Matthew L. Forister

Matthew L. Forister

I was born in Ojai, California, on June 19, 1974, and grew up in Northern California, in the town of Roseville. There was a field across from our house where I caught lizards and played in the mud. In high school, I found the classics and went off to the University of San Francisco to be a writer or an artist or something else impractical. Finding academic English to be somehow unsatisfying I veered and veered intellectually until I was scraping dirt in an archaeological dig in Utah. While veering even further, I filled the cold winters as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine trying to write a novel and reading anything and everything. The novel failed, but Stephen J. Gould’s book “Wonderful Life” showed me the light: evolution was, at last, something worth going back to school for.

During my dissertation work at the University of California, Davis, I spent time in the field with my advisor, the incomparable Dr. Art Shapiro, and put thousands of miles on my truck looking for Mitoura hairstreaks and golden skippers. Although my interests were mainly in adaptation and speciation, some of Art’s fascination with phenology rubbed off on me, which led to my involvement in the project which produced this website.

My postdoctoral work was done with Doug Futuyma at Stony Brook University working on some basic questions in the genetics of plant-insect interactions. I am now an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to phenological analyses in collaboration with Art and his lab, I am still pursuing questions of adaptation and speciation, see my homepage for more details, link below.

Matt Forister's Lab Homepage