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Rodney Honeycutt Faculty Profile

Rodney Honeycutt

Emeritus Professor of Biology
Natural Science Division, Seaver College
Malibu, RAC 106A


Dr. Rodney Honeycutt has written for books and journals, has taught at universities including Texas A&M University and Harvard, and has worked on many research projects. He was awarded two major grants from the National Science Foundation and began his teaching career with introductory biology labs in biology, anatomy, and physiology at Texas Tech University. He later became a lecturer in natural history and classification of vertebrates. 

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Honeycutt worked on two postdoctoral fellowships for the Australian National University and the University of Michigan. He began his formal career teaching biology courses at Harvard University. He also taught courses at Texas A&M University for undergraduate ecology majors and graduate courses including molecular evolution, quantitative phylogenetics and speciation genetics.


  • Professor, Departments of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Biology, & Veterinary Pathobiology and the Faculty of Genetics, Texas A&M University, 1988-2006,
  • Program Director of Population Biology and Systematic Biology, National Science Foundation, 1992-1993,
  • Associate Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology & Curator of Mammals, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 1984-1988,
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, 1983-1984,
  • Research Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, 1981-1983,
  • PhD, Biology, Texas Tech University, 1981
  • MS, Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 1978
  • BA, Zoology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1970



  • Honeycutt, R. L., L. J. Frabotta, and D. Rowe. 2007. Rodent evolution, phylogenetics, and biogeography. Pp. 8-27 in Rodent Societies: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (J. Wolfe and P. Sherman, eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 610 pp.
  • Honeycutt, R. L., L. J. Frabotta, and D. Rowe. 2007. Rodent evolution, phylogenetics, and biogeography. Pp. 8-27 in Rodent Societies: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (J. Wolfe and P. Sherman, eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 610 pp. Honeycutt, R. L. 2009. Rodentia. Pp. 490-494 in The Timetree of Life (S. B. Hedges and S. Kumar, eds.). Oxford University Press USA, New York, NY, 572 pp.
  • Johnson, P. B., K. L. Martin, T. L. Vandergon, R. L. Honeycutt, R. S. Burton, and A. Fry. 2009. Microsatellite and mitochondrial genetic comparisons between northern and southern populations of California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis). Copeia 3:465-474.
  • Phillips, C. D., R. G. Trujillo, T. S. Gelatt, M. J. Smolen, C. W. Matson, R. L. Honeycutt, J. C. Patton, and J. W. Bickham. 2009. Assessing substitution patterns, rates and homoplasy at HVRI of Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus. Molecular Ecology 18(16):3379-3393.
  • Shelton, D. E., A. D. Harlin-Cognato, R. L. Honeycutt, and T. Markowitz. 2009. Sexual segregation and genetic relatedness in New Zealand dusky dolphin social groups. Pp. 195-209 in Dusky Dolphins: Master Acrobats off Different Shores (B. Würsig and M. Würsig, eds.). Academic/Elsevier Press, Waltham, MA, 416 pp.
  • Honeycutt, R. L. 2010. Unraveling the mysteries of dog evolution. BMC Biology 8:20.
  • Honeycutt, R. L., D. M. Hillis, J. W. Bickham. 2010. Biodiversity discovery and its importance to conservation. Pp.1-35 in Molecular Approaches in Natural Resource Conservation and Management (J. A. DeWoody, J. W. Bickham, C. H. Michler, K. M. Nichols, G. E. Rhodes, and K. E. Woeste, eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • López-Fernández, H., K. O. Winemiller, and R. L. Honeycutt. 2010. Multilocus phylogeny and rapid radiations in Neotropical cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Cichlidae: Cichlinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55(3):1070-1086.
  • Rowe, D. L., K. A. Dunn, R. M. Adkins, and R. L. Honeycutt. 2010. Molecular clocks keep dispersal hypotheses afloat: evidence for trans-Atlantic rafting by rodents. Journal of Biogeography 37(2):305-324.
  • Sena, L., Schneider, M. P. C., Brenig, B. B., Honeycutt, R. L., Honeycutt, D. A., Womack, J. E. and Skow, L. C. 2011. Polymorphism and gene organization of water buffalo MHC-DQB genes show homology to BoLA DQB region. Animal Genetics 42(4):378-385.
  • Winemiller, K. O., D. J. Hoeinghaus, A. A. Pease, P. C. Esselman, R. L. Honeycutt, D. Gbanaador, E. Carrera, and J. Payne. 2011. Stable isotope analysis reveals food web structure and watershed impacts along the fluvial gradient of a Mesoamerican coastal river. River Research and Applications 27(6):791-803.
  • Janecka, J. E., M. E. Tewes, L. L. Laack, A. Caso, L. I. Grassman, Jr., A. M. Haines, D. B. Shindle, B. W. Davis, W. J. Murphy, and R. L. Honeycutt. 2011. Reduced genetic diversity and isolation of remnant ocelot populations occupying a severely fragmented landscape in southern Texas. Animal Conservation 14 (6):608-619.
  • Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janecka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simao, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer, and W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334(6055):521-524.
  • López-Fernández, H., K. O. Winemiller, C. Montaña, and R. L. Honeycutt. 2012. Diet-morphology correlations in the radiation of South American geophagine cichlids (Perciformes: Cichlidae: Cichlinae). PLoS ONE 7 (4):e33997.
  • Ishibashi, C. D. A., A. R. Shaver, D. P. Perrault, S. D. Davis, and R. L. Honeycutt. 2012. Isolation of microsatellite markers in a chaparral species endemic to southern California, Ceanothus megacarpus (Rhamnaceae). Applications in Plant 1(5): doi: 10.3732/apps.1200393.
  • López-Fernández, H., J.H. Arbour, K.O. Winemiller, and R.L. Honeycutt. 2013. Testing for ancient adaptive radiations in Neotropical cichlid fishes. Evolution 67(5):1321-1337.


  • American Society of Mammalogists
  • Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Society of Systematic Biology
  • The Wildlife Society
  • Willi Hennig Society - Elected Fellow in 1989
  • Editorial Board, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 1992 - present
  • Associate Editor, Molecular Biology & Evolution, 1994 - 2003
  • Associate Editor, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2004 - present
  • Associate Editor, BMC Research Notes, 2007 - 2013
  • Section Editor, BMC Research Notes, 2013 - present
  • Elected, Council Member, Society of Systematic Biologists, 1994-1997
  • Elected, Executive Committee, Genetics Faculty, Texas A&M University, 1994-1997
  • Elected, Member, Board of Directors, Texas Genetics Society, 1994-1997
  • Past President, Texas Society of Mammalogy, 1997-1998
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of Zoology, University of Essen, Germany, 1997
  • Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Texas A&M University, 1997
  • Texas Agriculture Experiment Station Research Fellow, Texas A&M University, 2006

Areas of Expertise

  • Genomics and genetics
  • Evolutionary biology


  • Comparative genomics
  • Conservation genetics
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Mammalian evolution
  • Molecular evolution
  • Population genetics
  • Quantitative phylogenetics


  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics & Human Affairs
  • Population Biology & Conservation Genetics
  • Scientific Decision Making
  • Zoology