Lauren  Coats

Assistant Professor

Office: 229-D Allen


(225) 578-3130


  • Early American Literature
  • Early 19th Century - Early 20th Century US Literature
  • Literature of Travel and Exploration
  • Theories of Geography and Space
  • Theory and Use of Archives




Bachelor's Degree(s): University of Pennsylvania
Master's Degree: Duke University
PhD: Duke University

My current research interests stem from my desire to understand fundamental aspects of biological diversity. These fundamental aspects include the relationships of organisms and their morphological complexity. I study these aspects using phylogenetic systematics, geometric morphometrics and other tools. These tools allow us to understand broader themes such as historical biogeography, molecular evolution, conservation and the evolution of morphological diversity. As an ichthyologist my focus is on process oriented evolutionary biology in marine fishes and pattern oriented evolutionary biology in freshwater fishes. As a systematist I use molecular and morphological tools to help discover relationships among species and resolve taxonomy in order to better understand the evolutionary history of fishes.


2010 Principal Investigator, Andrew W. Mellon Grant Planning Grant

2007-2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Council of Library and Information Resources

2006-2007 Bass Advanced Instructorship, Duke University Graduate School

2005-2006 William Preston Few and Ashbel Brice Fellowships, Duke University English Department


Archives of Discovery: American Travel and Exploration.  Book manuscript in progress.  

Editor, North Ameri[c]an Atlas.  Lehigh University Press Digital Scholarly Editions. 2010.

“Grave Matters: Susanna Rowson’s Sentimental Geographies.”  In Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple, ed. Marion Rust.  Norton Critical Edition. August 2010.

“Those We Don’t Speak Of: Indians in The Village.” Co-authored with Matt Cohen, John David Miles, Kinohi Nishikawa, and Rebecca Walsh. PMLA.  March 2008.