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Curriculum Vitae of
D. Cutter
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function

Research Interests

Evolutionary Genomics; Breeding Systems; Population Genetics; Molecular Evolution; Speciation; Caenorhabditis spp.

Positions, Education and Training

Associate Dean (Undergraduate Issues & Academic Planning), Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto. 7.2019 – 6.2020.

Associate Chair (Undergraduate Studies), Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto. 1.2017 – 6.2019.

Professor, University of Toronto. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. 7.2016 – present.

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genomics, University of Toronto. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. 7.2011 – 6.2016.

Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genomics, University of Toronto. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. 7.2006 – 6.2011.

Postdoctoral NSF International Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh. Institute of Evolutionary Biology (mentor Dr. Deborah Charlesworth) 8.2004 – 6.2006.

Ph.D., University of Arizona. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (thesis advisors Drs. Leticia Avilés, Samuel Ward) 8.1998 – 5.2004

Fulbright Scholar, James Cook University, Australia. Dept. of Zoology & Tropical Ecology (non-degree advisor Dr. Christopher A.M. Reid) 7.1997 – 7.1998

B.S. summa cum laude, Tufts University. Biology and Environmental Studies (thesis advisor Dr. Sara M. Lewis) 9.1993 – 5.1997

School for Field Studies, Australia Centre for Rainforest Studies (non-degree advisor Dr. Michael P. Ghiglieri) 2.1996 – 5.1996


NSERC Discovery Grant (2007-present)

NIH (with P.I.s Patrick Phillips, William Cresko; 2011-2015)

NIH (with P.I. Bret Payseur; 2008-2013)

CFI/OIT Canada (2006-2007, 2011-2013)

Connaught Fund (2006, 2008)

Awards and Honors

Discovery Accelerator Award (2018-2021)

Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genomics (2006-2016)

Early Researcher Award (2008-2011)

UK Caenorhabditis Conference Poster Prize (2005)

NSF International Research Fellowship (2004)

Robert W. Hoshaw Memorial Award (University of Arizona, 2003)

Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship (1997)

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Mathematics, Science and Engineering (1996)

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (Tufts University)

Golden Key National Honor Society (Tufts University)

Professional Activities

Evolution & Ecology Section Co-Editor, WormBook (2015-present)

Associate Editor, Evolution (2010-2012)

Faculty of 1000 Member (2011-2014)

Publications [ISI ResearcherID[PubMed[Google Scholar]


Cutter, A.D. 2019. A Primer of Molecular Population Genetics. Oxford University Press.


Cutter, A.D., R.H. Garrett, S. Mark, W. Wang & L. Sun. 2019. Molecular evolution across developmental time reveals rapid divergence in early embryogenesis. Evolution Letters. In press.


Stegeman, G.W., D. Medina, A.D. Cutter* & W.S. Ryu*. 2019. Neuro-genetic plasticity of C. elegans behavioral thermal tolerance. BMC Neurobiology. In press.


Stegeman, G.W., S.E. Baird, W.S. Ryu* & A.D. Cutter*. 2019. Genetically distinct behavioral modules underlie natural variation in thermal performance curves. G3 (Genes, Genomes, Genetics). In press.


Bundus, J.D., D. Wang & A.D. Cutter. 2018. Genetic basis to hybrid inviability is more complex than hybrid male sterility in Caenorhabditis nematodes. Heredity. 121: 169-182.


Ting, J.J. & A.D. Cutter. 2018. Demographic consequences of reproductive interference in multi-species communities. BMC Ecology. 18: 46.


Ting, J.J., C.N. Tsai, R. Schalkowski & A.D. Cutter. 2018. Genetic contributions to ectopic sperm cell migration in Caenorhabditis nematodes. G3 (Genes, Genomes, Genetics). 8: 3891-3902.


Yin, D., E.M. Schwarz, C.G. Thomas, R.L. Felde, I. Korf, A.D. Cutter, C.M. Schartner, E.J. Ralston, B.J. Meyer & E.S. Haag. 2018. Rapid genome shrinkage in a self-fertile nematode reveals sperm competition proteins. Science. 359: 55-61.


Cutter, A.D. 2018. X exceptionalism in Caenorhabditis speciation. Molecular Ecology. 27: 3925-2934.


Ferrari, C. R. Salle, N. Callemeyn-Torre, R. Jovelin, A.D. Cutter* & C. Braendle*. 2017. Ephemeral-habitat colonization and neotropical species richness of Caenorhabditis nematodes. BMC Ecology. 17:43.


Cutter, A.D. & J.C. Gray. 2016. Ephemeral ecological speciation and the latitudinal biodiversity gradient. Evolution. 70: 2171-2185.


Vielle, A., N. Callemeyn-Torre, C. Gimond, N. Poullet, N. Soares, J.C. GrayA.D. Cutter & C. Braendle. 2016. Convergent evolution of sperm gigantism and the developmental origins of sperms size variability in Caenorhabditis nematodes. Evolution. 70: 2485-2503.


Cutter, A.D., M.-A. Felix & M. Blaxter. 2016. Myths and misconceptions about C. elegans ecology and evolution (Commentary). Worm Breeder's Gazette. 24: 1643-1644.


Jovelin, R., A. Krizus, B. Taghizada, J.C. Gray, P.C. Phillips, J.M. Claycomb, & A.D. Cutter. 2016. Comparative genomic analysis of upstream miRNA regulatory motifs in Caenorhabditis. RNA. 22: 968-978.


Jovelin, R. & A.D. Cutter. 2016. Hitting two birds with one stone: the unforeseen consequences of nested gene knockouts in Caenorhabditis elegans. Worm. 5: e1156835.


Ting, J.J. & A.D. Cutter. 2016. Sexual conflict and speciation. In: Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology (R. Kliman ed.). Academic Press (Oxford). Volume 4, pp. 192-199.


Cutter, A.D. & R. Jovelin. 2015. When natural selection gives gene function the cold shoulder. Bioessays. 37: 1169-1173.


Fierst, J.L., J.H. Willis, C.G. Thomas, W. Wang, R.M. Reynolds, T. Ahearne, A.D. Cutter & P.C. Phillips. 2015. Reproductive mode and the evolution of genome size and structure in Caenorhabditis nematodes. PLoS Genetics. 11: e1005323.


Cutter, A.D. 2015. Caenorhabditis evolution in the wild. Bioessays. 37: 983-995.


Bundus, J.D., R. Alaei & A.D. Cutter. 2015. Gametic selection, developmental trajectories and extrinsic heterogeneity in Haldane's rule. Evolution. 69: 2005-2017.


Thomas, C.G.*, W. Wang*, R. Jovelin, R. Ghosh, T. Lomasko, Q. Trinh, L. Kruglyak, L.D. Stein & A.D. Cutter. 2015. Full-genome evolutionary histories of selfing, splitting and selection in CaenorhabditisGenome Research. 25: 667-678.


Cutter, A.D. 2015. Repeatability, ephemerality, and inconvenient truths in the speciation process (Commentary). Molecular Ecology. 24: 1643-1644.


Tu, S., M. Wu, J. Wang, A.D. Cutter, Z. Weng & J.M. Claycomb. 2015. Comparative functional characterization of the CSR-1 22G-RNA pathway in Caenorhabditis nematodes. Nucleic Acids Research. 43: 208-224.


Jovelin, R. & A.D. Cutter. 2014. Microevolution of nematode miRNAs reveals diverse modes of selection. Genome Biology & Evolution. 6: 3049-3063.


Dey, A., Q. Jin, Y.-C. Chen & A.D. Cutter. 2014. Gonad morphogenesis defects drive hybrid male sterility in asymmetric hybrid breakdown of Caenorhabditis nematodes. Evolution & Development. 16: 362-372.


Ting, J.J.**, G.C. Woodruff**, G. Leung, N.-R. Shin, A.D. Cutter* & E.S. Haag*. 2014. Intense sperm-mediated sexual conflict promotes gametic isolation in Caenorhabditis nematodes. PLoS Biology. 12: e1001915


Chen, Z.-X. ... A.D. Cutter ... S. Richards (63 authors). 2014. Comparative validation of the D. melanogaster modENCODE transcriptome annotation. Genome Research. 24: 1209-1223.


Jovelin, R., J.S. Comstock, A.D. Cutter & P.C. Phillips. 2014. A recent selective sweep on the age-1 PI3 kinase regulator of the insulin-like signaling pathway within Caenorhabditis remanei. G3 (Genes, Genomes, Genetics). 4: 1123-1133.


Felix, M.-A., C. Braendle & A.D. Cutter. 2014. A streamlined system for species diagnosis in Caenorhabditis (Nematoda: Rhabditidae) with name designations for 15 distinct biological species. PLoS One. 9: e94723.


Li, S.*, R. Jovelin*, T. Yoshiga, R. Tanaka & A.D. Cutter. 2014. Specialist versus generalist life histories and nucleotide diversity in Caenorhabditis nematodes. Proceedings B (Royal Society of London)281: 20132858.


Gray, J.C. & A.D. Cutter. 2014. Mainstreaming C. elegans in experimental evolution. Proceedings B (Royal Society of London)281: 20133055.


Cutter, A.D. 2013. Integrating phylogenetics, phylogeography and population genetics through genomes and evolutionary theory. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 69: 1172-1185.


Gimond, C., R. Jovelin, S. Han, C. Ferrari, A.D. Cutter & C. Braendle. 2013. Outbreeding depression with low genetic variation in selfing Caenorhabditis nematodes. Evolution. 67: 3087-3101.


Dey, A., C.K.W. Chan, C.G. Thomas & A.D. Cutter. 2013. Molecular hyperdiversity defines populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis brenneri. PNAS. 110: 11056-11060.


Cutter, A.D. & B.A. Payseur. 2013. Genomic signatures of selection at linked sites: unifying the disparity among species. Nature Reviews Genetics. 14: 262-274.


Jovelin, R. & A.D. Cutter. 2013. Fine-scale signatures of molecular evolution reconcile models of indel-associated mutation. Genome Biology and Evolution. 5: 978-986.


Cutter, A.D., Jovelin, R. & A. Dey. 2013. Molecular hyperdiversity and evolution in very large populations. Molecular Ecology. 22: 2074-2095.


Jovelin, R., A. Dey, & A.D. Cutter. 2013. Fifteen years of evolutionary genomics in Caenorhabditis elegans. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.  John Wiley & Sons (Chichester).


Felix, M.A., R. Jovelin, C. Ferrari, S. Han, Y.R. Cho, E.C. Andersen, A.D. Cutter & C. Braendle. 2013. Species richness, distribution and genetic diversity of Caenorhabditis nematodes in a remote tropical rainforest. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13: 10.


Stegeman, G.W., M. Bueno de Mesquita, W.S. Ryu & A.D. Cutter. 2013. Temperature-dependent behaviors are genetically variable in the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 216: 850-858.


Dey, A., Y. Jeon, G.-X. Wang & A.D. Cutter. 2012. Global population genetic structure of Caenorhabditis remanei reveals incipient speciation. Genetics. 191: 1257-1269. 


Cutter, A.D., G.-X. Wang, H. Ai, & Y. Peng. 2012. Influence of finite-sites mutation, population subdivision and sampling schemes on patterns of nucleotide polymorphism for species with molecular hyperdiversity.  Molecular Ecology. 21: 1345-1359.


Cutter, A.D. 2012. The polymorphic prelude to Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 27: 209-218.


Wyman, M.J., A.D. Cutter & L. Rowe. 2012. Gene duplication in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Evolution. 66: 1556-1566.


Kozlowska, J.L., A.R. Ahmad, E. Jahesh & A.D. Cutter. 2012. Genetic variation for post-zygotic reproductive isolation between Caenorhabditis briggsae and Caenorhabditis sp. 9. Evolution. 66: 1180-1195.


Jovelin, R. & A.D. Cutter. 2011. MicroRNA sequence variation potentially contributes to within-species functional divergence in the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae. Genetics. 189: 967-976.


Murray, R.L., J.L. Kozlowska & A.D. Cutter. 2011. Heritable determinants of male fertilization success in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 11:99.


Murray, R.L. & A.D. Cutter. 2011. Experimental evolution of sperm count in protandrous self-fertilizing hermaphrodites. Journal of Experimental Biology. 214: 1740-1747.


Cutter, A.D. & A.M. Moses. 2011. Polymorphism, divergence and the role of recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 28: 1745-1754.


Prasad, A., M. Croydon-Sugarman, R.L. Murray & A.D. Cutter. 2011. Temperature-dependent fecundity associates with latitude in Caenorhabditis briggsae. Evolution. 65: 52-63.


Wang, G.-X., S. Ren, Y. Ren, H. Ai & A.D. Cutter. 2010. Extremely high molecular diversity within the East Asian nematode Caenorhabditis sp. 5. Molecular Ecology. 19: 5022-5029.


Cutter, A.D. & J.Y. Choi. 2010. Natural selection shapes nucleotide polymorphism across the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsaeGenome Research. 20: 1103-111.


Cutter, A.D. & A.F. Agrawal. 2010. The evolutionary dynamics of operon distributions in eukaryote genomes. Genetics. 185: 685-693.


Cutter, A.D. 2010. Molecular evolution inferences from the C. elegans genome. In: WormBook, The C. elegans Research Community, ed. doi/10.1895/wormbook.1.149.1


Cutter, A.D., W. Yan, N. Tsvetkov, S. Sunil & M.A. Felix. 2010. Molecular population genetics and phenotypic sensitivity to ethanol for a globally diverse sample of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae. Molecular Ecology. 19: 798-809.


Cutter, A.D., A. Dey & R.L. Murray. 2009. Evolution of the C. elegans genome. Molecular Biology & Evolution. 26: 1199-1234.


Reinke, V. & A.D. Cutter. 2008. Germline expression influences operon organization in the C. elegans genome. 181: 1219-1228.


Cutter, A.D. 2008. Reproductive evolution: symptom of a selfing syndrome. Current Biology (Dispatch). 18: R1056-R1058.


Dolgin, E.S., B. Charlesworth & A.D. Cutter. 2008. Population frequencies of transposable elements in selfing and outcrossing Caenorhabditis nematodes. Genetics Research. 90: 317-329. 


Loewe, L. & A.D. Cutter. 2008. On the potential for extinction by Muller's ratchet in Caenorhabditis elegans. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8: 125.


Cutter, A.D. 2008. Divergence times in Caenorhabditis and Drosophila inferred from direct estimates of the neutral mutation rate. Molecular Biology & Evolution. 25: 778-786.


Cutter, A.D., J.D. Wasmuth & N.L. Washington. 2008. Patterns of molecular evolution in Caenorhabditis preclude ancient origins of selfing. Genetics. 178: 2093-2104.


Cutter, A.D. 2008. Multilocus patterns of polymorphism and selection across the X chromosome of Caenorhabditis remanei. Genetics. 178: 1661-1672.


Dolgin, E.S., M.A. Felix & A.D. Cutter. 2008. Hakuna nematoda: genetic and phenotypic diversity in African isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae. Heredity. 100: 304-315.


Royer, D.L., L. Sack, P. Wilf, C.H. Lusk, G.J. Jordan, Ü. Niinemets, I.J. Wright, M. Westoby, B. Cariglino, P.D. Coley, A.D. Cutter, K.R. Johnson, C.C. Labandeira, A.T. Moles, M.B. Palmer and F. Valladares. 2007. Fossil leaf economics quantified: calibration, Eocene case study, and implications. Paleobiology. 33: 574-589.


Dolgin, E.S., B. Charlesworth, S.E. Baird & A.D. Cutter. 2007. Inbreeding and outbreeding depression in Caenorhabditis nematodes. Evolution. 61: 1339-1352.


LaMunyon, C., O. Bouban & A.D. Cutter. 2007. Post-copulatory sexual selection reduces genetics diversity in experimental populations of C. elegans. Journal of Heredity. 98: 67-72.


Cutter, A.D. & B. Charlesworth. 2006. Selection intensity on preferred codons correlates with overall codon usage bias in Caenorhabditis remanei. Current Biology. 16: 2053-2057.


Cutter, A.D., J. Wasmuth & M. Blaxter. 2006. The evolution of biased codon and amino acid usage in nematode genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 23: 2303-2315.


Cutter, A.D., S.E. Baird & D. Charlesworth. 2006. High nucleotide polymorphism and the decay of linkage disequilibrium in wild populations of Caenorhabditis remanei. Genetics. 174: 901-913.


Cutter, A.D., M.A. Felix, A. Barriere & D. Charlesworth. 2006. Patterns of nucleotide polymorphism distinguish temperate and tropical wild isolates of Caenorhabditis briggsae. Genetics. 173: 2021-2031.


Payseur, B. A. & A.D. Cutter. 2006. Integrating patterns of polymorphism at SNPs and STRs. Trends in Genetics. 22: 424-429.


Cutter, A.D. 2006. Nucleotide polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium in the partial selfer Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. 172: 171-184.


Cutter, A.D., J. Good, C. Pappas, M. Saunders, D. Starrett, & T. Wheeler. 2005. Transposable element orientation bias in the Drosophila melanogaster genome. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 61: 733-741.


Cutter, A.D. & S. Ward. 2005. Sexual and temporal dynamics of molecular evolution in C. elegans development. Molecular Biology & Evolution. 22: 178-188.


Cutter, A.D. 2005. Mutation and the experimental evolution of outcrossing in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 18: 27-34.


Miller, M.A., A.D. Cutter, I. Yamamoto, S. Ward, & D. Greenstein. 2004. Clustered organization of reproductive genes in the C. elegans genome. Current Biology. 14: 1284-1290.


Avilés, L., J.A. Fletcher, & A.D. Cutter. 2004. The kin composition of social groups: trading group size for degree of altruism. American Naturalist. 164: 132-144.


Cutter, A.D. 2004. Sperm-limited fecundity in nematodes: how many sperm are enough? Evolution. 58: 651-655.


Cutter, A.D., B.A. Payseur, T. Salcedo, A.M. Estes, J.M. Good, E. Wood, T. Hartl, H. Maughan, J. Strempel, B. Wang, A.C. Bryan, & M. Dellos. 2003. Molecular correlates of genes exhibiting RNAi phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genome Research. 13: 2651-2657.


Cutter, A.D. & B.A. Payseur. 2003. Rates of deleterious mutation and the evolution of sex in Caenorhabditis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 16: 812-822.


Cutter, A.D. & B.A. Payseur. 2003. Selection at linked sites in the partial selfer Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 20: 665-673.


Cutter, A.D., L. Avilés, & S. Ward. 2003. The proximate determinants of sex ratio in C. elegans populations. Genetical Research. 81: 91-102.


Payseur, B.A., A.D. Cutter, & M.W. Nachman. 2002. Searching for evidence of positive selection in the human genome using patterns of microsatellite variability. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 19: 1143-1153.


Avilés, L., P. Abbot, & A.D. Cutter. 2002. Population ecology and the evolution of sociality: associations among non-relatives. American Naturalist. 159: 115-127.


Wilf, P., C.C. Labandeira, K. Johnson, P.D. Coley, & A.D. Cutter. 2001. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 98: 6221-6226.


Avilés, L., J. McCormack, A. Cutter, & T. Bukowski. 2000. Precise, highly female-biased sex ratios in a social spider. Proceedings: Biological Sciences (Royal Society of London). 267: 1445-1449.


King, J.R., A.N. Andersen, & A.D. Cutter. 1998. Response of rainforest ant communities in Australia’s humid tropics to disturbance: validation of the functional group model. Biodiversity and Conservation. 7: 1627-1638.


Principles of Evolution (EEB 318), University of Toronto
Evolutionary Genetics (EEB 323), University of Toronto
Research Issues in Ecology & Evolution (EEB 488), University of Toronto

homesummary + projectspublicationscvcontact info

text & photos © 2006-2016 by asher d. cutter. design © 2006 by yee-fan sun