Heidi Fisher headshot
Contact Info
Phone: 301.405.2005
Lab: 2119 Bioscience Research Bldg
Fax: 301.314.9358
Office: 2128 Bioscience Research Bldg
Heidi Fisher
Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Dr. Fisher’s lab investigates the evolution of sexually selected traits, and specifically how cooperation, competition and conflict influence the selective regime. The duel nature of sperm cells, as both an extension of the diploid male that produced the gametes and as a unique haploid individual, generates an exceptional research model to study the social interactions within and between levels of biological organization (from sperm to males to populations). Work in the lab on Peromyscus rodents takes advantage of the extreme divergence in mating strategy within the genus and the wide range of natural phenotypic diversity that results.

One current research focus is to understand the molecular and physical mechanisms underlying a unique cooperative behavior observed in sperm of some Peromyscus species. These temporary aggregates enable the cells to migrate to the fertilization site with greater velocity compared to individual sperm; even more remarkably, in a species with intense sperm competition (P. maniculatus), sperm are able to recognize the most closely related cells and selectively group with them. This research is necessarily integrative and spans the fields of reproductive biology, evolutionary genetics and genomics, behavioral ecology and applied mathematics.


  • Ph.D., Boston University, 2006 (PI: Gil Rosenthal)
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute (PI: Hopi Hoekstra)

All Publications

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Latest Publications via PubMed

Weber WD,Fisher HS
J Evol Biol. 2023 Jan;36(1):67-81. doi: 10.1111/jeb.14126. Epub 2022 Dec 8
Fisher HS,Roldan ERS,Avidor-Reiss T,Rowe M
Cells. 2022 Dec 30;12(1):. doi: 10.3390/cells12010159. Epub 2022 Dec 30
Hook KA,Weber WD,Fisher HS
Behav Ecol. 2022 Jan-Feb;33(1):55-64. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arab109. Epub 2021 Sep 25
Hook KA,Yang Q,Campanello L,Losert W,Fisher HS
Proc Biol Sci. 2021 Sep 29;288(1959):20211553. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1553. Epub 2021 Sep 22
Hook KA,Wilke LM,Fisher HS
Cells. 2021 Sep 1;10(9):. doi: 10.3390/cells10092279. Epub 2021 Sep 1
Hook KA,Fisher HS
Mol Reprod Dev. 2020 Jun;87(6):633-649. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23346. Epub 2020 May 16
Fisher HS
Mol Ecol. 2019 Aug;28(15):3461-3463. doi: 10.1111/mec.15183. Epub 2019 Aug 8
Fisher HS,Hook KA,Weber WD,Hoekstra HE
Ecol Evol. 2018 Aug;8(16):8197-8203. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4337. Epub 2018 Jul 22
Fisher HS
Nat Ecol Evol. 2017 Aug;1(8):1064-1065. doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0261-0. Epub
Fisher HS,Jacobs-Palmer E,Lassance JM,Hoekstra HE
Nat Commun. 2016 Dec 2;7:13652. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13652. Epub 2016 Dec 2