The Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology Congratulates Claudio Casola, Ph.D. and Michelle Lawing, Ph.D. for both being promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
Casola received his Master’s in Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Biotechnology from University of Pisa in Italy. Casola was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas in Arlington and Indiana University before becoming an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Saint Louis University. He then came to Texas A&M University and began his role as Assistant Professor in the then Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in 2014. He has published 34 papers in high impact journals and contributed to research teams to secure over $1 million in collective grant funds.
Casola and his research team in The Casola Lab study genome evolution and adaptation in plants using both experimental and computational approaches. Currently, they are investigating work in three main areas: evolution of lineage-specific traits and adaptation through gene turnover, population variation in drought tolerance in loblolly pine, and the molecular basis of convergent evolution.
Casola mentors graduate researchers and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Molecular Evolution, Ecological Genomics, and Functional Ecology and Adaptation.
Lawing received her Master’s in Biology (Quantitative) from the University of Texas in Arlington and a double major Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior and Geological Sciences (Paleobiology) at Indiana University. Lawing spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis before coming to Texas A&M in 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the then, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.
Lawing has published 31 peer-reviewed articles and 4 peer-reviewed book chapters. She has secured over $600,000 in funds as part of various interdisciplinary research teams.
Lawing mentors researchers in the Paleobiology, Evolution, and Climate Lab, where their research focuses on the grand challenge of predicting biotic response to environmental change and untangling anthropogenic impacts. They study shifts in morphology and geography through time for populations, species, and communities. Her group also brings together natural and social scientists with educators to evaluate qualities of STEM educational outreach that result in improved learning outcomes.
Lawing teaches undergraduate courses in Spatial Project Management and Advanced GIS for Natural Resource Management. She has also taught graduate courses in Quantitative Methods in Ecology, Evolution and Biogeography and Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology.
Congratulations again to these faculty on reaching these milestones in their career. The Department is so thankful for their dedication to students and their efforts to advance scholarship in their respective areas within Ecology and Conservation Biology.