Welcome to the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Allen in the Biology Department at Randolph-Macon College. Research in the Allen Lab focuses on the life histories of marine invertebrate animals. We study the ecology and evolution of larval forms in animals ranging from sea urchins and sea stars to crabs and snails.
Our work covers a wide range of topics including: 1) How do changes in maternal investment influence larval and juvenile growth and survival? 2) How do changes in larval size and habitat influence predation rates? and 3) How can intermediate modes of larval development illuminate the evolutionary processes leading to diverse reproductive patterns?
We address these and other questions using laboratory and field-based experiments that provide much needed empirical data to inform the theoretically rich realm of life history evolution. Our work takes place in diverse habitats from Virginia to Maine and beyond. Come take a look around and contact Dr. Allen if you want to learn more.