- Undergraduate Education
- BS, Genetics, University of California at Davis
- Graduate Education
- Ph.D. Zoology, Michigan State University
Aaron Tarone, Ph.D. is a professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology and teaches entomology and forensic science courses. He is part of the academic leadership for an NSF/NIJ funded Center for Advanced Research in Forensic Science. His research and teaching interests relate to the molecular and organismal biology of fly development, evolution, ecology, and life history. This work impacts basic biology, decomposition ecology, forensic science, and green technologies. He worked as a graduate researcher in the section of Ecology and Evolution at UC Davis 2001-2003 working on Drosophila sex determination and hybrid genetics and as a postdoc in Molecular and Computational Biology at the University of Southern California from 2007-2009 learning genomic techniques in Drosophila, Saccharomyces, Arabidopsis, and non-model organisms. He has been publishing in molecular biology and evolution since 2003, in forensic entomology since 2006, and in genomics and microbiology since 2008, with more than 70 peer-reviewed articles. He has published in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His forensically relevant publications have appeared in the Journal of Medical Entomology, PloS One, Insect Molecular Biology, Ecosphere, Journal of Forensic Sciences, International Journal of Legal Medicine, Annual Review of Entomology, and Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Tarone has experience with mRNA and transcriptomic research in fruit flies and blow flies. His dissertation was funded by an NIJ grant to improve precision in age estimates using a quantitative RT-PCR based candidate gene approach, demonstrating the potential utility of gene expression in predicting fly age for forensic purposes. He has collaborated with Dr. Jeff Tomberlin on two projects that have received NIJ funding – one on the microbiome of decomposition and another on the upper thermal limits of blow fly biology. He also worked successfully on a number of genomic projects in forensic science including the development of transcriptomic tools for the forensically important blow fly Lucilia sericata, functional and quantitative genomics in C. macellaria (NIJ funded), and miRNA / proteomics in several fly species relevant to forensics (NIJ funded). The lab has also collaborated with other Diptera genomic researchers. Tarone also does state funded research in ant biology that intersects with aspects of forensic science, pest control, and basic ant biology. He collaborates with Jeff Tomberlin on Black Soldier Fly research. Together with M. Eric Benbow and Jeff Tomberlin, Tarone edited a book on Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and Their Applications in 2015 that was Shortlisted for The Wildlife Society Wildlife Publication Awards in 2018 in the edited book category.
Research Areas of Expertise:
Diptera biology, Gene expression, Genetics, Genomics, Evolution, Ecology, Forensic entomology, Microbial ecology and genetics
Matuszewski, M.J.R. Hall, G. Moreau, K.G. Schoenly, A.M. Tarone, M.H. Villet. Pigs vs people: The use of pigs as analogues for humans in forensic entomology and taphonomy research. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 2020; 134(2): 793-810.
M.L. Pimsler, C.E. Hjelmen, M.M. Jonika, A. Sharma, S. Fu, M. Bala, S.H. Sze, J.K. Tomberlin, A.M. Tarone. Sexual dimorphism in growth rate and gene expression throughout immature development in wild type Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Macquart. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2021; 368. Special Issue on Life and Death: New Perspectives and Applications in Forensic Science.
T.W. Rusch, A.M. Faris, L.E.J. Beebe, J.K. Tomberlin, A.M. Tarone. The upper thermal tolerance for a Texas population of the hairy maggot blow fly Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Ecological Entomology. 2020; 45(5): 1146-1157.
T.L. Turner, A.D. Stewart, A.T. Fields, W.R. Rice, A.M. Tarone. Population-based resequencing of experimentally evolved populations reveals the genetic basis of body size variation in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics. 2011; 7(3):e1001336.
L.L. Ellis, A.M. Quinn, A. Ahuja, B. Alfrejd, F.E. Gomez, C.E. Hjelmen, K.L. Moore, J.S. Johnston, A.M. Tarone. Intrapopulation genome size variation in D. melanogaster reflects life history variation and plasticity. PLoS Genetics. 2014; 10(7):e1004522