Ron Bonett PhD

Associate Professor of Biological Science College of Engineering & Natural Sciences
Biological Science


Ronald Bonett's research focuses on the evolution of alternate developmental patterns in vertebrates, particularly amphibians. Most amphibians have a biphasic life cycle with an aquatic larval stage followed by metamorphosis into a more terrestrial adult form, but several lineages have independently evolved alternate developmental pathways resulting in both strictly aquatic and strictly terrestrial species. Using a variety of behavioral, ecological, endocrinological, genomic, and phylogenetic approaches, Bonett seeks to understand how deviations in developmental patterns have influenced the evolution of vertebrate diversity.

Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington
M.S., East Stroudsburg University
B.S., East Stroudsburg University

Influence of developmental and life history variation on patterns of reproductive isolation Biogeography, Molecular Endocrine Research

Organismic and Evolutionary biology
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Mechanism of Animal Development
Amphibian Biology

The following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.

Journal Articles

Bonett, Ronald et al. “Rapid Phenotypic Evolution Following Shifts in Life Cycle Complexity.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285.1871 (2018): n. pag. Print.

Phillips, John et al. “Hydrologic and Geologic History of the Ozark Plateau Drive Phylogenomic Patterns in a Cave-Obligate Salamander.” Journal of Biogeography 44.11 (2017): 2463–2474. Print.

Bonett, Ronald, and Andrea Blair. “Evidence for Complex Life Cycle Constraints on Salamander Body Form Diversification.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114.37 (2017): 9936–9941. Print.

Kyono, Yasuhiro et al. “Liganded Thyroid Hormone Receptors Transactivate the DNA Methyltransferase 3a Gene in Mouse Neuronal Cells.” Endocrinology 157.9 (2016): 3647–3657. Print.

Bonett, Ronald. “Analyzing Endocrine System Conservation and Evolution.” General and Comparative Endocrinology 234 (2016): 3–9. Print.

Martin, Samuel et al. “Biogeography and Colonization History of Plethodontid Salamanders from the Interior Highlands of Eastern North America.” Journal of Biogeography 43.2 (2016): 410–422. Print.

Martin, Samuel, and Ronald Bonett. “Biogeography and Divergent Patterns of Body Size Disparification in North American Minnows.” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93 (2015): 17–28. Print.

Bagamasbad, Pia et al. “Deciphering the Regulatory Logic of an Ancient, Ultraconserved Nuclear Receptor Enhancer Module.” Molecular Endocrinology 29.6 (2015): 856–872. Print.

Bonett, Ronald, Michael Steffen, and Grant Robison. “Heterochrony Repolarized: A Phylogenetic Analysis of Developmental Timing in Plethodontid Salamanders.” EvoDevo 5.1 (2014): n. pag. Print.

Steffen, Michael et al. “Larval Masquerade: A New Species of Paedomorphic Salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Eurycea) from the Ouachita Mountains of North America.” Zootaxa 3786.4 (2014): 423–442. Print.

Bonett, Ronald et al. “Evolution of Paedomorphosis in Plethodontid Salamanders: Ecological Correlates and Re-Evolution of Metamorphosis.” Evolution 68.2 (2014): 466–482. Print.

Aran, Robert et al. “Reduced Effects of Thyroid Hormone on Gene Expression and Metamorphosis in a Paedomorphic Plethodontid Salamander.” Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 322.5 (2014): 294–303. Print.

Rovito, Sean et al. “Adaptive Radiation in Miniature: The Minute Salamanders of the Mexican Highlands (Amphibia: Plethodontidae: Thorius).” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 109.3 (2013): 622–643. Print.

Bonett, Ronald et al. “Biogeography and Body Size Shuffling of Aquatic Salamander Communities on a Shifting Refuge.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280.1758 (2013): n. pag. Print.

Elmer, Kathryn et al. “Early Miocene Origin and Cryptic Diversification of South American Salamanders.” BMC Evolutionary Biology 13.1 (2013): n. pag. Print.

Conference Proceeding

Beachy, Christopher, Travis Ryan, and Ronald Bonett. “How Metamorphosis Is Different in Plethodontids: Larval Life History Perspectives on Life-Cycle Evolution.” Herpetologica. Vol. 73. 2017. 252–258. Print.


Bonett, Ronald. “An Integrative Endocrine Model for the Evolution of Developmental Timing and Life History of Plethodontids and Other Salamanders.” Copeia 104.1 (2016): 209–221. Print.

BIOL 1603 Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 3204 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIOL 4243 Mechanisms of Animal Development
BIOL 7011 Research Experience
BIOL 7863 Selected Topics in Biology
BIOL 7981 Thesis
BIOL 9981 Dissertation Research