My Name is Mark Williamson. I am a PhD student in Brian Darby's lab. I graduated from UND with a undergraduate degree in Biology and Physics. I'm currently in my 4th of 6 years as a PhD student. In addition to research, I have a teaching assistantship and have TA'd for Genetics, Cell Biology Lab (3 semesters), Ecology Lab, and Biometry (2 semesters).
My research project is the Evolutionary Ecology of Ribosomal RNA Copy Number. I am testing the hypotheses that rRNA copy number is:
- Important to ecological stoichiometry
- The driving mechanism behind the Growth Rate Hypothesis
- Evolutionarily conserved. I will do this by testing my research hypotheses with field, lab, and computer experiments.
Nematodes and bacteria with high copy number benefit from phosphorus enrichment, and vice versa.
Ribosomal RNA gene copy number is positively correlated with growth rate and cytoplasmic concentration of rRNA.
Ribosomal RNA gene copy number is phylogenetically auto-correlated in bacteria, archaea, and nematodes.
- Oakville Prairie
- Konza Prairie
- Phylogenetic autocorrelation of rrnDB 4.33: Completed
- Konza Soil Sampling 2016: in analysis
- Oakville Core Mesocosm Study 2016: in analysis
- Oakville Core Mesocosm Study 2017: in progress
Other Research Interests
- Rare and little-known taxa: especially non-insect arthropods
- Teaching and communicating science and philosophy