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Jen Moss

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
4036 Derring Hall (Mail Code 0406)
926 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0406

Major Field of Interest

Behavioral Evolution and Reproductive Ecology

Current Research

Research in the Moss Lab leverages integrative approaches to explore the evolution and ecology of behavior, as manifest through the lens of sexual and parental behaviors. Projects involve native amphibians and reptiles and span two major themes:

  • How sex differences in behavior shape demographic (i.e., reproductive rates) and evolutionary (i.e., sexual selection) responses to climate change
  • How diversity in animal parental behaviors and their underlying mechanisms (i.e., hormonal, neural, and genetic pathways) informs our understanding of the evolutionary origins and diversification of parental care


  • 2021-2023, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. (Eva Fischer, advisor)
  • 2020-2021, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Georgia, Entomology. (Allen Moore, advisor)
  • 2019-2020, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tasmania, Australia, Zoology. (Geoff While, advisor)
  • 2019, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Biological Sciences. Dissertation: “Behavioral ecology and conservation genetics of the Sister Islands Rock Iguana” (Mark Welch, advisor)
  • 2013 B.A. (cum laude), Biology (Honors), Global Studies Minor, Hood College, Biological Sciences. Honors Thesis: “Population genetics of summer-resident cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) in the Chesapeake Bay” (Sue Carney, advisor)
  • 2024 Virginia Tech Faculty Mentoring Grant, Virginia Tech
  • 2021 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, National Science Foundation
  • 2019 Endeavour Research Leadership Award, Australian Government
  • 2017 Zernickow Fellowship for Field Research, Mississippi State University
  • 2015 Biology Faculty Fund Award, Mississippi State University
  • 2013 Department of Biology Jane D. McCarrell Prize, Hood College
  • 2013 Shirley Connor Hardinge ’44 Prize, Hood College
  • 2011 Department of Biology “Beta Beta Beta” Award, Hood College
  • 2010-2012 Hodson-Gilliam Scholarship, Hood College