Dale Edwards

Dr. Dale Edwards

Professor and Chair of Biology

Koch Center for Engineering and Science, Room 231A


  • Parasitology
  • Evolutionary Ecology


  • BS - Brandon University (Canada)
  • MS - Wake Forest University
  • PhD - Wake Forest University

Current Courses Taught

  • BIOL 100 Fundamentals of Biology
  • BIOL 120 Introductory Biology: Organismal Diversity
  • BIOL 310 History of Life
  • BIOL 434 Parasitology
  • BIOL 450 Evolution

Research Interests

My research has focused primarily on the ecology and evolution of organisms with symbiotic lifestyles. I have been particularly interested in addressing the evolutionary ecology of water mites ( Unionicola spp.) that live in association with various species of freshwater mussels. My research involving these mites has addressed the relationship between host specificity and speciation among host-associated populations, the effects that ectoparasitic larval stages have on their insect hosts, including their potential role in influencing host survival and reproduction. I have also had a keen interest in Unionicola systematics and have worked in collaboration with Malcolm Vidrine (Emeritus Professor, Louisiana State University at Eunice) to address phylogenetic relationships among unionicolid mussel-mites, using both morphological and molecular characters. I am also involved in collaborative research with Noah Gordon (University of Evansville). We have been examining helminth diversity among green treefrogs ( Hyla cinerea). For example, we have been comparing the parasite faunas of these treefrogs from historical and expanded-range populations to determine whether these latter populations are exhibiting reduced parasitism by escaping their native range parasites. More recently, we have been comparing temporal patterns of parasite prevalence and abundance for populations of both green and gray treefrogs ( Hyla chrysoscelis) in areas of niche overlap to determine whether differences in the timing and duration of their breeding seasons play a role in their susceptibility to helminth parasites, thus influencing their patterns of parasite diversity.

Grants and Awards

  • Deans’ Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Evansville, 1996
  • The Sadelle & Sydney Berger Annual Award for Scholarship, 2004
  • Indiana Academy of Science Fellow, 2016
Dale Edwards in the field

Recent Peer-reviewed Publications (Bold denotes student co-authors)

  • Edwards, D.D. and N.M. Gordon. 2021. Helminth diversity of green treefrogs ( Hyla cinerea) in their expanded geographical range. Journal of Parasitology, 107: 923-932.
  • Edwards, D.D. and M.F. Vidrine. 2020. Host diversity affects parasite diversity: A case study involving Unionicola spp. inhabiting freshwater mussels. Journal of Parasitology, 106: 675-678.
  • Edwards, D.D., A. Steele, and N.M. Gordon. 2017. A comparison of helminth faunas of Cope's gray ( Hyla chrysoscelis) and green ( Hyla cinerea) treefrogs in areas of recent niche overlap. Journal of Parasitology, 103: 170-175.
  • Ernsting, B.R., D.D. Edwards, T.A. Timbrook, and M.M. Frerichs. 2014. Preliminary evidence of cryptic species among host-associated populations of Unionicola hoesei (Acari: Unionicolidae). International Journal of Acarology, 40: 358-365.
  • Edwards, D.D. and M.F. Vidrine. 2013. Patterns of species richness among assemblages of Unionicola spp. (Acari: Unionicolidae) inhabiting freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida) of North America. Journal of Parasitology, 99 212-217.
  • Edwards, D.D. and M. F. Vidrine. 2013. Mites of Freshwater Mollusks. Malcolm F. Vidrine, Eunice, Louisiana.

Published Book

Edwards, D.D. and M. F. Vidrine. 2013. Mites of Freshwater Mollusks. Malcolm F. Vidrine.

Mites of Freshwater Mollusks book cover

Former Research Students

Research Studens table
Name and Highest Degree Current Position
Jon Allen, PhD Candidate Dept. of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Taylor Timbrook, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology, Joshua Max Simon Primary Care Center
Lesley Jackson, MD Physician, Rheumatology Clinic at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital
Caroline Neff, MD Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Kentucky
Scott Fites, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Wisconsin Madison
Katie Aldred, PhD Associate Professor of Biology, University of Evansville
Han Cun, MD Gynecologic Oncologist, Anderson Cancer Center
Crystal Randall, PhD Science Faculty, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Kevin Myers, PhD Assistant Scientist, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Daniel Deatherage, PhD Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin
Heather (Smith) Bisher, MA Director of Housing and Residence Life, Marian University
Mark Labhart, MD Optometrist, Burris Leclere and Labhart Eye Center
Nicholas Wilhite, MD Family Medical Physician, Henricks Regional Health Center
Michele Weiberg, MD Infectious Disease Physician, Ascension Medical Group

Morphological Character State Matrices


Office Phone

Office Email

Office Location
Room 231, Koch Center for Engineering and Science