Deborah Shelton

 Deborah E. Shelton

    Current position: PhD student, Michod Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Research Interests

Volvox carteri
Volvox carteri
I am interested in two of life’s contrasting basic properties: its individuality and its sociality.  Social interactions at one hierarchical level can lead to the evolution of individuality at a higher level. Such evolutionary transitions in individuality have given rise to nested levels, the basis for much of life's complexity. The principles important during evolutionary transitions in individuality (e.g. cooperation, conflict, conflict mediation, and selection at multiple levels) have general importance and apply to countless cases, from cancerous somatic cells to social animal behavior. My research explores the relationship between cell- and colony-level fitness in the volvocince green algae (Volvox and its relatives). These freshwater, motile algae are a model system for the evolution of development and for major evolutionary transitions.



Selected Posters

Nazca booby
Nazca booby
Selected Teaching and Outreach

Scorpion stonefish


Selected Credentials

Organizations and Links I Like...

  • KXCI community radio station
  • Arizona Disabled Scuba Divers Foundation promotes opportunities for disabled people to learn and enjoy scuba diving
  • Nature Conservancy works to protect ecologically important areas around the world
  • WildAid works towards ending illegal wildlife trade
  • Natural Resources Defense Council works to protect wildlife and wild places
  • No More Deaths works to provide humanitarian aid and prevent deaths at the Arizona/Mexico border
  • CEDO, the Intercultural Center for the study of Deserts and Oceans, promotes research, education and conservation in and around the Gulf of California
  • Seafood Watch provides seafood guides and information on ocean conservation issues
  • Free Software Foundation promotes freedom for software users (i.e. the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve software)
  • MIT Open Courseware course materials available free online

  • Seven Falls,
    Bear Canyon, AZ
    Seven Falls

    "Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you --- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls." -- Edward Abbey

    Last updated: Nov. 2013