Skip to main content
Fredric J Janzen

Fredric J Janzen

  • Professor
My research interests involve the study of ecology and evolution, including mechanistic work at the molecular and organismal levels, field studies that document the importance of phenotypic variation, and a comparative view of the long-term consequences of this variation. To do so, I often integrate molecular and quantitative genetic techniques with experimental laboratory and field studies, largely focusing on the impact of environmental and genetic factors in mediating the expression of physiological, behavioral, and life-history traits. Using these conceptual approaches in concert with comparative techniques enables me to assess important biological issues, including (1) the biological significance of diverse sex-determining mechanisms, (2) the impacts of environmental and genetic factors on variation in early life-history traits, and (3) the current and historical genetic and demographic structure of populations, with an emphasis on elucidating adaptive processes and solving conservation concerns. My focal study organisms are usually reptiles, especially turtles, because they exhibit tremendous diversity in sex-determining mechanisms (including temperature-dependent sex determination) and in their life histories, rendering them excellent subjects for these topics of research interest.

Area of Expertise: quantitative genetics, Evolutionary Biology, life-history evolution

Teaching: Herpetology (BIOL 457)

Contact Info

341 Bessey
2200 Osborn Dr.


  • B.A., Biology, North Central College, 1985
  • M.S., Zoology, Colorado State University, 1987
  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 1992