Curriculum Vitae


Monmouth University, Department of Biology
332 Edison Science Building, West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 263-5865


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

  • Ph.D., Biology, 2009
  • Certificate in College and University Teaching
    • Dissertation Research: Spatially varying selection on shell color in the flat periwinkle Littorina obstusata
    • Adviser: Dr. Paul S. Schmidt

Duke University, Durham, NC

  • B.S., Biology with Distinction, Magna cum laude, 2001
    • Semester Abroad: Spring 99, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica
    • Semester Abroad: Fall 99, Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC


Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, 2016-present
Assistant Professor
Research: Evolutionary Genetics
Teaching: Introduction to Biology, Evolution and Biodiversity; Introduction to Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology; Genetics, Evolution; Senior Seminar; Research Methods
University of California, Berkeley, CA, 2013-2016
Postdoctoral Scholar, Research Scientist
Research: Environmental adaptation in Mus musculus
Adviser: Dr. Michael W. Nachman
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 2009-2013
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Research: Adaptation and speciation in Mus musculus, Adaptation in rock pocket mice
Adviser: Dr. Michael W. Nachman
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2003-2009
Department of Biology, Teaching Assistantship, Fall 2003-Spring 2008
Courses: Introduction to Biology (lab), Introduction to Biology: Molecular Biology of
Life (lab), Evolution (also guest lecturer), Introduction to Statistics for Biologists,
Advanced Statistics for Biologists
Center for Teaching and Learning,University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2006-2009
Senior Graduate Fellow for Teaching Excellence Fall 2008-Spring 2009
Graduate Fellow for Teaching Excellence Fall 2007-Spring 2008
TA Training Graduate Coordinator 8/2007, 8/2008
TA Training Workshop Leader 8/2006


  • Achelis & Bodman Foundation, Investigating environmental DNA (eDNA) as a tool for biological monitoring of the lower Hudson-Raritan River Estuary. Jason Adolf, Megan Phifer-Rixey, and Keith Dunton. $50,000. Awarded.
  • Faculty Fellow, Monmouth University, Fall 2019-Spring 2021 – The Faculty Fellowship is a new, University-wide competitive program that provides a one-course load reduction for four semesters, a summer stiped ($10,000), and research funds ($5,000) to support two faculty per award year in their collaborations with campus research centers.
  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, Monmouth University, Summer 2019 – This fellowship provides a summer stipend ($10,000) to support faculty pursuing research or other scholarly activities.
  • Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), NSF, Co-PI with Dr.Michael Nachman, Environmental Adaptation in house mice, 2013-present, competitive computational resource research grant valued at ~$12,000 annually.
  • Urban Coast Institute Faculty Enrichment Grant. Using population genetics to inform management of New Jersey fisheries, $5,000. Spring 2018.
  • European Society for Evolutionary Biology Outreach Grant. DNA Unraveled: Strawberry DNA Extraction. 1,000€. Fall 2017.
  • Genetics Society of America, TAGC Travel Grant, 2016
  • Genetics Society of America, DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development, 2012
  • NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2007-2009
  • Summer Institute for Statistical Genetics Scholarship, 2009
  • American Genetic Association, Travel Grant, 2009
  • Marie Curie ITN, Travel Grant, Theory of Speciation Workshop, 2009
  • University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology, “Entering Mentoring” Workshop
    Facilitator Honorarium, Fall 2008-Spring 2009
  • University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Completion
    Fellowship, Fall 2008-Spring 2009
  • Malacological Society of London, Travel Grant, International Society of Littorinid Biology
    and Evolution, 2008
  • University of Pennsylvania, Dean’s Awards for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students, 2007
  • University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Student Association Travel Grant, 2006, 2008
  • University of Pennsylvania, Binns-Williams Fund for Research, 2005, 2006
  • Duke University, Presidential Research Fellow, 1998-2001


Kathleen G. Ferris , Andreas S. Chavez, Taichi A. Suzuki, Elizabeth J. Beckman, Megan Phifer-Rixey, Ke Bi, Michael W. Nachman. 2021. The genomics of rapid climatic adaptation and parallel evolution in North American house mice. PLOS Genetics.

Phifer-Rixey, M, Harr, B, and J Hey. 2020. Further resolution of the house mouse (Mus musculus) phylogeny by integration over isolation-with-migration histories. BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Suzuki TA, Martins FM, Phifer-Rixey M, and MW Nachman. 2020. The gut microbiota and Bergmann’s rule in wild house mice. Molecular Ecology.

Suzuki, T.A., Phifer-Rixey, M., Mack, K.L., Sheehan, M.J., Lin, T., Bi, K., and M.W. Nachman. 2019 .Host genetic determinants of the gut microbiome of wild mice. Molecular Ecology. 00: 1– 11.

Mack, K.L. Phifer-Rixey, M., Harr, B., and M. W. Nachman. 2019 . Gene expression networks across multiple tissues are associated with rates of molecular evolution in wild house mice. Genes. 10(3):225.

Mack, K.L., Ballinger, M.A., Phifer-Rixey, M., and M.W. Nachman. 2018. Gene regulation underlies environmental adaptation in house mice. Genome Research.

Phifer-Rixey, M., Bi, K., Ferris, K.G., Sheehan, M.J., Lin, D., Mack, K.L., Keeble, S.M., Suzuki, T., Good, J.M., and M.W. Nachman. 2018. The genomic basis of environmental adaptation in house mice. PLoS Genetics.

Moeller, A. H., T. A. Suzuki, M. Phifer-Rixey, and M. W. Nachman. 2018. Transmission modes of the mammalian gut microbiota. Science.

Weyand, N., Ma, I., Phifer-Rixey, M., et al. 2016. Isolation of a new species of Neisseria from the wild house mouse, Mus musculus. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Phifer-Rixey, M. and M. W. Nachman. 2015. The natural history of model organisms: Insight into mammalian biology from the wild house mouse, Mus musculus. eLife.

Phifer-Rixey, M., Bomhoff, M., and M.W. Nachman. 2014. Genome-wide patterns of differentiation among house mouse subspecies. Genetics.

Phifer-Rixey, M. 2014. Evolution: Searching for the genes that separate species (invited commentary). eLife.

Phifer-Rixey, M., Bonhomme, F., Boursot, P., Churchill, G.A., Pialek, J., Tucker, P., and M.W. Nachman. 2012. Adaptive evolution and effective population size in wild house mice. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Phifer-Rixey, M., Heckman, M., Trussell, G. and P.S. Schmidt. 2009. Maintenance of clinal variation for shell colour phenotype in the flat periwinkle Littorina obtusata. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Schmidt, P.S., Phifer-Rixey, M., Taylor, G.M. and J. Christner. 2007. Genetic heterogeneity among intertidal habitats in the flat periwinkle, Littorina obtusata. Molecular Ecology.


(more available upon request)

Megan Phifer-Rixey. Environmental adaptation in house mice (oral, invited). University of Georgia, Genetics, Athens, Georgia. January 2020.

Megan Phifer-Rixey. Genetics in the Wild (oral, invited). The National Association of Biology Teachers, Chicago, IL. November 2019.

Phifer-Rixey, M . The genomics of environmental adaptation in house mice (oral). Evolution Meeting, Providence, RI. June 2019.

Phifer-Rixey, M . Environmental adaptation in house mice (oral, invited). William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. November 2018.

Phifer-Rixey, M. The genetics of environmental adaptation: house mice in the Americas (poster). Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics, Genetics Society of America, Madison, WI. May 2018.

Phifer-Rixey, M. Recent environmental adaptation in an invasive species: house mice in the Americas. European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Groningen, The Netherlands. August 2017.

Phifer-Rixey, M. The genetic basis of environmental adaptation in house mice (poster). Society for the Study of Evolution, Portland, OR. June 2017.

Phifer-Rixey, M. Evolutionary genomics in house mice invited. Rutgers University, Camden, Camden, NJ. April 2017.

Phifer-Rixey, M. The genomics of environmental adaptation in house mice invited. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. October 2016.

Phifer-Rixey, M.. The genetic basis of environmental adaptation in house mice. The Allied Genetics Conference, Orlando, FL. July 2016.


Manuscript Review:Biology Letters, Current Zoology, eLife, Evolutionary Applications, Evolutionary Ecology, Evolutionary Applications, Genetics, Genome Biology and Evolution, Heredity, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Nature Communications, Oecologia, PLoS Genetics, PLoS One, Science Advances, Scientific Data, and Scientific Reports

Proposal Review: National Science Foundation (ad hoc U.S.A), Czech Science Foundation, NSF Review (2019)


Society for the Study of Evolution, Genetics Society of America, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, European Society of Evolutionary Biology, Sigma Xi, National Association of Biology Teachers