Kathleen Ferris

Assistant Professor

(504) 862-8285
School of Science & Engineering
Kathleen Ferris

Dr. Ferris' Website



362 ESB/Israel


Dr. Kathleen Ferris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. Dr. Ferris has Bachelor degrees in Biology and English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, she earned her PhD in Biology from Duke University, and did post-doctoral work in population and quantitative genetics at UC Berkeley and UC Davis. Dr. Ferris has always been fascinated by three things: how things work, natural beauty, and storytelling. she is passionate about evolutionary biology because it combines all three. To understand how the evolutionary story has unfolded Dr. Ferris combines quantitative genetics, population genomics, and field experiments to determine the genetic, phenotypic, and environmental basis of adaptation and speciation in Monkeyflowers. Projects in the lab focus on the genetic basis of local adaptation, parallel evolution, phenotypic plasticity, and traits under temporally varying selection using members of the Mimulus guttatus species complex. Dr. Ferris is particularly interested in how differences in leaf morphology, mating system, and phenology within and between species contribute to adaptation to harsh rocky environments. By combining genetic, experimental, and field methods Dr. Ferris hopes to gain a holistic understanding of the evolutionary narrative.