Mingzi Xu headshot
Office Address

1987 Upper Buford Cir
Saint Paul, MN 55108
United States



Assistant Professor
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

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Research statement

Research in my lab focuses on the evolution and genetics of mating behaviors, especially mating preferences and mate choices. By transcending boundaries of field-based behavioral ecology and lab-based quantitative genetics and genomics, we aim to answer fundamental questions about evolution and genomics of mating preferences that will eventually help us causally link selective forces in real natural populations to variation in preference phenotypes to the underlying genetic and genomic mechanisms.

Selected publications

  • Xu, M., Shaw, K. L. 2021. QTL fine mapping reveals multiple linked song QTL and genetic coupling between song and preference loci underlying rapid speciation. Journal of Heredity 112: 204-213
  • Xu, M., & Shaw, K. L. 2020. Spatial Mixing between calling males of two closely related, sympatric crickets suggests beneficial heterospecifics interactions in a nonadaptive radiation. Journal of Heredity 111: 84-91
  • Xu, M., Shaw, K. L. 2019. Genetic coupling of signal and preference facilitates sexual isolation during rapid speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286: 20191607
  • Xu, M., & Shaw, K. L. 2019. The genetics of mating song evolution underlying speciation: linking quantitative variation to candidate genes for behavioral isolation. Genetics 211: 1089-1104

Education and background

  • 2022- Assistant professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota
  • 2019-2021 President's Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesot
  • 2015-2019 Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University
  • 2014 Ph.D. Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma