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Dr. Theresa Spradling

Dr. Theresa Spradling
Professor
(319) 273-6214
McCollum Science Hall 10
Education: 
  • Ph.D. 1997 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Department of Zoology and Physiology. Dissertation: "Relative rates of molecular evolution in rodents and their symbionts"
  • M.S. 1991 University of North Texas, Denton. Thesis: "Mitochondrial DNA restriction site analysis of the phylogeny of the truei and boylii species groups of the rodent genus Peromyscus (Cricetidae)"
  • B.S. 1988 Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. Major in biology, minor in chemistry.

Teaching Interests: 
Genetics, Evolution, Advanced Systematics and Evolution
Research: 

My research interests lie broadly in the area of evolution, including both organismal and molecular evolution. My research has focused on the systematics of a variety of rodents, as assessed using genetic techniques. In pocket gophers, I use genetic techniques to study evolutionary relationships, which can be compared to the evolutionary relationships of their parasites. In each case, I am interested in the interplay between organismal and molecular evolution.

Population-level processes may play a role in the degree of cospeciation that will occur between hosts and their parasites (Demastes, Spradling, and Hafner, 2003). Also, some of my past research has indicated that population-level parameters and life history traits of organisms can contribute to rates of molecular evolution (Spradling, Hafner, and Demastes, 2001; Hafner et al., 1994). Therefore, I have become interested in what goes on at the population level in a variety of species. Accordingly, I have mentored Jon Eastman (M.S.), who investigated population genetics of blue-spotted salamanders, and Scott Whitmore (M.S.), who investigated the population genetics of the central newt in Iowa.

My interests in host-parasite cospeciation and in population genetics have led me to study the population genetics of chewing lice in an effort to understand how population level parameters impact cospeciation of these parasites and their hosts. Sheree Harper (M.S.) has worked with me on one aspect of this system, comparing genetics of louse populations separated by 23 years of time (Harper et al. 2015).  Now Jim Demastes and I are working with several undergraduate students on a National Science Foundation funded project aimed at understanding the genetics of chewing louse populations that are in the process of expanding their range and invading a new host type (For more information, visit our project home page: https://louselab.uni.edu/).

Publications: 
  • 2016 Pietan, L. L., T. A. Spradling, and J. W. Demastes. The mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene occurs on a minichromosome with extensive heteroplasmy in two species of chewing lice, Geomydoecus aurei and Thomomydoecus minor. PloS One, 11(9): e0162248, September 2, 2016, doi. 10.1371/journal.pone.0162248.
  • 2016 Spradling, T. A., J. W. Demastes, D. J. Hafner, P. L. Milbach*, F. A. Cervantes, and M. S. Hafner. Systematic revision of the pocket gopher genus Orthogeomys. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(2); 405-423, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv185.
  • 2015 Harper, S. E.*, T. A. Spradling, J. W. Demastes, and C. S. Calhoun*. Host behaviour drives parasite genetics at multiple geographic scales: population genetics of the chewing louse, Thomomydoecus minor. Molecular Ecology, 16 pp., doi: 10.1111/mec.13306.
  • 2014 Hafner, M. S., D. J. Hafner, E. E. Gonzáles, J. W. Demastes, T. A. Spradling, and F. A. Cervantes. Rediscovery of the pocket gopher Orthogeomys lanius (Rodentia: Geomyidae) in Veracruz, Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy, 95:792-802.
  • 2013 Whitmore, S. S., S. Losee, L. Meyer, and T. A. Spradling. Conservation genetics of the central newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) in Iowa: The importance of a biogeographic framework. Conservation Genetics, 14:771-781.
  • 2012 Demastes J. W., T. A. Spradling, M. S. Hafner, G. R. Spies*, D. J. Hafner, and J. E. Light. Cophylogeny on a fine scale: Geomydoecus chewing lice and their pocket gopher hosts, Pappogeomys bulleri. Journal of Parasitology, 98:262-270.
  • 2010 Spradling, T. A., J. W. Tamplin, S. S. Dow*, and K. J. Meyer*. Conservation genetics of a peripherally isolated population of the wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) in Iowa. Conservation Genetics, 11:1667-1677, 10.1007/s10592-010-0059-y.
  • 2009 Hafner, M. S., D. J. Hafner, J. W. Demastes, G. L. Hasty, J. E. Light, and T. A. Spradling. Evolutionary relationships of pocket gophers of the genus Pappogeomys (Rodentia: Geomyidae). Journal of Mammalogy, 90:47-56.
  • 2008 Hafner, D. J., M. S. Hafner, G. L. Hasty, T. A. Spradling, and J. W. Demastes. Evolutionary relationships of pocket gophers (Cratogeomys castanops species group) of the Mexican Altiplano. Journal of Mammalogy, 89:190-208.
  • 2007 Eastman*, J., T. A. Spradling, J. W. Demastes, and H. Hadow. Conservation genetic assessment of the blue-spotted salamander in Iowa. American Midland Naturalist, 158:233-239. (*UNI M.S. student) 
  • 2005 Hafner, M. S., J. E. Light, D. J. Hafner, S. V. Brant, T. A. Spradling, and J. W. Demastes. Cryptic species in the Mexican pocket gopher, Cratogeomys merriami. Journal of Mammalogy, 86:10951108. 
  • 2004 Spradling, T. A., S. V. Brant, M. S. Hafner, and C. J. Dickerson*. DNA data support a rapid radiation of pocket gopher genera (Rodentia: Geomyidae). Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 11: 105-125. 
  • 2004 Hafner, M. S., T. A. Spradling, J. E. Light, D. J. Hafner, and J. R. Demboski. Systematic revision of pocket gophers of the Cratogeomys gymnurus species group. Journal of Mammalogy, 85: 1170-1183.
  • 2003 Demastes, J. W., T. A. Spradling, and M. S. Hafner. The Effects of Spatial and Temporal Scale on Analyses of Cophylogeny. In Tangled trees: Phylogeny, Cospeciation, and Coevolution (R. D. M. Page, ed.), University of Chicago Press, pp. 221-239.
  • 2003 Hafner, M. S., J. W. Demastes, T. A. Spradling, and D. L. Reed. Cophylogeny Between Pocket Gophers and Chewing Lice. In Tangled trees: Phylogeny, Cospeciation, and Coevolution (R. D. M. Page, ed.), University of Chicago Press, pp. 195-220.
  • 2002 Demastes, J. W., T. A. Spradling, M. S. Hafner, D. J. Hafner, and D. L. Reed. Systematics and phylogeography of pocket gophers in the genera Cratogeomys and Pappogeomys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 22: 144-154.
  • 2001 Spradling, T. A., M. S. Hafner, and J. W. Demastes. Differences in rate of cytochrome b evolution among species of rodents. Journal of Mammalogy, 82:65-80.
  • 2000 Hafner, M. S., J. W. Demastes, and T. A. Spradling. Coevolution. In Life Underground: The Biology of Subterranean Rodents (E. Lacey, J. L. Patton, and G. N. Cameron, eds.), The University of Chicago Press, pp. 370-388.
  • 1999 Nevo, E., A. Beiles, and T. A. Spradling. Molecular evolution of cytochrome b of subterranean mole rats, Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies, in Israel. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 49:215-226.
  • 1998 Demastes, J. W., M. S. Hafner, D. J. Hafner, and T. A. Spradling. Pocket gophers and chewing lice: A test of the maternal transmission hypothesis. Molecular Ecology, 7:1065-1069.
  • 1998 Hafner, M. S., J. W. Demastes, D. J. Hafner, T. A. Spradling, P. D. Sudman, and S. A. Nadler. Age and movement of a hybrid zone: implications for dispersal distance in pocket gophers and their chewing lice. Evolution, 52:278-282.
  • 1996 Planz, J. V, E. G. Zimmerman, T. A. Spradling, and D. R. Akins. Molecular phylogeny of the Neotoma floridana species group. Journal of Mammalogy, 77:519-535.
  • 1994 Hafner, M. S., P. D. Sudman, F. X. Villablanca, T. A. Spradling, J. W. Demastes, and S. A. Nadler. Disparate rates of molecular evolution in cospeciating hosts and parasites. Science, 265:1087-1090.
  • 1993 Spradling DeWalt, T., P. D. Sudman, M. S. Hafner, and S. K. Davis. Phylogenetic relationships of pocket gophers (Pappogeomys and Cratogeomys) based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2:193-204.
  • 1993 Spradling DeWalt, T., E. G. Zimmerman, and J. V. Planz. Mitochondrial-DNA phylogeny of species of the truei and boylii groups of the genus Peromyscus. Journal of Mammalogy, 74:352-362.
  • *UNI student