Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lev Yampolsky

Committee Members

Karl H. Joplin, Thomas C. Jones


The evolution of phenotypic plasticity is currently a topic of paramount interest in a diverse field of sub-disciplines. Salience is placed by all fields in describing the interaction of selection and phenotypic plasticity and the consequence of this interaction more broadly on evolution. Lacking in the discussion is substantial empirical description of genotype/phenotype interactions that by definition constitute the plastic response to novel and stressful environments. Here, I present empirical observations that bring the interaction of genotype and phenotype into focus. Drosophila melanogaster populations subjected to selection for tolerance to low food or high alcohol conditions each exhibited an enhancement of adaptive plasticity consistent with predictions associated broadly with the Baldwin Effect. Furthermore, each appears to have followed different courses of regulatory modification to achieve these ends. Broadly implicit in the results is the observation that previous exposure of the population to the conditions of induction may dictate the course of subsequent evolution of the phenotype.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.