Dr. Jesse Meik – Assistant Professor



  • PhD, University of Texas at Arlington, 2009
  • MS, University of Texas at Arlington, 2004
  • BA, Utah State University, 2002


  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIOL 306)

My research interests primarily fall in the following areas of herpetology and evolutionary biology: (1) pattern, process, and inference in comparative biology; (2) systematics, population genetics, and species delimitation; (3) phenotypic

evolution (in particular evolution of body size and sexual dimorphism); (4) community assembly and biogeography; (5) biology of squamate reptiles (particularly rattlesnakes); and (5) evolutionary dynamics of interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. In general, my research approach involves comparative data and analysis—usually of distribution patterns, morphology, and molecular data; however, I intend to add experimental components to my research in the near future.

I’m first and foremost a naturalist, and I prefer to be in the field or a natural history collection whenever possible. I usually design research projects to include some field component and to leverage the excellent resources of museum collections. I’m currently looking to build collaborations with motivated and engaged undergraduate students as well as advise Master’s students on various projects in the area of ecology, biogeography, and evolution.


  • Dashevsky, D., J.M. Meik, E. Mociño-Deloya, K. Setser, and S. Schaack. 2012. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in Mexican alligator lizards, Barisia imbricata. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece3.455.
  • Meik, J.M., S. Schaack, M.J. Ingrasci, A.M. Lawing, K. Setser, E. Mociño-Deloya, O. Flores-Villela. 2012. Notes on activity, body size variation, and diet in insular speckled rattlesnakes from the western Sea of Cortés, Mexico. Herpetological Review 43:556–560.
  • Meik, J.M., K. Setser, E. Mociño-Deloya, and A.M. Lawing. 2012. Sexual differences in head form and diet in a population of Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus polystictus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106:633–640.
  • Meik, J.M., A.M. Lawing, and A. Pires-daSilva. 2010. Body size evolution in insular speckled rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii). PLoS One 5(3): e9524.
  • Meik, J.M., and A.M. Lawing. 2008. Elevation gradients and lizard assemblage structure in the Bonneville Basin, western U.S.A. Journal of Arid Environments 72: 1193–1201.
  • Lawing, A.M., J.M. Meik, and W.E. Schargel. 2008. Coding meristic characters for phylogenetic analysis: a comparison of step-matrix gap-weighting and generalized frequency coding. Systematic Biology 57:167–173.
  • Wood, D.A., J.M. Meik, A.T. Holycross, R.N. Fisher, and A.G. Vandergast. 2008. Molecular and phenotypic diversity in Chionactis occipitalis (Western shovel-nosed snake), with emphasis on the status of C. o. klauberi (Tucson shovel-nosed snake). Conservation Genetics 9:1489–1507.
  • DeVito, J., J.M. Meik, M.M. Gerson, and D.R. Formanowicz, Jr. 2004. Physiological tolerances of three sympatric riparian wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae) correspond with microhabitat distributions. Canadian Journal of Zoology 82:1119–1125.
  • Meik, J.M., R.M. Jeo, J.R. Mendelson III, and K.E. Jenks. 2002. Effects of bush encroachment on an assemblage of diurnal lizard species in central Namibia. Biological Conservation 106:29–36.