David Morris

David James Morris

Graduate Assistant


B.S. in Genetics and Biotechnology: Brigham Young University Provo, UT, 2014 (Phylogenetics)

Research and Practice Interests

I am interested in understanding how sexual selection leads to morphological diversification and speciation. I use the courtship displays of jumping spiders in the genus Habronattus as a model to answer these questions. Because they have recently evolved a filter to better discriminate long-wavelength colors, they are able to inhabit novel morphospaces. By comparing these displays at different time scales (both inter- and intra-species comparisons), I hope understand how different selective pressures influence the spiders’ ability to move into that new character space.

Positions and Work Experience

01-01-2012 -05-01-2014 Teaching Assistant- Introduction to Bioinformatics, Assisted professors in developing an introductory bioinformatics course which instructed students in basic programming skills and exposed them to commonly used computational biology tools., Brigham Young University,

08-13-2014 -05-01-2017 Research Assistant, I assisted in developing various models and tools focused on better interacting with phylogenetic data, including using network theory to detect conflicting phylogenetic signal and using novel partitioning schemes to account for rate heterogeneity in ultraconserved elements. https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/33/12/3314/2450098, Louisiana State University,

08-01-2016 -12-31-2016 Teaching Assistant- CURE Introductory Biology, Introductory biology students were taught experimental design and technique by culturing, sequencing, and identifying microbes from seawater collected in the Gulf of Mexico. Further information: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/07/24/167130,


Speciation, Character Evolution, Sexual Selection

Contact Information

Reiveschl Hall, across from 711H
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45221