Curt Lively

Curt Lively

Distinguished Professor, Biology

  • clively@indiana.edu
  • (812) 855-1842
  • Jordan Hall 117B
  • Office Hours
    M-F
    By Appointment Only

Education

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Rutgers University, 1989
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1984-1988
  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1984

About

Lab

Jordan Hall 116/117
(812) 855-3282
Lively lab website

Awards
  • Indiana University Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2011
  • Elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (HON FRSNZ), 2007
  • Indiana University Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2002
  • Senior Class Award for Teaching Excellence and Dedication to Undergraduates, 2002 and 2000
  • Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, 2000, 1999, and 1997
  • Election to FACET (faculty colloquium on excellence in teaching), 1996
  • Outstanding Young Faculty Award from Indiana University, 1993
  • Mercer Award, from the Ecological Society of America, 1987
Research

Why do so many organisms have two sexual morphs: male and female? And why do the females cross-fertilize instead of producing clonal offspring? Assuming no concomitant reduction in fecundity, an asexual female would produce twice as many daughters (and four times as many grand-daughters) as the average sexual female; and unchecked, the resulting clone would quickly replace the sexual females and males in the population. Our approach has been to study species that have both sexual and asexual females, so that there is a firm basis for comparison between the two reproductive strategies. Sexual reproduction in one such species, a freshwater New Zealand snail, is correlated with the incidence of infection by parasitic trematodes, which is consistent with the idea that the production of variable, cross-fertilized progeny is favored in populations where there is a high risk of infection (The Red Queen hypothesis). We are presently involved in more detailed genetic and ecological studies of this snail in populations where sexual and asexual females coexist. I am also interested in the evolution of parasite virulence, and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Specific details can be found at my lab website.

Publications

AK Gibson, LF Delph, CM Lively. The two-fold cost of sex: Experimental evidence from a natural system. Evolution Letters 1 (1), 6-15.

D Vergara, JA Fuentes, KS Stoy, CM Lively. Evaluating shell variation across different populations of a freshwater snail. Molluscan Research 37 (2), 120-132.

SP Slowinski, LT Morran, RC Parrish, ER Cui, A Bhattacharya, CM Lively, et al. Coevolutionary interactions with parasites constrain the spread of self-fertilization into outcrossing host populations. Evolution 70 (11), 2632-2639.

AK Gibson, JY Xu, CM Lively. Within-population covariation between sexual reproduction and susceptibility to local parasites. Evolution 70 (9), 2049-2060.

See all publications
Lake Alexandrina, South Island, New Zealand. Photo credit: C. Lively

Lake Alexandrina, South Island, New Zealand. Photo credit: C. Lively

Lost! Looking for Lake Ellery in South Westland, New Zealand. Britt Koskella (PhD 2008) is not impressed. Photo credit: Jukka Jokela

Lost! Looking for Lake Ellery in South Westland, New Zealand. Britt Koskella (PhD 2008) is not impressed. Photo credit: Jukka Jokela

Amanda Gibson (PhD 2016) sampling at Lake Alexandrina. Photo credit: C. Lively

Amanda Gibson (PhD 2016) sampling at Lake Alexandrina. Photo credit: C. Lively

Daniela Vergara (PhD 2013) at Lake Selfe, South Island New Zealand. Photo credit: C. Lively

Daniela Vergara (PhD 2013) at Lake Selfe, South Island New Zealand. Photo credit: C. Lively

Kayla King (left, PhD 2011) and Daniela Vergara (PhD 2013) at Hokitika, New Zealand. Mount Tasman and Mount Cook in the background. Photo credit: C. Lively

Kayla King (left, PhD 2011) and Daniela Vergara (PhD 2013) at Hokitika, New Zealand. Mount Tasman and Mount Cook in the background. Photo credit: C. Lively