Headshot of David Hillis

David Hillis


Dr. Hillis is the Director of the Biodiversity Center and a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology. Best known for his studies of evolutionary biology and the diversity of life, he is a recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hillis's research focuses on vertebrate diversity, molecular evolution of genomes, and the development of evolutionary theory and methodology. He is also the owner of the Double Helix Ranch, which specializes in the genetics and breeding of Texas Longhorn Cattle.


Headshot of David Cannatella

David Cannatella

Associate Director for Collections

Dr. Cannatella oversees the collections for the Biodiversity Center and is a professor and the Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology. Dr. Cannatella has been with the university since 1990 and conducts research into the systematics and evolution of frogs, as well as salamanders, birds and bird fossils. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette and Master's and PhD degrees from the University of Kansas, after which he conducted postdoctoral research in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley.


Headshot of Ken Wray

Ken Wray

Managing Director, Texas Field Station Network

Dr. Wray is responsible for executing the vision and mission of the Texas Field Station Network, where he coordinates research, education, and outreach across the growing number of UT field stations in the network. His research interests are broadly focused on biodiversity, including trait evolution, adaptation, morphological and molecular systematics, and conservation. He has worked for several museum collections, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Texas at Arlington Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center, and the Iowa State Vertebrate Collection and has served as the Director of Conservation and Research at the Santa Cruz Forest Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. He also worked in public education for 10 years, having taught a number of different science courses in two of the largest school districts in Texas (Arlington ISD and Northside ISD). He currently holds a Composite Science teaching certificate and the Principal as Instructional Leader certificate from the Texas Education Agency. 

Headshot of Lawrence Gilbert

Lawrence Gilbert

Associate Director for Field Stations

Dr. Gilbert is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology. His research focuses on experimental population dynamics and developmental genetics of mimetic color patterns in Heliconius butterflies. By working across different levels of biology in the same tropical food web, he hopes to understand both the context and the mechanisms of evolution and coevolution. By carefully studying population-level events in the system, he hopes to understand rainforest diversity in terms of why low-density species persist and coexist with congeners locally. He is also interested in applying findings of basic evolutionary ecology to conservation of diversity and better management to agroecosystems.