Ronald M. Bonett

Associate ProfessorOH 326
ron-bonett@utulsa.eduBonett Lab

My 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, I seek to understand how deviations in developmental patterns have influenced the evolution of vertebrate diversity.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Quantitative Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, TX, 2004
  • M.S. Biological Sciences, East Stroudsburg University, PA, 2000
  • B.S. Biological Sciences, East Stroudsburg University, PA, 1998

Areas of Research Focus

  • Biogeography, behavior, development, ecology, and evolution of amphibians
    Methods include: bioinformatics, DNA and RNA sequence collection, gene expression, behavioral and hormonal experiments, morphological analyses, and a variety of phylogenetic methods.

Previous Relevant Work Experience

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan, 2006 – 2007
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, 2004 - 2006

Courses Taught at TU

  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIOL 3204)
  • Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology (BIOL 1603)
  • Selected Topics in Vertebrate Zoology, Herpetology (BIOL 3613/6613)


  • Elmer, K. R., R. M. Bonett, D. B. Wake, and S. C. Lougheed. 2013. Early Miocene origin and cryptic diversification of South American salamanders. BMC Evolutionary Biology. In Press.

  • Bonett, R. M., A. L. Trujano-Alvarez, M. J. Williams, and E. K. Timpe. 2013 Biogeography and body size shuffling of aquatic salamander communities on a shifting refuge. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B.

  • Bagamasbad, P., T. Ziera, S. A. Borden, A. Rozeboom, A. Seasholtz, R. M. Bonett, and R. J. Denver. 2012. Molecular basis for glucocorticoid induction of the Krüppel-like factor 9 gene in hippocampal neurons. Endocrinology 153: 5334–5345.

  • Martin, S. D., B. A. Harris, J. R. Collums, and R. M. Bonett. 2012. Life between predators and a small space: substrate selection of an interstitial space-dwelling stream salamander. Journal of Zoology 287: 205–214.

  • Denver, R. J., R. M. Bonett, and G. C. Boorse. 2011. Evolution of leptin structure and function. Review Article for Neuroendocrinology 94:21–38.

  • Emel, S. L. and R. M. Bonett. 2011. Considering alternative life history modes and genetic divergence in conservation: a case study of the Oklahoma salamander. Conservation Genetics 12: 1243–1259.

  • Bonett, R. M., M. A. Steffen, A. L. Trujano-Alvarez, S. E. Martin, C. T. McAllister, and C. R. Bursey. 2011. Distribution, intensity, and genetic diversity of Clinostomum metacercariae (Trematoda: Digenea), in a modified Ozark stream system. Journal of Parasitology. 97:177–184.

  • Bonett, R. M., E. D. Hoopfer, and R. J. Denver. 2010. Molecular mechanisms of corticosteroid synergy with thyroid hormone during tadpole metamorphosis. General & Comparative Endocrinology 168: 209–219.

  • Bonett, R. M., Hu, F., Bagamasbad, P., and R. J. Denver. 2009. Stressor and glucocorticoid-dependent induction of the immediate early gene Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9): implications for neural development and plasticity. Endocrinology 150, 1757–1765.

  • Timpe, E. K., Graham, S. P., and R. M. Bonett. 2009. Phylogeography of the Brownback salamander reveals patterns of local endemism in Southern Appalachian springs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 368–376.