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.
Madrid Thorson, J., M. Smithson, M., D. Beck, I. Sadler-Riggleman, E. Nilsson, M.F. Dybdahl, and M. K. Skinner. (in review). Role of Epigenetics in Adaptive Evolution of an Asexual Snail.
Nuismer S.N., *C.J. Jenkins, and M.F. Dybdahl. (in review). Identifying coevolving loci using interspecific genetic correlations. Evolution
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.
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
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
*Drown DM, Dybdahl M.F.,and Gomulkiewicz R. 2013. Consumer-resource interactions and the evolution of migration. Evolution: Early View online.
*Kistner, E. and M.F. Dybdahl.2013. Adaptive responses and invasion: the role of plasticity and evolution in snail shell morphology. Evolution and Ecology. doi: 10.1002/ece3.471
Dybdahl M.F.,and *Drown DM. 2011. The absence of genotypic diversity in a successful parthenogenetic invader. Biological Invasions 13: 1663-1672.
*Drown DM, Levri EP, Dybdahl M.F.,2010. Invasive genotypes are opportunistic specialists not general purpose genotypes. Evolutionary Applications 4: 132-143.
Jokela, J., M.F. Dybdahl, and C.M. Lively. 2009. Rapid clonal dynamics and parasite coevolution in a population of sexual and asexual snails. American Naturalist 174:S43-53
Dybdahl, M.F., J. Jokela, L. Delph, B. Koskella, and C.M. Lively. 2008. Hybrid fitness in a locally adapted parasite. American Naturalist 172:772-772
Riley*, L.A., M.F. Dybdahl and B.O. Hall. 2008. Invasive species impact: asymmetric interactions between invasive and endemic freshwater snails. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27:509-520
Gomulkiewicz, R., D. Drown*, M.F. Dybdahl, W. Godsoe, S.L. Nuismer, K.M. Pepin, B. Ridenhour, C.I Smith, and J.B. Yoder. 2007. The do’s and don’ts of testing the Geographic Mosaic Theory of coevolution. Heredity 98:249-258
Fromme*, A. and M.F. Dybdahl. 2006. Resistance in introduced populations of a freshwater snail to native range parasites. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 19:1948-1955
Dybdahl, M.F. and S.L. Kane. 2005. Adaptation versus phenotypic plasticity in the success of a clonal invader. Ecology. 86:1592-1601
Dybdahl, M.F. and A.C. Krist. 2004. Genotypic vs. condition effects on parasite-driven rare advantage. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17:967-973
Dybdahl, M.F. and A. Storfer. 2003 Parasite Local Adaptation: Red Queen versus Suicide King. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 18:523-530
Lively, C.M.and M.F. Dybdahl. 2000. Parasite adaptation to locally common host genotypes. Nature 405:679-681.
Dybdahl, M.F. and C.M. Lively. 1998. Host-parasite interactions: evidence for a rare advantage and time-lagged selection in a natural population. Evolution 52:1057-1066.
Dybdahl, M.F. and C.M. Lively. 1996. The geography of coevolution: comparative population structures for a snail and its trematode parasite. Evolution 50:2264-2275.
Dybdahl, M.F. 1995. Selection on life-history traits across a wave exposure gradient in the tidepool copepod Tigriopus californicus. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 192:195-210
Dybdahl, M.F. 1994. Extinction, recolonization, and the genetic structure of tidepool copepods. Evolutionary Ecology 8:113-124
* WSU graduate student author