Welcome to Ruth G. Shaw’s Research Group in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota

We study evolutionary processes in contemporary plant populations. A central goal of our research is to clarify the dynamics of evolutionary change in nature, using a combination of quantitative genetics, population biology, and field experiments. Recurring and ongoing themes of our research include adaptation to climate change and evolutionary consequences of severe fragmentation of populations. Explore this site further for descriptions of our current work.


  • Nicholas, Shelby and Ruth were awarded $2,700 from the Institute on the Environment for their project, “Planting prairies: Collaboration for increasing native seed for restoration”. Stay tuned as the work unfolds!
  • The Healthy Prairies Project has completed installation of its multi-site, long-term experiment assessing the geographic scale of local adaptation in 6 native prairie species.
  • Amber successfully defended her dissertation, Fitness and adaptive capacity in a Minnesota prairie.  She is now a Future Faculty Fellow in the Lotterhos and Hughes labs at Northeastern University. Congratulations, Amber!
  • The Healthy Prairies Project has completed its first season of data collection from a multi-site study of local adaptation in 2 native prairie grasses, sideoats grama and little bluestem.
  • Sam Weaver, a former NSF REU student with the Shaw Group has entered the EEB Graduate Program where he is co-advised by Suzanne McGaugh and Ken Kozak.
  • Many of us had busy field seasons during the summer and the work continues into the fall. Stay tuned as the data roll in!

 News Archive