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publications gomulkiewicz research


Here are a few of my publications that are, for various reasons, among the favorites I have worked on.

  • Gomulkiewicz, R., and M. Kirkpatrick. (1992) Quantitative genetics and the evolution of reaction norms. Evolution 46:390-411. The only paper I published with my advisor-extraordinaire, Mark Kirkpatrick, during my postdoc but boy, was it ever rich in ideas and results.
  • Gomulkiewicz, R., and R.D. Holt. (1995) When does evolution by natural selection prevent extinction? Evolution 49:201-207. This paper fulfilled an early research goal of mine to combine ecology and evolution.  It was also the start of a fantastic long term collaboration with Bob Holt.
  • Gomulkiewicz, R., and N.A. Slade. (1997) Legal standards and the forensic significance of DNA evidence. Human Biology 69(5):675-688. The idea for this paper developed when I taught an intro biostats course at KU during the OJ Simpson trial.  Of all the papers I’ve published, it has the biggest coefficient of “interesting results per unit mathematical sophistication [middle school algebra]”. Plus, working with Norm Slade is just plain fun.
  • Gomulkiewicz, R., J. N. Thompson, R. D. Holt, S. L. Nuismer, and M. E. Hochberg. (2000.) Hot spots, cold spots, and the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. The American Naturalist. 156:156-174. This paper traces back to, quite literally, drawings on napkins that John Thompson and I made over coffee one morning when we were brainstorming ways to spin his groundbreaking ideas about coevolution into math.
  • Kingsolver, J.G., and R. Gomulkiewicz. (2003) Environmental variation and selection on performance curves. Integrative and Comparative Biology 43:470-477. An enjoyable adventure with one of my favorite frequent collaborators, Joel Kingsolver. Spoiler alert: our model of how temperature affects selection on caterpillar growth is not very good! 
  • Whitlock, M. and R. Gomulkiewicz. (2005) Probability of fixation in a heterogeneous environment.  Genetics 171:1407-1417. From my first sabbatical leave. I had to learn (or re-learn) several areas of math in which I had never previously worked.  I also had the good fortune to learn first-hand what a sharp and generous colleague Mike Whitlock is.
  • Griswold, C. K., B. Logsdon, and R. Gomulkiewicz. (2007)  Neutral Evolution of Multiple Quantitative Characters: A Genealogical Approach. Genetics 176:455-466. This is the first time I co-authored a paper for which I did very few of the analyses.  The paper started with intriguing patterns that Ben Logsdon—an undergraduate at the time—noticed in some “warm up” simulations he was running.  Looking for a simple explanation, we showed the results to Cort Griswold who quickly realized we could understand and quickly recreate them all using a coalescent approach.
  • Gomulkiewicz, R., and D. Houle. (2009) Demographic and Genetic Constraints on Evolution. The American Naturalist 174:E218-E229. This paper “simmered” for many, many years after David Houle and I first hatched the idea.  I wasn’t able to pull things together until my next sabbatical came around.  Thank goodness for sabbatical leaves… and for gifted-and-patient colleagues like David.
  • Nuismer, S.L., R. Gomulkiewicz, and B. J. Ridenhour. (2010) When is correlation coevolution? The American Naturalist 175:525–537. Scott Nuismer dreamed of this paper when he was still a grad student in the late 90’s.  His original title was “What can we learn about studying correlations between traits of interacting species?” Scott felt unworthy to champion the ultimate choice, a direct tribute to Dan Janzen’s foundational article “When is it coevolution?”  I like to think I convinced Scott he had earned the privilege.
  • Barfield, M., R. D. Holt, and R. Gomulkiewicz.  (2011) Evolution in stage-structured populations. The American Naturalist 177:397-409. There are many reasons I enjoyed and am proud of this article, but my personal highlight is Appendix B which disproves an irritating doubt (regarding a claim by Hal Caswell) I harbored for almost 20 years. Go figure!
  • Jones, E. I., and R. Gomulkiewicz. (2012) Biotic interactions, rapid evolution and the establishment of introduced species.  The American Naturalist 179:E28–E36. First paper I published with my awesome postdoc Emily Jones. My entre into rigorous thinking about how coevolution might—or might not—impact the assembly process of ecological communities.
  • Drown, D. M., M. F. Dybdahl, and R. Gomulkiewicz. 2013. Consumer-resource interactions and the evolution of migration. Evolution 67:3290-3304. doi: 10.1111/evo.12194. This problem was particularly challenging for me but it eventually led to a satisfyingly paper unusually rich in striking results… and still unresolved mysteries.
  • Smith M.C., R. Gomulkiewicz, Mack R.N. 2015. Potential Role of Masting by Introduced Bamboos in Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) Population Irruptions Holds Public Health Consequences. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0124419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124419. Who’da thunk I’d ever co-author a paper on bamboo masting? Thanks to Melissa and Dick for this surprise research opportunity of a lifetime.
  • Gomulkiewicz, R., S.M. Krone, and C.H. Remien. 2017. Evolution and the duration of a doomed population. Evolutionary Applications 10:471-484. doi: 10.1111/eva.12467. Nearly entitled “Evolutionary mitigation… Whaaa?”  This paper is a favorite since it was a great privilege and fun to spend my 3rd sabbatical learning from and working with Chris and Steve, who are two wicked smart people. It is also significant to me for a couple other reasons. First, I had originally intended to isolate the impact of extinction itself on observed evolutionary substitution rates and, after almost a year, was able to accomplish that. But when I dove into the background literature for the manuscript, I soon discovered that John Gillespie had scooped me… by about 40 years! As I sadly shut down the project, I realized that the complementary problem had not been touched, “saving” my sabbatical.  The second backstory harkens to a question Marc Mangel asked on my PhD qualifier that I miserably failed to answer (and probably should have been flunked for). I think this paper would be a good enough answer for Marc and makes me feel at long last like I have legitimately earned my PhD in applied mathematics.