Skip to main content
Mark Phillips

Mark A. Phillips

Assistant Professor
Department of Integrative Biology

Mark A. Phillips

Assistant Professor
Department of Integrative Biology



My interest in biology is largely rooted in my childhood in Guyana and the West Indies. These experiences gave me a great appreciation for the incredible levels and patterns of variation found in nature and ultimately motivated my desire to study the forces that shape and create them.


  • PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California - Irvine, 2018.
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Florida, 2011.


Research in the Phillips Lab is highly integrative and combines approaches from evolutionary biology, various statistical methods, multiple model systems, and ‘omic’ data to answer big questions in biology. Work is split between two broad categories:

  1. Studying the evolutionary processes underlying adaptation to rapid environmental shifts
  2. Identifying the factors that drive differences in rates of physiological decline between individuals as they age.

To address these questions, we rely on an approach called “experimental evolution”. Here populations of model organisms are subjected to carefully chosen selective pressures that promote changes in traits of interest over many generations. Data collected from these populations is then used to establish statistical associations between changes in trait values and specific underlying mechanisms (e.g. genetic changes, shifts in metabolomic profiles, etc.).


My teaching is built around high levels of student engagement and giving students opportunities to think beyond what is in their textbooks. This often means engaging with primary literature, and grappling questions at the forefront of modern biology.

Courses Taught

  • BI 445 / IB 545 – Evolution (including Honors)
  • IB 511 – Integrative Biology Graduate Student Orientation