Robert Outlaw

Office: 114 Harned
Phone: 6623253279



B. S., Biology, University of Memphis

M. S., Biology, University of Memphis

Statement of Interests

As a Biology instructor, it is my aim to engage students not only in the material being presented, but also in the learning process. I feel it is important to instill in my students an appreciation for active learning, critical thinking and problem solving, so that when they leave the classroom, not only have they learned many of the tenets of Biology, but also how they might apply critical approaches to their everyday lives. I encourage students to take an active role in their education by promoting question-based learning. I welcome diversity of thought and opinion and it is always a challenge to find the thread that connects us all. I approach each class as a new experience with new challenges; however my goal is always to set a tone for the course that involves mutual respect.

In addition to being an Instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences, I am also pursuing a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. My research focuses on comparative evolution of metabolic genes (electron transport chain) in avian malaria parasites. One of the primary drivers of avian malaria parasite diversification is their ability to switch hosts (birds to lizards and back, birds/lizards to bats) and my interests include studying how changes in metabolic genes over evolutionary time contribute to the success of host-switching in avian malaria parasites.


Outlaw, R. K., B. Counterman & D. C. Outlaw. In Press. Differential patterns of molecular evolution among haemosporidian parasite groups. Parasitology.

Outlaw, R. K.Voelker, G., R. K. Outlaw, & R. C. K. Bowie. 2010. Pliocene forest dynamics as a primary driver of African Bird speciation. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 19:1, Indian Ocean Basin.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21:6. 1779-1788. 

Outlaw, R. K., G. Voelker, & D. C. Outlaw. 2007. Molecular Systematics and Historical Biogeography of the Rock-Thrushes (Muscicapidae: Monticola). Auk, 124:2. 561-577.