Skip to Content, Skip to Site Navigation, Skip to Section Navigation, Skip to Search
Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Faculty & Research

Faculty Profile

Lynda Delph

Photo of Lynda Delph
Research Images
Research photo by Lynda Delph


Distinguished Professor of Biology; Evolution, Ecology & Behavior Section Associate Chair

IU Affiliations
Indiana Molecular Biology Institute

Contact Information
By telephone: 812-855-1831/5-7597(lab)
JH 119B / JH 116/121 (lab)

Delph Lab website

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
Research Areas
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Plant Molecular Biology

Postdoctoral Fellow, Rutgers University, 1989
Ph.D., University of Canterbury, 1988
M.Sc., University of Arizona, 1983
B.Sc., University of Arizona, 1979


1994-95 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
1995 Senior Class Award for Teaching Excellence in Biology and Dedication to Undergraduates
2000 Teaching Excellence Recognition Award
2005 Trustees’ Teaching Award
2005 Guggenheim Fellowship
2010 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fulbright Specialist Grant 

Research Description

I am generally interested in evolutionarily based questions concerning various aspects of flowering plant reproduction from both ecological and genetic perspectives.  At a more general level, my research focuses on understanding selective forces in natural populations and the extent to which adaptation is slowed or prevented by genetic constraints.

Past research includes: (1) an investigation of the forces that select for unisexuality rather than hermaphroditism, and how this affects other plant traits, (2) the evolution of sexual dimorphism given underlying genetic correlations, (3) pollen competition, (4) how flower size and number can affect plant fitness, (5) inbreeding and inbreeding depression, and (6) a multitude of questions on gynodioecious species, including the maintenance of females and the cost of restoration.

My current research revolves around the dioecious plant species Silene latifolia.  It’s basically a look at how selection can drive sexual dimorphism and how genetic correlations can constrain adaptive evolution. My collaborators and I are taking a variety of approaches including: artificial selection to change the means of traits as well as the genetic correlations between traits, quantitative-genetic breeding designs, experimental arrays planted in the field, QTL analysis, and among-population studies involving both work in natural populations and the greenhouse. I am also interested in how genetic diversity shapes the spread of infectious disease.

Students in my lab don’t necessarily work on my system.  In fact, most of them work on species and questions that are related, but separate from my own.  For example, my past students have worked on gynodioecious and dioecious species, inbreeding depression, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, pollen competition, and the maintenance of flower color polymorphism.

Select Publications
Castillo, D. and L. F. Delph. 2016. Male-female genotype interactions maintain variation in traits important for sexual interactions and reproductive isolation. Evolution 70:1667-1673.
Nista, P., A. N. Brothers, and L. F. Delph. 2015. Differences in style length confer prezygotic isolation between two dioecious species of Silene in sympatry. Ecology & Evolution 5: 2703-2711.
Weingartner, L. A. and L. F. Delph. 2014. Neo-sex chromosome inheritance across species in Silene hybrids. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 1491-1499.
Demuth, J. P., R. J. Flanagan, and L. F. Delph.  2014.  Genetic architecture of isolation between two species of Silene with sex chromosomes and Haldane’s rule.  Evolution 68: 332-342.
Delph, L. F. and C. Herlihy. 2012. Sexual, fecundity, and viability selection on flower size and number in a sexually dimorphic plant. Evolution 66: 1154-1166.
Delph, L. F., J. Andicoechea, J. C. Steven, C. R. Herlihy, S. V. Scarpino, and D. L. Bell. 2011. Environment-dependent intralocus sexual conflict in a dioecious plant. New Phytologist 192: 542-552.
Delph, L. F., J. C. Steven, I. A. Anderson, C. R. Herlihy, and E. D. Brodie III. 2011. Elimination of a genetic correlation between the sexes via artificial correlational selection. Evolution 65: 2872-2880.
Delph, L. F., A. M. Arntz, C. Scotti-Santiagne, and I. Scotti. 2010.  Quantitative trait loci and genomic architecture of sexual dimorphism in the dioecious plant Silene latifolia. Evolution 64:2873-2886.
Touzet, P. and L. F. Delph. 2009. The effect of breeding system on polymorphism in mitochondrial genes of Silene. Genetics 181:631-644.
Steven, J. C., L. F. Delph, and E. D. Brodie III. 2007. Sexual dimorphism in the quantitative-genetic architecture of floral, leaf, and allocation traits in Silene latifolia. Evolution 61: 42-57.

View more publications »

Copyright © 2017 | The Trustees of Indiana University | Copyright Complaints | Privacy Notice Intranet | Site Index | Contact Us