Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Mark F. Dybdahl

Mark F. Dybdahl

Field of Study: Animal Evolutionary Ecology
Title: Associate Professor
Degrees: Ph.D., Zoology, University of California at Davis
Homepage: Homepage/Lab Web Site Link
Google Scholar:  Google Scholar
Office: 269 Eastlick
Phone: Office: 509-335-7909; Lab: 335-7914
Fax: 509-335-3184
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman,WA 99164-4236


As an evolutionary ecologist, Dr. Dybdahl’s research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of sexual and asexual modes of reproduction. This research has included the analysis of natural populations, laboratory experiments, and molecular and quantitative genetic techniques in marine and freshwater invertebrates. Past research questions include host-parasite interactions and coevolution, the evolution of sexual reproduction, the evolution of life history traits, and the evolutionary ecology of invasive species. Current research relates to two broad themes:

1) Coevolution between parasites and their hosts, as a process that can prevent clonal expansion and favor the evolution of sexual reproduction, according to the “Red Queen” hypothesis.

2) The ecological and evolutionary advantages of asexual reproduction, including plasticity and adaptation of traits that affect the ability of clonal populations to invade new habitats and biological communities.

The main subjects of current research are a New Zealand freshwater snail that has both sexual and asexual reproductive modes, and the trematode parasites in its native range. The research also incorporates introduced populations of these snails worldwide , including those in Australia, Europe and the western and eastern U.S.

Representative Publications:

  • *Madrid-Thorson, J. , *M. Smithson, and four others M.F. Dybdahl, and M. Skinner. 2017. Epigenetics and adaptive phenotypic variation between habitats in an asexual snail. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 14139
  • Nuismer S.N., *C.J. Jenkins, and M.F. Dybdahl. (2017). Identifying coevolving loci using interspecific genetic correlations. Ecology and evolution, 7(17), 6894-6903.
  • Nuismer S.N. and M.F. Dybdahl. 2016. Quantifying the coevolutionary potential of multi-step immune defenses. Evolution 70(2), 282-295
  • *Riley, L. A., and M. F. Dybdahl. 2015. The roles of resource availability and competition in mediating growth rates of invasive and native freshwater snails. Freshwater Biology.
  • *Kistner, E.J. and M.F. Dybdahl. 2014. Parallel variation among populations in the shell morphology between sympatric native and invasive aquatic snails. Biological Invasions. 10.1007/s10530-014-0691-4
  • Levri E.P., Krist A.C., Bilka R., Dybdahl M.F. 2014. Phenotypic Plasticity of the Introduced New Zealand Mud Snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Compared to Sympatric Native Snails. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93985. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093985
  • Dybdahl, M.F., *C. E. Jenkins, and S. Nuismer. 2014. Identifying the molecular basis of coevolution: merging models and mechanisms. American Naturalist 184(1):1-13. doi: 10.1086/676591
  • *Drown DM, Dybdahl MF and Gomulkiewicz R. 2013. Consumer-resource interactions and the evolution of migration. Evolution 67:3290-3304 DOI:10.1111/evo.12194
  • *Kistner, E. and M.F. Dybdahl. 2013. Adaptive responses and invasion: the role of plasticity and evolution in snail shell morphology. Evolution and Ecology. 3:424-436 doi: 10.1002/ece3.471
  • Dybdahl M.F., and *Drown DM. 2012. Response to comments on “The absence of genotypic diversity in a successful parthenogenetic invader.” Biological Invasions 14:1647-1649 DOI 10.1007/s10530-012-0185-1