Dr. David Haak

Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science

Evolutionary ecological genomics forms the basis for David Haak’s research. Within this field, he is interested in identifying the genetic basis of plant adaptation to biotic stress (for example, pests) and abiotic stress (drought), with particular interest in understanding how plant defense traits are shaped by ecological and environmental conditions, pertinent in a changing climate.

To understand how biotic and abiotic conditions shape adaptive responses, he uses manipulative field and greenhouse studies, genetic and genomic approaches, and physiology and analytical chemistry techniques. Haak’s research is centered in wild crop relatives, providing key insights in ecological and evolutionary processes as well as resources for crop improvement.

Haak received his Ph.D. in biology from University of Washington, and his master’s degree in crop science and bachelor’s degree in biology from North Carolina State University. He has received awards from the University of Washington, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the North Carolina Governor’s office, among others.


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Recent Relevant Publications

Haak, D.C., Ballenger, B.A., Moyle, L.C. 2014. No evidence for phylogenetic constraint on natural defense evolution among wild tomatoes. Ecology.

Haak, D.C., Kostyun, J., Moyle, L.C., 2014. Ecological Genomics of adaptation and speciation across a group rich in abiotic, biotic, and reproductive diversity. In: Aubin-Horth, N. and Landry, C. editors. Ecological And Evolutionary Genomics, Springer.

HilleRisLambers, J., Ettinger, A., Ford, K., Haak, D.C., Horwith, M., Miner, B., Rogers, H., Sheldon, K., Tewksbury, J.J., Waters, S., Yang, S. 2013. Accidental experiments: ecological and evolutionary insights and opportunities derived from global change. Oikos

Haak, D.C., McGinnis, L.A., Levey, D.J., and Tewksbury, J.J. 2012. Why aren’t all chilies hot? A tradeoff limits pungency. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279.1735 doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2091.

Haak, D. C., J. HilleRisLambers, E. Pitre, and S. Freeman. 2011. Increased Structure and Active Learning Reduce the Achievement Gap in Introductory Biology. Science 332:1213.

Freeman, S., Haak, D.C., and Wenderoth, M.P. 2011. Increased Course Structure Improves Performance in Introductory Biology. CBE Life Sci Educ10:175‐186.

Deutsch,C., J. J. Tewksbury R. B. Huey, K. Sheldon, C. Ghalambor, D.C. Haak, P. R. Martin. 2008. Impacts of climate warming on terrestrial ectotherms across latitude. PNAS 105(18):6668‐72.

Tewksbury, J.J., Reagan, K.M, Caldaron, A.,Machnicki, N., Haak D.C., Levey, D.J. 2008. Evolutionary ecology of pungency in wild chilies. PNAS105(33):11808‐11.

Tewksbury, J.J., Levey, D.J., Huizinga, M., Haak D.C., and Travaset, A. 2008. Costs and benefits of capsaicin‐mediated control of gut retention in dispersers of wild chilies. Ecology 89(1):107‐17.