Ashley Elias

Assistant Professor of Biology


I am an ecological and evolutionary biologist, broadly trained in organismal and molecular biology, with college level teaching experience. As an NSF postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University, I currently work in the lab of Dr. Reade Roberts within the genetics group and also associated with the W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology. My doctorate was completed in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University with Dr. Krista Nichols.



My research focuses on the mechanisms and adaptive significance of complex traits in fishes. I use behavioral experiments, comparative approaches, and genomic & bioinformatinc tools to understand the generation and maintenance of the variations we can observe in nature.

Learn more about my projects below.


A sample of the techniques used in my research.


  • Statistical Analyses (R, SAS, JMP)
  • Next-Gen Sequencing Analyses
  • Gene Alignment and Annotation
  • Behavioral Quantification


  • DNA and RNA Extraction
  • Sanger Sequencing and Genotyping
  • Next-Gen Sequencing Library Prep
  • RAD Library Prep


  • Electrofishing and Seining
  • Aquaria Setup and Maintenance
  • Elastomer and PIT Tagging
  • Specimen Sampling and Dissection


Locations of my research and studies.


Courses I have taught, TA'd, and guest lectured.


Some of my many activities outside the lab and classroom.

Kenan Fellows

Active mentor in the Kenan Fellows Program, the largest STEM-focused teacher leadership program in North Carolina and a nationally recognized provider of professional development for educators. The program focuses on the development of curriculum the fellow can implement in their classroom and share among other educators.


Mentoring undergraduates has been a focus in my research since the beginning. From getting students involved with working in the lab to taking a student on field work in Alaska, my goal has been to foster long-term relationships with students and their interest in science.

Super Saturday

Taught Weird Science and Trip Through the Rainforest and served as the course assistant for Endangered in the Super Saturday program which is an enrichment program for gifted students from age 4 through eighth grade hosted by the Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue University.


Photos from time in the field and lab.

Juvenile Brook Trout Nipigon Bay, Canada
Nichols Lab Purdue University
Canoeing Sashin Lake, Alaska
Sampling Finland