UCF Biology

Ken Fedorka

  • Professor & Graduate Coordinator
  • fedorka@ucf.edu
  • 407-823-6685
  • Biological Sciences, BIO401B

Research Area(s): Eco immunology / disease ecology, evolutionary genetics, sexual selection, sexual conflict, and life history evolution


Work within our research group stretches across the fields of evolutionary biology and disease ecology.  With regard to evolution, we address how complex phenotypes evolve, especially with regard uniparentally inherited genetic elements (e.g. Y-chromosomes), which can have unexpected influences on trait evolution. With regard to disease ecology and eco-immunology, we address how anthropogenic disturbances, such as climate change and pollution, can influence insect vector immunity and their capacity to transmit disease. Where these fields overlap is also of interest. For instance, we are interested in how anthropogenic disturbances will influence the future evolution of insect vector immune function and disease prevalence. These diverse questions have caused us to utilize multiple animal systems (including fruit flies, crickets, psyllids, and mosquitoes) and to draw techniques from multiple scientific fields (including molecular biology, quantitative genetics, and ecotoxicology). For more information about the lab, please visit our website: http://sciences.ucf.edu/biology/fedorka/





  • Radhakrishnan, P. and Fedorka, K. M. 2011. Influence of female age, sperm senescence and multiple mating on sperm viability in female Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Insect Physiology, 57: 778-783.
  • Fedorka, K. M., Winterhalter, W. E. and Ware, B. M. 2011. Sperm competition intensity influences seminal protein production prior to mating and courtship. Evolution, 65: 584-590.
  • Winterhalter, W.E. and Fedorka, K. M. 2009. Sex differences in immune gene expression prior to and after mating in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276: 1109-1117.
  • Fedorka, K. M., Winterhalter, W. E. and Mousseau, T. A. 2007. The evolutionary genetics of sexual size dimorphism in the cricket Allonemobius socius. Heredity, 99, 218-223.
  • Fedorka, K. M, Linder, J., Winterhalter4, W.E., and Promislow, D. E. L. 2007. Post-mating disparity between potential and realized immune response in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274, 1211-1217
  • Fedorka, K. M., and Mousseau, T. A. 2007. Immune system activation affects the male sexual signal and reproductive potential in crickets. Behavioral Ecology, 18: 231-235.
  • Promislow, D. E. L., Fedorka, K. M. and Burger, J. E. P. 2005. Evolutionary biology of aging: future directions. In The Handbook of the Biology of Aging. Eds. Austad, S. and Masoro, E. 6th edition.
  • Fedorka, K. M., Zuk, M. and T. A. Mousseau. 2005. Natural selection drives the link between male immunity and reproductive potential. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83: 1012-1014.
  • Fedorka, K. M., and M. Zuk. 2005. Sexual conflict and female immune suppression in the ground cricket, Allonemobius soicus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 18: 1515-1522.
  • Fedorka, K. M., M. Zuk and Mousseau, T.A. 2004. Immune suppression and the cost of reproduction in the cricket, Allonemobius socius. Evolution, 58: 2478-2485.
  • Fedorka, K. M. and T. A. Mousseau. 2004. Female mating bias results in conflicting sex-specific offspring fitness. Nature, 429: 65-67.
  • Fedorka, K. M. and T. A. Mousseau. 2002. Tibial spur feeding in ground crickets: larger males contribute larger gifts. Florida Entomologist, 85: 317-323.
  • Fedorka, K. M. and T. A. Mousseau. 2002. Material and genetic benefits of female multiple mating and polyandry. Animal Behaviour, 64: 361-367.
  • Fedorka, K. M. and T. A. Mousseau. 2002. Nuptial gifts and the evolution of male size. Evolution, 56: 590-596.



April 2010

NSF RET award (PI: $15,000) to collaborate with a local high school teacher to provide experience in contemporary research

August 2007

NSF award (PI: $305,000) to examine antagonistic coevolution between male ejaculates and female immune function

August 2007

DOE award (Co-PI: 865,000) to examine the biological response of an ectotherm to climate change

January 2006

NSF award ($50,000)



  • Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, 2002 – University of South Carolina
  • B.S. Ecology and Evolutoinary Biology, 1994 – University of Pittsburgh



COS Shines at Student Research Week

Student Research Week celebrates the research and creative projects of UCF undergraduate and graduate students. From April 4 through April 7, graduate and undergraduate students attended workshops, presented research, develop... Read more

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