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Matthew R Gilg


Biology | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Teaching: Genetics, Evolution, Population Genetics, General Biology II, Current Applications in Biology (Environmental Science), and Island Biogeography, Evolution and the Natural History of the Galapagos (study abroad)


Research:  Ecological genetics and evolutionary ecology.



B.S. Hastings College (1994)
M.S. Eastern Illinois University (1996)
Ph.D University of South Carolina (2002)


I am interested in a variety of evolutionary questions including the genetics and process of speciation, hybridization, and how organisms respond to climate change.  I currently have several study systems that students in my lab are researching. 


One of my study systems involves an assessment of naturally hybridizing populations of two species of killifish, Fundulus grandis and Fundulus heteroclitus.  These two species overlap in range in northeastern Florida and occupy the same habitats as adults.  I am currently researching the spatial and temporal dynamics of this hybrid zone in an attempt to identify whether hybrid fitness is influenced by habitat and whether the hybrid zone is shifting in response to climate change.


A second area of research involves the investigation of adaptation and acclimatization of the threatened coral species, Acropora cervicornis, to increased ocean temperatures.  Students in my laboratory are attempting to identify coral genotypes that are especially tolerant of elevated temperatures, and determine the genetic and physiological variations that differentiate them from intolerant genotypes.  We are also investigating whether coral that have had previous exposure to elevated temperatures are better able to survive subsequent thermal stress events, and how these stress treatments affect survival of outplanted coral fragments.


My third study system involves work with a local invasive species, the green mussel, Perna viridis.  Green mussels are native to the Indo-Pacific and have been introduced to several locations in the Caribbean and Florida over the last 20 years.  Students in my laboratory are involved in a collaborative project comparing the cold temperature tolerance of introduced populations in the U.S. to native populations in China.  We are attempting to identify whether introduced populations have adapted to the colder winter temperatures in the U.S. and whether this could influence their range expansion.


Publications & Presentations

Yetsko, K.L., M. Ross, A. Bellantuono, D. Merselis, M. Rodriguez-Lanetty and M.R. Gilg. Differences in thermal tolerance among colonies of the threatened coral Acropora cervicornis: the potential for adaptation to increasing temperatures.  In press:  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.


J.M. Raabe and M.R. Gilg. Native and non-native bivalve settlement: potential competition for spatial resources in a Northeast Florida estuary.  In press:  J. Moll. Stud.


Barbas, R. and M.R. Gilg.  2018. Quantification of Reproductive Isolating Barriers Between Two Naturally Hybridizing Killifish Species.  Evol. Biol. 45:  425-436.


Joana Dias, M.R. Gilg, S. Lukehurst, M. Huhn, H. Madduppa, S. McKirdy, P. de Lestan, W.J. Kennington and J.I. McDonald. 2018. Genetic diversity of a skilled hitchhiker and prized food source in the Anthropocene: the Asian green mussel Perna viridis (Mollusca, Mytilidae). Biological Invasions. 20: 1749-1770.


Gilg, M.R., L. Martin, N. Fernandez, C. Murphy, C. Walsh, R. Rognstad and T.J. Hilbish. 2016. Temporal patterns in allele frequencies of the gamete recognition locus M7 lysin within a population of Mytilus galloprovincialis in Western Europe.  J. Moll. Stud. 82:  542-549.


Gilg, M.R., R. Howard, R. Turner, M. Middlebrook, M. Abdulnour, E. Lukaj, Y. Peter Sheng, T, Liu, and B. Tutak.  2014. Estimating the dispersal capacity of the introduced green mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758), from field collections and oceanographic modeling.  J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 461:  233-242.


Brant, K.M. and M.R. Gilg.  2014. Testing the relative effectiveness of traditional and non-traditional antifouling substrates on barnacle and macroalgae settlement.  Marine Biology Research. 10: 1027-1032.


Gilg, M.R., M.C. Restrepo, R. Walton, P.M. Brannock, T.J. Hilbish, and E. Rodriguez.  2013. Geographic variation in allele frequency of the gamete recognition protein M7 lysin throughout a mosaic blue mussel hybrid zone.  Mar. Biol.160:  1737-1750.


Gilg, M.R., E.G. Johnson, J. Gobin, B.M. Bright and A. Ortolaza.  2013.  Population genetics of introduced and native populations of the green mussel, Perna viridis:  determining patterns of introduction.  Biol. Invas. 15:  459-472.


Stokes, K., P. Stiling, M.R. Gilg and A. Rossi.  2012. The gall midge, Asphondylia borrichiae, (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae):  an indigenous example of host–associated genetic divergence in sympatry.  Environ. Entomol. 41:  1246-1254.


Urian, A.G., J.D. Hatle and M.R. Gilg.  2011.  Thermal constraints for range expansion of the invasive green mussel, Perna viridis, in the Southeastern United States.  J. Exp. Zoo. Part A.  315A:  12-21.


Gilg, M.R., E.A. Hoffman, K.R. Schneider, J. Ryabinov, C. Elkhoury and L.J. Walters.  2010.  Recruitment preferences of non-native mussels: Interaction between marine invasions and land-use changes. J. Mollus. Stud.  76:  333-339.


Gilg, M.R., E. Lukaj, M. Abdulnour, E. Gonzalez, M. Middlebrook, R. Turner and R. Howard.  2010.  Spatio-temporal settlement patterns of the non-native Titan Acorn Barnacle, Megabalanus coccopoma, in northeastern Florida.  J. Crustacean Biol.  30:  146-150.


Galleher, S.N., M.R. Gilg and K.J. Smith.  2009.  Comparison of sub-adult thermal maxima in Fundulus heteroclitus and F. grandisFish Physiol Biochem. 10.1007/s10695-009-9347-1


Galleher, S.N., I. Gonzalez, M.R. Gilg and K.J. Smith.  2009.  Larvae and juvenile Fundulus heteroclitus abundance and distribution in Northeast Florida Marshes. Southeast Nat. 8:  495-502.


Matthew R. Gilg, M. O’Connor, R. Norris and T.J. Hilbish. 2009.  Maintenance of parental populations bordering a blue mussel hybrid zone by post-settlement selection.  J. Mollus Stud. 75:  207-214.


Gonzalez, I., M. Levin, S. Jermanus, B. Watson, and M.R. Gilg.  2009.  Genetic assessment of species ranges in Fundulus heteroclitus and F. grandisSoutheast Nat. 8:  227-243.


Matthew R. Gilg, R. Sullivan, S. Kirby, L. Knapp and T.J. Hilbish.  2007.  Dispersal vs. retention; correspondence of species-specific reproductive cycles and settlement periods in a blue mussel hybrid zone.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 351:  151-161.


Matthew R. Gilg and Thomas J. Hilbish.  2003.  Dispersal patterns of mussel larvae throughout a hybrid zone in Southwest England.  Evolution.  57:  1061-1077.


Matthew R. Gilg and Thomas J. Hilbish.  2003.  Geography of marine larval dispersal:  Coupling genetics with fine-scale physical oceanography.  Ecology.  84:  2989-2998.


Matthew R. Gilg and Kipp C. Kruse.  2003.  Reproduction effects lifespan in the Giant Waterbug, Belostoma flumineum.  Am. Mid. Nat.  149:  306-319.


Matthew R. Gilg and Thomas J. Hilbish.  2003.  Spatio-temporal patterns of larval settlement and genetics in a blue mussel hybrid zone.  Marine Biology.  143:  679-690.


Contact Information

Building 59, Room 3316

(904) 620-1949