Tereza Jezkova

Tereza Jezkova

Assistant Professor

388 Pearson Hall (office)
267 Pearson Hall (lab)
Global Change Biology Lab

Biographical Information

I study how species respond to environmental change using an interdisciplinary approach including population genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, GIS-based spatial analyses, ecological modeling, and field and experimental research.  

My research addresses the following general questions:

  • How do species change their distributions in response to climate change? Do they shift their ranges along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients as climate gets colder or warmer? Or are the species responses to climate change much more complicated?
  • Can species adjust their environmental requirements in face of climate change? In other words, when environmental (e.g. climatic) conditions change, can populations simply adjust to these changes via plasticity or evolutionary adaptations?
  • Do species adapt to changing climate? This is related to the previous question. In case evolutionary adaptations are needed for species to adjust to environmental change, what are these adaptations? And where are they in the genome?
  • What are the population genetic consequences of range and niche shifts? When species respond to a climate change via shifting their range or via adjusting to new environmental conditions (i.e. new niche), how does the population genetic structure change? For example, are range shifts accompanied by loss of genetic diversity and heterozygosity?
  • How do biotic interactions, especially interspecific competition, effect species distributions and species abilities to shift ranges and niches?

Courses Taught

  • Bio 209, Fundamentals of Ecology
  • Bio 206. Evolutionary Biology
  • Bio 422/522. Evolutionary and Population Genetics

Selected Publications

  • Jezkova T, and Wiens JJ. 2018. Testing the role of climate in speciation: new methods and applications to squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). Molecular Ecology, in press.
  • Badgley C, Smiley TM, Davis EB, DeSantis LRG, Fox DL, Hopkins SB, Jezkova T, Matocq MD, Matzke N, McGuire JL, Mulch A, Riddle BR, Roth VL, Samuels JX, Strömberg CAE, Terry R, Yanites BJ. 2017. Biodiversity and topographic complexity: Modern and geohistorical perspectives. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 32, 211–226.
  • Jezkova T and Wiens JJ. 2017. What explains patterns of diversification and richness among animal phyla? American Naturalist, 189: 201-212.
  • Jezkova T and Wiens JJ. 2016. Rates of change in climatic niches in plant and animal populations are much slower than projected climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society in London 20162104.
  • Jezkova T, Jaeger JR, Olah-Hemmings V, Jones KB, Lara-Resendiz RA, Mulcahy DG, Riddle BR. 2016. Range and niche shifts in response to past climate change in the desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos). Ecography 39, 437–448.
  • Jezkova T, Riddle BR, Card DC, Schield DR, Eckstut ME, Castoe TA. 2015. Genetic consequences of a post-glacial range expansion in two co-distributed rodents (genus Dipodomys) depend on ecology and genetic locus. Molecular Ecology 24: 83-97.
  • Jezkova T, Leal M, Rodríguez-Robles JA. 2013. Genetic drift or natural selection? Hybridization and asymmetric introgression in two Caribbean lizards (Anolis pulchellus and A. krugi). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 1458-1471.
  • Jezkova T, Olah-Hemmings V, Riddle BR. 2011. Niche shifting in response to warming climate after the last glacial maximum: inference from genetic data and niche assessments in the chisel-toothed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys microps). Global Change Biology 17:3486-3502.