“The doubter is a true man of science; he doubts only himself and his interpretations, but he believes in science.” — Claude Bernard

Alistair J. Cullum

Associate Professor
Evolutionary & Comparative Physiology

Associate Chair

Ph.D. – University of California, Irvine, 1997
B.A. – University of California, Santa Barbara, 1986

Department of Biology
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178-0103
Office: Hixson-Lied 439
Lab: Rigge Science 406

Courses Offered

Research Interests

My research interests fall primarily within the fields of evolutionary and comparative physiology. In general, my work has focused on asking two sorts of questions about physiologicalt raits: what sorts of patterns exist in populations or species for selection to act on, and what are the actual results of selection over many generations? To date, my work has focused primarily on whole-organism performance traits, examining the effects of hybridization and clonal reproduction on physiological performance in a sexual-asexual lizard genus, and the evolutionary effects of predation on escape ability in natural populations of guppies. More recently, I have begun looking at patterns of evolution in stressful environments by Escherichia coli, as part of a larger project headed by my PhD advisor Albert Bennett and Rich Lenski of Michigan State University.

Scholarly Works


Hughes, B. S., A. J. Cullum and A. F. Bennett. 2007. Evolutionary adaptation to environmental pH in experimental lineages of Escherichia coli.
Evolution 61(7):1725–1734. Abstract - Request a copy of full text (PDF)

Hughes, B. S., A. J. Cullum and A. F. Bennett. 2007. An experimental evolutionary study on adaptation to temporally fluctuating pH in Escherichia coli. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 80(4):406-21. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

O’Steen, S., A. J. Cullum and A. F. Bennett. 2002. Rapid evolution of escape ability in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Evolution 56(4):776-784. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Cullum, A. J., A. F. Bennett and R. E. Lenski. 2001. Evolutionary adaptation to temperature. IX. Preadaptation to novel stressful environments of Escherichia coli adapted to high temperature. Evolution 55(11):2194-2202. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Bennett, A. F., J. W. Hicks and A. J. Cullum. 2000. An experimental test of the thermoregulatory hypothesis for the evolution of endothermy. Evolution. 54(5):1768-1773. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Cullum, A. J. 2000. Phenotypic variability of physiological traits in populations of sexual and asexual whiptail lizards. Evolutionary Ecology Research. 2(7):841-855. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Cullum, A. J. 1998. Sexual dimorphism in physiological performance of whiptail lizards (genus Cnemidophorus). Physiological Zoology v.71, n.5, 1998:541-552. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Johnson, T. P., A. J. Cullum and A. F. Bennett. 1998. Partitioning the effects of temperature and viscosity on the C-start performance of adult fishes. Journal of Experimental Biology: 201(13): 2045-2051. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Cullum, A. J. 1997. Comparisons of physiological performance in sexual and asexual whiptail lizards (genus Cnemidophorus): implications for the role of heterozygosity. American Naturalist 150(1): 24-47. Abstract - Full text (PDF)

Cullum, A. J. and A. F. Bennett. Selection on rapid start performance in natural populations of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). In preparation.

Presentation Abstracts

Cullum, A. J., A. F. Bennett, and R. E. Lenski. 1999. The contribution of maximal growth rate, growth efficiency and starvation resistance to fitness in thermally-selected bacteria. American Zoologist. 39(5): 33A.

Cullum, A. J., A. F. Bennett and R. E. Lenski. 1998. Experimental evolution in environments of differing pH. American Zoologist, v.38(5): 50A.

Cullum, A. J., A. F. Bennett and R. E. Lenski. 1997. Relative fitness of generalists and specialists in thermally variable environments. American Zoologist, v.37(5): 37A.

Cullum, A. J. 1997. The problem of reticulate trees: comparative phylogenetic analyses of interspecific hybrids of Cnemidophorus lizards. 77th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Text of Abstract

Cullum, A. J. and A. F. Bennett. 1996. Selection on escape performance in natural populations of guppies. American Zoologist, 36(5): 60A. Text of Abstract

Cullum, A. J. and A. F. Bennett. 1995. Evolutionary response of swimming performance in guppies to differing predation intensities. American Zoologist, 35(5): 140A. Text of Abstract

Software Programs

Cullum, A. J. 2003. Didge - Image Digitizing Software. Version 2.3.