Heath Blackmon

Assistant Professor (Evolutionary biology not elsewhere classified)

Texas A&M University

My research interests include sex chromosomes, evolution of sexual systems, and applied phylogenetics. Because of the numerical dominance of Coleoptera and the availability of both sequence and cytogenetic data much of my work has focused on this group. I have applied the latest comparative phylogenetic tools to analyze the mode and tempo of sex chromosome turnover across the entire group. Other work has focused on understanding the evolution of sex chromosomes at a genomic level. I am also interested in the development of tools that facilitate evolutionary biology analysis and teaching. To this end I develop R packages like evobiR that has a variety of tools for preparing data for comparative analyses, generation of posterior predictive simulations, and functions that perform simulations to be used in and education setting teaching basic ideas of population genetics.


  • Blackmon, Heath, and Jeffery P. Demuth. "Ring Species and Speciation." eLS. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001751.pub3
  • Blackmon, H., & Demuth, J. P. 2014. Estimating tempo and mode of Y chromosome turnover: explaining Y chromosome loss with the fragile Y hypothesis. Genetics, 197(2), 561-572.
  • The Tree of Sex Consortium. 2014. Tree of Sex: A database of sexual systems. Nature Sci. Data 1:140015 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2014.15
  • Streicher, J. W., Devitt, T. J., Goldberg, C. S., Malone, J. H., Blackmon, H., & Fujita, M. K. 2014. Diversification and asymmetrical gene flow across time and space: lineage sorting and hybridization in polytypic barking frogs. Molecular Ecology, 23(13), 3273-3291.
  • Blackmon, H., & Demuth, J. P. (2014). Genomic origins of insect sex chromosomes. Current Opinion in Insect Science.
  • Ross, L., Blackmon, H., Lorite, P., Gokhman, V. E., & Hardy, N. B. (2015). Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera. Journal of evolutionary biology.

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