Sarachek Fellowship Award Recipient
Ryan Greenway is a doctoral candidate in biology. He received his bachelor's degree in zoology from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma. The primary focus of Greenway's research is to understand the genetic changes that allow animals to live in extreme environments and how these changes can cause new species to form. Greenway studies different species of fish living in extremely toxic environments. The toxin these fishes are adapted to is highly toxic to most other animals, including humans. Figuring out if these different fish species have evolved in the same way or in completely unique ways will provide useful insight into the predictability of evolution at the molecular level. Studying evolutionary solutions to dealing with high concentrations of this toxin may have implications for biomedical and toxicological research relevant to human disease and aging.
Greenway has secured a postdoctoral research position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG). In this position, Greenway will link evolutionary processes at the molecular level to phenotypic changes that influence environmental processes (such as nutrient cycling and food web dynamics), resulting in feedbacks between evolutionary and ecological processes. The Sarachek funding will support Greenway’s research and professional development activities associated with his postdoctoral position. Ultimately, Greenway plans to pursue a tenure-track faculty position at a research institution.