Philip Greenspoon


Location: Room 3015, Earth Sciences Centre
Email: philip.greenspoon[at]


University of Toronto (2015-present)
EEB Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

PhD, Biology, Stanford University (2009-2014)
[Adviser: Marcus Feldman]
BSc, Evolutionary Biology (honours), minor Mathematics, University of British Columbia (2003-2008)

Research Interests

What are the evolutionary consequences of parasitism, both for the host species and the parasite species? Because parasites may create a constantly fluctuating selective environment for their hosts (who, by co-evolving, in turn create a fluctuating environment for the parasites), traits that create genetic diversity (such as mutation) or shuffle it (such as sex or non-random mating) can evolve if they generate genotypes that are at an advantage during an evolutionary arms race. Meanwhile, parasites are under selection to produce as many new infections as possible, which generates selection on life history traits such as virulence and transmission rate. I am interested in the interaction between the evolution of diversity generating/shuffling traits (e.g., mutation, sex, non-random mating) and the evolution of parasite life history traits (e.g., virulence, transmission). I use mathematical and computational models to investigate these and other problems in evolutionary biology.


Greenspoon, P.B. and M’Gonigle, L.K. 2014 Host-parasite interactions and the evolution of non-random mating. Evolution. 68:3570-3580.

M’Gonigle, L.K* and Greenspoon, P.B* 2014. Allee effects and species coexistence in an environment where resource abundance varies. J. Theor. Biol. 361:61-68.
(Recommended on Faculty 1000) *=Co-first authors

Greenspoon, P.B. and M’Gonigle, L.K. 2013. The evolution of mutation rate in an antagonistic co-evolutionary model with maternal transmission of parasites. Proc. R. Soc. B. 280:1-9.

Greenspoon, P.B. and M’Gonigle, L.K. 2013. Can positive frequency-dependence facilitate plant coexistence? Trends Ecol. Evol. 28:317-318.

Wood, T.E., Takebayashi, N., Barker, M.S., Mayrose, I., Greenspoon, P.B., Rieseberg, L.H. 2009. The frequency of polyploid speciation in vascular plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106: 13875-13879

Greenspoon, P.B. and Otto, S.P. 2009. Evolution by Fisherian sexual selection in diploids. Evolution. 63: 1076-1083.