As an evolutionary biologist I focus on small mammals. My research has concentrated on rapid evolution, both genetic and morphological. I have found very rapid size changes in deer mice on the California Channel Islands and white-footed mice in NE Illinois over time spans as little as 30 years.
Much of my genetic work has been possible because I have been successful in utilizing DNA from museum skins. I have found complete genetic replacement occurring in conjunction with the morphological changes. It is so far unclear whether selection, plasticity, migration or some combination are responsible.
Pergams, O. R. W. and M. V. Ashley. 2000. California Island deer mice: genetics, morphometrics, and evolution. Pages 278-288 in Browne, D. R., K. L. Mitchell, and H.W. Chaney (eds.) “Proceedings of the Fifth California Islands Symposium.” 29 March to 1 April 1999. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA. Sponsored by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, Pacific OCS Region, 770 Paseo Camarillo, Camarillo, CA 93010. OCS Study No. 99-0038.