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Full Curriculum Vitae:






Refereed Journal Articles & Book Chapters (also see Google Scholar)

*denotes undergraduate co-author

-------Please do not hesitate to contact me for access to any of these publications-------


Levis, N.A., McKay, D.J., and Pfennig, D.W. 2022. Disentangling the developmental origins of a novel phenotype: enhancement versus reversal of environmentally induced gene expression. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 20221764. link

Levis, N.A. and Ragsdale, E.J. 2022. Linking molecular mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of resource polyphenism. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 16: 805061. link

            -Invited contribution to Research Topic "Sensory Ecology of Phenotypic Plasticity: from Receptors via Modulators to Effectors"



Levis, N.A., Kelly, P.W., Harmon, E.A., Ehrenreich, I.M., McKay, D.J., and Pfennig, D.W. 2021. Transcriptomic bases of a polyphenism. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 336: 482-495. link

Scheiner, S.M. and Levis, N.A. “The loss of phenotypic plasticity via natural selection: genetic assimilation”. In Phenotypic Plasticity & Evolution: Causes, Consequences, Controversies (pp 161-181). Ed. D.W. Pfennig. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2021.“Innovation and diversification via plasticity-led evolution”. In Phenotypic Plasticity & Evolution: Causes, Consequences, Controversies (pp 211-240). Ed. D.W. Pfennig. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. link


Levis, N.A., Reed, E.M.X., Pfennig, D.W., and Burford Reiskind, M.O. 2020. Identification of candidate loci for adaptive phenotypic plasticity in natural populations of spadefoot toads. Ecology and Evolution 10:8976-8988. link

Levis, N.A., Fuller, C.G.* and Pfennig, D.W. 2020. An experimental investigation of how intraspecific competition and phenotypic plasticity can promote the evolution of novel, complex phenotypes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 131: 76-87. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2020. “Phenotypic plasticity and the origins of novelty”. In Phenotypic Switching: Implications in Biology and Medicine. (pp 443-458). Eds. Herbert Levine, Mohit Kumar Jolly, Prakash Kulkarni, and Vidyanand Nanjundiah. Elsevier Publishing Cambridge, MA.

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2020. Plasticity-led evolution: a survey of developmental mechanisms and empirical tests. Evolution and Development 22: 71-87. link

            - Invited contribution to special theme issue "Developmental Bias"


Seidl, F., Levis, N.A., Schell, R., Pfennig, D.W., Pfennig, K.S. and Ehrenreich, I.M. 2019. Genome of the rapidly developing, phenotypically plastic, and desert-adapted spadefoot toad. Genes, Genomes, Genetics 9: 3909-3919. link

Seidl, F., Levis, N.A., Jones, C.D., Monroy-Eklund, A. Ehrenreich, I.M. and Pfennig, K.S. 2019. Variation in hybrid gene expression: implications for the evolution of genetic incompatibilities in interbreeding species. Molecular Ecology 28: 4667-4679. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2019. How stabilizing selection and nongenetic inheritance combine to shape the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 32: 706-716. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2019. Plasticity-led evolution: evaluating the key prediction of frequency-dependent adaptation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 286: 20182754. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2019. Phenotypic plasticity, canalization, and the origins of novelty: evidence and mechanisms from amphibians. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 88: 80-90. link

            - Invited contribution to special theme issue "Canalization"


Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2018. Evolution of phenotypic plasticity and gene expression during character displacement. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester. link

            - Invited peer-reviewed contribution to eLS (Essential for Life Science)

Levis, N.A., Isdaner, A.J., and Pfennig D.W. Morphological novelty emerges from pre-existing phenotypic plasticity. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 1289-1297. link1 link2

            - Recommended by Faculty of 1000

            - Featured in “Buying Time” (2018). Science. 362: 988-991


Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2017. “Phenotypic Plasticity.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Evolutionary Biology. Ed. Karin Pfennig. New York: Oxford University Press. link


Levis, N.A., Martin, R.A., O’Donnell, K.A*, and Pfennig, D.W. 2017. Intraspecific adaptive radiation: competition, ecological opportunity, and phenotypic diversification within species. Evolution 71: 2496-2509. link

Levis, N.A., Serrato-Capuchina, A., Pfennig, D.W. 2017.Genetic accommodation in the wild: evolution of gene expression plasticity during character displacement. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30: 563-574. link


Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2016. Evaluating ‘plasticity-first’ evolution in nature: key criteria and empirical approaches. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31: 563-574. link 

- "Highly cited paper" on Web of Science


Levis, N.A., Schooler, M.*, Johnson, J.R. and Collyer, M.L. 2016. Non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity: the effects of terrestrial and aquatic herbicides on larval salamander morphology and swim speed. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 118: 569-581. link



Levis, N.A. and Johnson, J.R. 2015. Level of UV-B radiation influences the effects of glyphosate-based herbicide on the spotted salamander. Ecotoxicology 1073-1086. link


Levis, N.A., de la Serna Buzon, S. and Pfennig, D.W. 2015. An inducible offense: carnivore morph tadpoles induced by tadpole carnivory. Ecology and Evolution 5:1405-1411. link


Levis, N.A., Yi, S.-X. and Lee, R.E. 2012. Mild desiccation rapidly increases freeze tolerance of the goldenrod gall fly, Eurosta solidaginis: Evidence for drought-induced rapid cold-hardening. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 3768-3773. link


Not peer-reviewed

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2020. Evolution: ancestral plasticity promoted extreme temperature adaptation in thermophilic bacteria. Current Biology. link

Levis, N.A. 2018. Ancestral plasticity paves the way for evolutionary novelty in spadefoot toads. Extended Evolutionary Synthesis Blog. link

Levis, N.A. 2018. Behind the Paper: "Phenotypic plasticity & the Origins of Novelty". Nature Ecology and Evolution Community. link

Levis, N.A. and Pfennig, D.W. 2016. Organisms and their environment: An evolving relationship. Evolution. (review of Organism & Environment: Ecological Development, Niche Construction, and Adaptation, by S. E. Sultan) link


Levis, N.A. 2013. Lithobates sylvaticus (wood frog): Unusual mortality. Herpetological Review 44 (3): 497-498. link

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