Kenneth E. Filchak Teaching Professor

Evolutionary Biology
Kenneth E. Filchak

Research Interests:

My research interests are quite broad, generally focused on evolutionary biology, ecology, behavior, and organismal biology. Most of my published research has been in the area of ecological genetics and speciation using the Rhagoletis pomonella model system. My organismal interests include most areas of the tree of life with recent attention on advances in bacteriology and the microbiome. Some earlier work includes vertebrate paleontology, classical mammalogy, and sexual selection. Further, the history of science has always been an acute area of interest to me. Recently, I published a brief article on Father Julius Nieuwland C.S.C., the founder of modern synthetic rubber. Finally the practices and science of effective pedagogy are always of great professional interest.



  • Rev. Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching 2019
  • Teaching Professor, University of Notre Dame 2017
  • Director of Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Program 2013-2017
  • Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching 2012
  • Associate Teaching Professor, University of Notre Dame 2009-2017
  • Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Notre Dame 2003-2009
  • Post Doc, University of Notre Dame, Insect Host-Plant Interactions 2001-2003
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame 2001
  • B.S. Zoology., Michigan State University 1994


Recent Papers:

  • Filchak, K.E., J. L. Feder, J. B. Roethele, and U. Stolz. 1999. A field test for host-plant dependent selection on larvae of the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella. Evolution 53:187-200.
  • Feder J.L., & K. E. Filchak. 1999. It’s About Time: The evidence for host plant-mediated selection in the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, and its implications for fitness trade-offs in phytophagous insects. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 56:211-225.
  • Filchak, K.E., J. B. Roethele, and J. L. Feder. 2000. Natural Selection and sympatric divergence in the apple maggot Rhagoletis pomonella. Nature, 407:739-742.
  • Filchak, K.E., J. B. Roethele, and J. L. Feder. 2001. Effects of photoperiod and light intensity on the genetics diapause in the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 94:902-908.
  • Feder J.L., J. B. Roethele, K. E. Filchak, J. Niedbalski, and J. Romero-Severson. 2003. Evidence for inversions polymorphism related to sympatric host race formation in the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella. Genetics, 163: 939-953
  • Funk D., K. E. Filchak, J. L. Feder. 2002. Herbivorous insects: model systems for the comparative study of speciation ecology. Genetica, special volume. W. Etges and M. Noor eds. 116: 251-267.
  • Jeffrey L. Feder, Stewart H. Berlocher, Joseph B. Roethele, Hattie Dambroski, James J. Smith, William L. Perry, Vesna Gavrilovic, Kenneth E. Filchak, Juan Rull, and Martin Aluja. 2003. Allopatric genetic origins for sympatric host-plant shifts and race formation in Rhagoletis. PNAS:100 10314-10319
  • Filchak K.E., W. Etges, N. Besansky, and J. L. Feder. 2005. The ecological genetics of host use in the Diptera. In The Evolutionary Biology of Flies. B. Wiegmann & D. Yeates eds. Columbia University Press. New York.
  • Feder J.L., Xie X.F., Rull J., Velez S., Forbes A., Leung B., Dambroski H., Filchak K.E., Aluga M. 2005. Mayr, Dobzhansky, and Bush and the complexities of sympatric speciation in Rhagoletis. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 102: 6573-6580.
  • Filchak, K.E., 2009. In Homage to our Founder; a Brief Biography of Reverend Julius Aloysious Nieuwland C.S.C. American Midland Naturalist. Am. Mid. Nat: 162, April
  • Feder, J.L., Powell T.H.Q., Filchak K., Leung B., 2010. The diappause response of Rhagoletis pomonella to varying environmental conditions and its significance for geographic and host plant-related adaptation. Entomologia Experimentalis ET Applicata: Vol:136, Issue:1, Pgs. 31-44.
  • Filchak. K.E. 2019. 8 Mistakes That Novice Instructors Make—and How to Avoid Them. Course Hero Education Corporation.
  • Bland, R, Filchak K., and Hellenthal, R. How to Know the Insects. 4th edition. Waveland Press, Chicago Illinois, USA.  In preparation