Paul Eugene Turner

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests

Evolutionary biology; evolutionary medicine; experimental evolution; infectious disease; microbiology; phage therapy; RNA virus; vector borne disease; vesicular stomatitis virus; virology


Research Summary

Because microorganisms allow experiments on the order of hundreds (or even thousands) of generations, microbes provide a uniquely powerful system to study evolution in action. My laboratory uses microorganisms (RNA viruses, DNA viruses, bacteria) as model systems to address hypotheses in ecological and evolutionary theory, especially questions regarding the evolution of genetic exchange (sex), virus ecology and evolution, host-parasite interactions, and the evolution of infectious disease. I use an inter-disciplinary approach to investigate these processes, employing techniques from microbiology, population genetics, genomics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling.

Extensive Research Description

Paul Turner is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and is the director and faculty member for the graduate program in microbiology for Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Turner’s research interests include: evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine, experimental evolution, infectious disease, microbiology, phage therapy, RNA virus, vector borne disease, vesicular stomatitus virus and virology. He uses an inter-disciplinary approach in his research laboratory to develop hypotheses related to the evolutionary theory.

Paul Turner received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He is a member of the committee on minority education for the American Society for Microbiology and was elected chair of 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Biology. He served as associate editor for Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution and is the author to the paper; “Predicting virus evolution: the relationship between genetic robustness and evolvability of thermotolerance.”


Selected Publications

  • Ogbunugafor, C.B., R.C. McBride and P.E. Turner. 2009. Predicting virus evolution: the relationship between genetic robustness and evolvability of thermotolerance. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 74:xx-xx. (In press).
  • Remold, S., A. Rambaut, and P.E. Turner. 2008. Evolutionary genomics of host adaptation in VSV. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25(6):1138-1147.
  • McBride, R.C., C.B. Ogbunugafor, and P.E. Turner. 2008. Robustness promotes evolvability of thermotolerance in an RNA virus. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:231.
  • Dennehy, J.J., N.A. Friedenberg, Y.W. Yang, and P.E. Turner. 2007. Virus population extinction via ecological traps. Ecology Letters 10:230-240.
  • Duffy, S., C. L. Burch, and P.E. Turner. 2007. Evolution of host specificity drives reproductive isolation among RNA viruses. Evolution 61:2614-2622.

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