometrics (in press).

Irwin, K.K.**, and P.A. Carter. 2014.  Artificial selection on larval growth curves in Tribolium castaneum: Correlated responses and constraints. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27:2069-2079.

Attanayake**, R.N., P.A. Carter, D. Jiang, L. Del Río-Mendoza, and W. Chen. 2013. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations infecting canola from China and the United States are genetically and phenotypically distinct.  Phytopathology 103:750-761.

Careau, V.,  M.E. Wolak, P.A. Carter, and T. Garland, Jr. 2013. Limits to behavioral evolution: the quantitative genetics of a complex trait under directional selection. Evolution 67:3102-3119. 

Heink**, A.E., A. Parrish**, G.H. Thorgaard and P.A. Carter. 2013. Oxidative stress among SOD-1 genotypes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquatic Toxicology 144-145: 75-82.  

Irwin**, K.K., and P.A. Carter.  2013. Constraints on the evolution of function-valued traits: A study of growth in Tribolium casteneum. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26:2633-2643.

Serratore*, V., M.P. Zalcuki and P.A. Carter. 2013. Thermoregulation in molting and feeding Danaus plexippus caterpillars. Australian Journal of Entomology 52:8-13. 

Ware**, J., O. Nelson, C. Robbins, P.A. Carter, B. Sarver, and H. Jansen. 2013. Seasonal and daily variation of melatonin and cortisol in the brown bear (Ursus arctos). Physiological Reports 1(3)e00048:1-17. 

Stinchcombe, J.R., J. Beder, P.A. Carter, Gilchrist, G., Gervini, D., Gomulkiewicz, R. , Hallgrimsson, B., Heckman, N., Houle, D., Kingsolver, J.G., Marquez, E., Marron, J.S., Meyer, K., Mio, W., Schmitt, J., Yao, F., and Kirkpatrick, M. 2012. Genetics and evolution of function-valued traits: understanding environmentally responsive phenotypes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27: 637-647.

School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, PO Box 644236, Pullman WA 99164-4236, 509-335-3553, Contact Us
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