Frank Rosenzweig

Frank Rosenzweig


Fax: (406) 243-4184
Office Hours:

Tuesday and Thursday 1-2PM and by appointment


Evgueny Kroll, PhD (Asst Research Professor): Yeast evolutionary genetics

Karen Schmidt, BS, MS (Lab Manager)
Margie Kinnersley, PhD: Bacterial population biology and evolution
Matthew Herron, PhD: Protistan population biology and evolution

Carla Boulianne-Larsen, MS: Coevolution of clincial P. aeruginsoa and S. aureus

Jacob Boswell (Sigma Xi Undergrad fellow): Experimental evolution of multicellularity. Maggie Boyd (Davidson Honors College): Experimental evolution of multicellularity. Jacob Childress: Evolution of E. coli hypermutators. Eric Dunham: Hypermutation in clincial P. aeruginosa (ASM undergrad fellow). Emmy Handl: Experimental evolution of biocomplexity. Alex Knox: Experimental evolution of multicellularity. Eric Wall (NASA Spacegrant Fellow): Experimental eukaryogenesis.

Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Current Position



BIOB272: Genetics and Evolution.   BIOB375: General Genetics.   BIOB392: Internship.   BIOL497: Advanced Undergrad Research.   BIOM594: Professional Semimar


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan (Population Genetics)

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Biology); B.A., University of Tennessee (Comparative Literature)

Research Interests

Research in the Rosenzweig lab is aimed at illuminating the evolution of complex traits that augment biodiversity, control cell lifespan and drive major transitions in the history of life. Our goals are to understand how changes in genome architecture alter global patterns of gene expression, whether such changes explain the physiology and behavior of novel genotypes, and the extent to which adaptation is shaped by trade-offs and constraints. Because all major evolutionary transitions require cooperative behavior, we are especially keen to discover genetic changes that promote this trait. Our approach to these goals is experimental evolutionary genomics using as models the bacteria Escherichia coli and Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, the Bakers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the unicellular alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. With new and continuing funding from NASA, NIH and the Templeton Foundation we are addressing six fundamental questions.

(1) How does a community arise from a single clone? (2) How did the eukaryotic cell, specifically the cell that had a mitochondrion, come to be? (3) How does multicellularity arise? (4) What is the true rate of beneficial mutation – and how pervasive are the pleiotropic effects of those mutations? (5) How might severe stress favor the emergence of new species. (6)What controls the lifespan of a eukaryotic cell?


NIH-NHGRI  PI: G Sherlock (Stanford), co-PI: F Rosenzweig  Project Title: Molecular Characterization of Adaptive Evolution  Project Description: The aim of this research is to assess how populations explore adaptive landscapes, whether adaptive mutations are beneficial in environments other than those in which they evolved, and whether early-arising mutations constrain subsequent evolutionary trajectories.

NASA Exobiology  PI: F Rosenzweig, co-PI: G Sherlock (Stanford) Project Title: E unibus plurum: Ecological and Genomic Constraints on the Evolution of Complexity. Project Description: The goal of this research is to systematically investigate the roles that genotype and resource type play in determining the evolution of metabolic interdependence in asexual microbes. 

NIH-GMS   PI: Sherlock (Stanford), co-PI: Rosenzweig  Project Title: Systematic Molecular Analysis of Antagonistic Pleiotropy Project Description: The objectives of this project are to use molecular lineage tracking to discover the spectrum of newly arising beneficial mutations in experimentally evolving yeast populations, to determine the degree of antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) exerted by each, and for a subset of AP gene, the evolutionary paths that lead to resolution of, or adaptive escape from AP.

NASA Exobiology   PI: Rosenzweig, co-PI: G Sherlock (Stanford) Science PI: E Kroll (Montana)  Project Title: Genomic Responses to Stress: Implications for Adaptation and the Origin of New Species Project Description: The goal of this project is to follow up on our recently published work suggesting that severe stress in the form of prolonged starvation specifically elevates rates of genomic rearrangement, creating new variants, some of which are adaptively favored and whose novel genome structures favor reproductive isolation in sympatry.

Templeton Foundation  PI: M Travisano (MInnesota), co-PI: F Rosenzweig Templeton Postodoc Matthew Herron (Montana)  Project Title: Experimental Evolution of Multicellularity  Project Description: In this project we seek to seek the answer to this question: why is the evolution of multicellularity repeatable. In so doing we will address three other questions: How readily does multicellularity evolve? What is the tempo and mode in the first steps to multicellularity? Does evolutionary ancestry substantially impact multicellular adaptability?

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)   NPP Fellow: M Kinnersley Sponsor: F Rosenzweig Project Title: Co-Evolution of Escherichia coli and its parasite Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus: An experimental model for Eukaryogenesis Project Description: The goal of this project is to generate an experimental model in which to study the early steps in the origin of the eukaryotic cell.


Field of Study

Evolutionary Genetics

Selected Publications

Kinnersley, M, J Wenger, E Kroll, J Adams, G Sherlock F Rosenzweig (2014) Ex uno plures: Clonal reinforcement drives evolution of a simple microbial community. PLoS Genetics 10(6):e1004430.

Nagarajan, S, AL Kruckeberg, K Schmidt, E Kroll, M Hamilton, K McInnerney, R Summers, T Taylor, F Rosenzweig (2014) Uncoupling reproduction from metabolism extends chronological lifespan in yeast. PNAS (USA) Plus 111(15):E1538-1547.

Skorupa, DJ, RW Castenholz, A Mazurie, C Carey, F Rosenzweig, TR McDermott (2013) In situ gene expression profiling of the thermoacidophilic alga Cyanidioschyzon in relation to visible and UV iradiance. Environ Microbiol. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12317

Dunn, B, T Paulish, A. Stanbery, J. Piotrowski, G. Koniges, E Kroll, EJ Louis, G Liti, G Sherlock, F Rosenzweig (2013) Recurrent rearrangement during adaptive evolution in an interspecific yeast hybrid suggests a model for rapid introgression. PLoS Genetics 9(3):e1003366

Kroll, E, S Coyle, B Dunn, G Koniges, A Aragon, J Edwards, and F Rosenzweig (2013) Starvation-associated genome restructuring can lead to reproductive isolation in yeast. PLoS One  8(7): e66414.

Ratcliff, WC, MD Herron, K Howell, JT Pentz, F Rosenzweig, M Travisano (2013) Experimental evolution of an alternating uni- and multicellular life cycle in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nature Communications. 4:2742.

Piotrowski, JS, Nagarajan, E Kroll, A Stanbery, KE Chiotti, AL Kruckeberg, B Dunn, G Sherlock, F Rosenzweig. 2012. Different selective pressures lead to different genomic outcomes as newly-formed hybrid yeasts evolve. BMC Evol Biol 12:46.

Wenger, JW, J Piotrowski, S Nagarajan, K Chiotti, G Sherlock, F Rosenzweig (2011)  Hunger artists: Yeast adapted to carbon limitation show trade-offs under carbon sufficiency. PLoS Genetics 7(8): e1002202.

Kinnersley, M, JW Wenger, G Sherlock, F Rosenzweig (2011) Rapid evolution of simple microbial communities in the laboratory.  In, Evolutionary Biology–Concepts, Bioversity, Macroevolution and Genome Evolution. C. Pontarottti (ed.), Springer, Berlin.

Warren, AE, CM Boulianne-Larsen, CB Chandler, K Chiotto, E Kroll, SR Miller, F Taddei, I Sermet-Gaudelus, A Ferroni, K McInnerney, MJ Franklin, F Rosenzweig (2011)  Genotypic and phenotypic variation in P. aeruginosa reveals signatures of secondary infection and mutator activity in certain CF patients with chronic lung infections.  Infection and Immunity 79(12):4802-4818.

Kroll, E, F Rosenzweig, B Dunn (2010) Starvation-induced reproductive isolation in yeast. In, Evolutionary Biology – Concepts, Molecular and Morpholological Evolution. C. Pontarottti (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Kruckeberg, AL, S Nagarajan, K McInnerney, F Rosenzweig (2009) Extraction of RNA from Ca-Alginate encapsulated yeast for transcriptional profiling. Analytical Biochem. 391(2):160.

F Rosenzweig and G Sherlock (2009) Through a Glass, Clearly: Experimental evolution as a window on genome evolution. In, Experimental Evolution: Applications and Methods. M. Rose & T. Garland (eds.) UC-Berkeley Press.

Huey, RB and F Rosenzweig (2009) Laboratory evolution meets Catch-22: Balancing simplicity and realism. In, Experimental Evolution: Applications and Methods. M. Rose & T. Garland (eds.) UC-Berkeley Press.

Ramamoorthy, S, J Piotrowski, H Langner, W Holben, M Morra, RF Rosenzweig (2009) Ecology of sulfate-reducing bacteria in an iron-dominated, mining-impacted freshwater sediment, J Env Quality 38(2):1-10.          

Sass, H, S Ramamoorthy, C Yarwood, H Langner, P Schumann, R Kroppenstedt, S Spring, RF Rosenzweig (2009) Characterization of novel sulfate-reducing bacteria from a metal(loid)-contaminated freshwater sediment:Description of Desulfovibrio idahonensis sp. nov. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59:2208-2214.

Ramamoorthy, S., H Sass, HLangner, P Schumann, R Kroppenstedt, S Spring, J Overmann, RF Rosenzweig (2006) Desulfosporosinus lacus sp. nov., a novel sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from pristine freshwater lake sediments. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56:2729-2736.

Spring, S and RF Rosenzweig (2004) The Genera Desulfitobacterium and Desulfosporosinus: Taxonomy. In, TheProkaryotes, M. Dworkin, (ed.) Springer-Verlag, New York.

Laub, M and F Rosenzweig (2003) Transcriptional profiling in bacteria using microarrays. In Methods and Tools in Biosciences and Medicine: Prokaryotic Genomics and Genetics, Edited by M. Blot. Birkhauser-Verlag, Basel.

Cummings, DE, O Snoeyenbos-West, D Newby, A Niggemyer, D Lovley, L Achenbach, RF Rosenzweig (2003) Colonization of metal-polluted freshwater lake sediments by Geobacteraceae species as assessed by 16S rDNA analyses. Microbial Ecology 46:257-269.

Dunham, MJ, H Badrane, T Ferea, JP Adams, PO Brown, F Rosenzweig, D Botstein (2002) Characteristic genome rearrangements accompany experimental evolution of S. cerevisiae. PNAS (USA) 99(25):16144-16149.

Niggemyer, AS, S Spring, E Stackebrandt, RF Rosenzweig (2001) Isolation and characterization of a novel arsenate-reducing bacterium: Implications for arsenic mobilization and the genus Desulfitobacterium. Applied Environ Microbiology 67:5568-5580.

Cummings, DE, AW March, B Bostick, S Spring, F Caccavo, SE Fendorf, RF Rosenzweig (2000) Evidence for microbial Fe(III) reduction in anoxic, mining-impacted lake sediments (LakeCoeur d’Alene, USA). Applied Environ Microbiology 66:154-162.

Ferea, T, P Brown, D Botstein, RF Rosenzweig (1999) Systematic changes in gene expression patterns following adaptive evolution in yeast. PNAS (USA) 96(17):9721-9726.

Cummings, DE, F Caccavo, SE Fendorf, RF Rosenzweig (1999) Arsenic mobilization by a dissimilatoryFe(III) reducing bacterium. Env Sci Technol 33:723-729.

Cummings, DE, F Caccavo, S Spring, and RF Rosenzweig (1999) Ferribacterium limneticum gen. nov., sp.nov., an Fe(III)-reducing microorganism isolated from mining-impacted lakesediments. Archives Microbiol. 171:183-188.

Harrington, JM, SE Fendorf, RF Rosenzweig (1998) Biotic generation of arsenic(III) in heavy metal contaminated lake sediments. Env Sci Technol 32:2425-2430.

Brown, CJ, KI Todd, RF Rosenzweig (1998) Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol Biol Evoln 15:931-942.

Harrington, JM, MJ LaForce, WC Rember, SE Fendorf, RF Rosenzweig (1998) Phase associations and mobilization of iron and trace metals in sediments of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Env Sci Technol 32:650-656.

Rosenzweig, RF, J Adams (1994) Microbial adaptations to a variable environment: Cell-cell interactions mediate physiological and genetic differentiation. Bioessays 16:715-717.

Rosenzweig, RF, RR Sharp, DS Treves, J Adams (1994) Microbial evolution in a simple unstructured environment:  Genetic differentiation in Escherichia coli. Genetics 137:903

Rosenzweig, RF (1992) Regulation of fitness in yeast overexpressing glycolytic enzymes: Responses to heat shock and nitrogen starvation. Genetical Research (Cambridge) 59:167-177.

Rosenzweig, RF (1992) Regulation of fitness in yeast overexpressing glycolytic enzymes:  Parameters of growth and viability. Genetical Re­search (Cambridge) 59:35-48.

Modi, RI, C Wilker, RF Rosenzweig, J Adams (1991) Plasmid macro-evolution:  Selection of deletions during adaptation in a glucose limited environment. Genetica 84:195-202

Kurlandzka, A, RF Rosenzweig, J Adams (1991) Identification of adaptive changes in an evolving population of Escherichia coli: The role of changes with regulatory and highly pleiotropic effects. Mo­l Biol Evol 8:261-281.

International Experience

Collaborator, Necker Hopital des Enfants Malades, Univ Rene Descartes, PARIS, FR (2005-present)


American Society for Microbiology, Genetics Society of America, Sigma Xi