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Dr. Kenyon Mobley

My research covers a broad spectrum of topics in evolutionary biology and aims to understand the complex relationship between behavior, ecology and the genetic architecture of organisms.
I am currently investigating chemical signaling and the evolution of major histocompatibility gene complex (MHC) in brown trout and grayling.
My interests also include behavioral ecology, sexual selection and mating systems, ecological speciation, host-parasite coevolution, epigenetics, parental care, conservation genetics and ecological genomics. 
Fishes are my favorite model organisms and I've worked with pipefishes, gobies, stickleback and salmonids extensively.


  • Ph.D. Zoology, Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. 2007
  • M.S. Biology, Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia. 2001
  • B.S. Zoology with a concentration in Marine Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1997


  • Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate. University of Lausanne, Department of Ecology and Evolution. 2015-present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Germany. 2011-present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow. Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden. 2009-2011
  • National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway/Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona.  2007-2009
  • Research Assistant. Texas A&M University College Station, Texas. 2004–2007
  • Teaching and Research Assistant. Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia. 2002–2004
  • Teaching and Research Assistant. Georgia Southern University Statesboro, Georgia. 1998–2001
  • Research Assistant and Educator. American Museum of Natural History. New York. 1997
  • Intern. National Undersea Research Center/National Marine Sanctuary. Key Largo, Florida. 1997
  • Research Assistant. Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1995-1997


  • Evolutionary Ecology Project lab. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology 2013-2015
  • Evolutionary Biology. Umeå University. 2010-2011 
  • Organizer and head lecturer of an advanced post-graduate course “Applying microsatellite techniques to aquatic systems”. NTNU, Trondheim. 2008
  • Biology lab I & II, Ecology Project lab. Georgia Institute of Technology. 2001-2004
  • Biology lab I & II. Georgia Southern University. 1998-2001
  • After-school program for high school students “Life on Coral Reefs” at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. 1997


  • Nordic Marine Academy. Funds provided for the International Symposium of Syngnathid Biology (SYNG BIO), Lovén Centre for Marine Research, Kristineberg, Sweden. April 2011 (260k NOK)
  • Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories (ASSEMBLE). Funds provided for research at Roscoff Marine Laboratory, France for the project “Genetic signature of a recent population expansion in the snake pipefish, Entelurus aequoreus”. 2010 (10k EUR)
  • National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. International Research Fellowship Program. Project title: “Temporal variation in the genetic mating system of the two-spotted goby: a comparison of quantitative methods to estimate sexual selection”. 2007-2009 (183k USD)
  • Nordic Marine Academy Mobility Grant. Funds provided for field research at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Research, Kristineberg, Sweden. 2008 (140k NOK)
  • Nordic Marine Academy Advanced Course Grant. Funds provided for an advanced course “Applying microsatellite techniques to aquatic systems”. 2008 (220k NOK)
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Travel Grant. Texas A&M University. Awarded twice for travel to the Evolution Meeting, Stony Brook, NY 2006 and the Animal Behavior Meeting, Burlington, Vermont, 2007 (700, 800 USD)
  • Bermuda Biological Station for Research Grant-in-Aid. Funds provided for research on pipefish and seahorses in Bermuda. 2004 (3k USD)
  • Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research. Funds awarded for M.Sc. research. 1998 (600 USD)
  • SEAGRANT Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Grant. Awarded for an independent undergraduate research project concerning fish behavior. 1996 (2k USD)


  • Invited speaker and discussion panel member. Scientific publishing: open access workshop. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany. 2015
  • Keynote speaker and student judge. AURA (Åbo Universities Research Advances) Symposium: Turku, Finland. 2014
  • Guest Editor special column “New Horizons in Sexual Selection Research”. Current Zoology, Vol 59 (4), 2013
  • Organizer “Recent developments in sexual selection research: History, trends and new horizons”. Post Conference Symposium International Behavioral Ecology Congress (ISBE) Lund, Sweden
  • Organizer for the first International Symposium on Syngnathid Biology (SYNGBIO) held April 25-29, 2011 in Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
  • Administrator of – a community resource for syngnathid biologists
  • Member of the Postdoctoral Evaluation Committee for the Functional Genomics in Norway (FUGE) Program. 2008
  • Organizing committee, Ecological Integration Symposium, Texas A&M University. 2005
  • Vice President, Biology Graduate Student Association, Georgia Institute of Technology. 2001-2003
  • Referee for many international journals including Proceedings of the Royal Society - B, Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Biology Letters, PLoS One, more.
  • Membership Animal Behavior Society (ABS), European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), the International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE)


  • Georgia Institute of Technology Presidential Fellowship. Awarded for outstanding scholastic achievement. 2001-2004
  • Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology Academic Excellence. Awarded twice for M.Sc. research. 1998, 1999


  1. Julian Buchholtz. 2013. Morphological comparison of nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) populations in different ecological habitats of northern Germany. Bachelor Diploma Thesis. Christian-Albrechts University (Germany), 35 pp. Main Supervisor: KB Mobley. Second Supervisor: H. Brendelberger
  2. Sebastian Wacker, 2013. The dynamics of sexual selection: effects of OSR, density and resource competition in a fish. Ph.D. Thesis. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. Main Supervisor: T Amundsen. Co-supervisors: KB Mobley and E Forsgren.
  3. Tonje Aronsen 2012. Demographic, environmental and evolutionary aspects of sexual selection. Ph.D. Thesis. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. Main Supervisor: G Rosenqvist. Co-supervisors: KB Mobley and A. Berglund.
  4. Anna Henriksson 2010. Pre-mating isolation and female preference for pelvic spines in the nine-spined stickleback, Pungitius pungitius: A mate choice study. MSc. Thesis. Umeå University (Sweden). Main Supervisor: KB Mobley. Second Supervisor: G Englund.

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