Fred Spiegel

Fred Spiegel

Distinguished Professor and Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

(ARSC)-Arts & Sciences

(BISC)-Biological Sciences

Phone: 479-575-4248

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My major interests focus on the macroevolutionary patterns that have been followed by the organisms that make up the eukaryotic "supergroup" taxon Amoebozoa.  As part of a collaboration that includes Matthew Brown from Mississippi State, Daniel Lahr from the University of Sao Paolo, and Alexander Kudryavtsev of the University of St. Petersburg, we are trying to determine how the morphological diversity we see among this group of amoebae has arisen.  So far the project has been building a well supported tree of Amoebozoa that appears to be highly resolved.  Our preliminary result suggest that the last common ancestor share by all living amoebozoans might well have been a terrestrial organism whose life history included sex, a flagellated stage, and quite possibly the ability to produce stalked, spore bearing structures that held their spores up into the air for dispersal.  Some of the slime molds that are members of the Amoebozoa have this level of complexity, but most amoebozoans are much simpler with respect to their life histories.  Thus, one important lesson the Amoebozoa may be able to teach us is that trends from ancestral complexity to derived simplicity are much more major themes in macroevolution that most biologists have thought.

I am also part of a large international group who is initiating a project to understand the importance of protists as components of the soil community.  To date we know much less about their roles than we do about the roles of fungi, bacteria, and small invertebrates.  This is in spite of the possibility that protists make up the bulk of eukaryotic biodiversity in soils.

I also have a great interest in discovering if LECA (Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor) was a terrestrial rather than an aquatic organism.  Even if this hypothesis is incorrect, the work needed to test it should go a long way toward developing our understanding of the macroevolutionary history of eukaryotes.Ex

My major teaching focus at present is directed toward developing a new course, Biology for Majors, that prepares students to go on into our core biology courses of Cell Biology, General Genetics, General Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology.

   BIOL 1584, Biology for Majors

BIOL 2323, General Genetics

BIOL 4143/5143, Advanced Methods in Microscopy

BIOL 4404/5404, Comparative Botany

BIOL 4424/5414, Mycology

BIOL 4724/5734, Protistology

B.A. Drew University, Madison, NJ, with Honors, 1974

Ph.D. University of North Carolina, 1978


*= present and former students

Spiegel, FW, LL Shadwick*, G Ndiritu*, MW Brown*, M Aguilar*, and JDL Shadwick*. 2017. Protosteloid Amoeboazoa (Protosteliids, Protosporangiida, Cavostellida, Schizoplasmodiida, Fractoviteliida, and sporcarpic members of Vanellida, Centramoebida, and Pellitida). In: JM Archibald, AGB Simpson, and C. Slamovits, eds.  Handbook of the Protists (Second Edition of the Handbook of Protoctista by Margulis et al.) Springer Reference Works (e-book) DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-32669-6_12-1. Invited.

Kang, S, AK Tice*, FW Spiegel, JD Silberman, T Pánek, I Cepicka, M Kostka, A, Kosakyan, DM Alcântara, AJ Roger, LL Shadwick*, A Smirnov, A Kudryavtsev, DJG Lahr, and MW Brown*. 2017. Between a pod and a hard test: the deep evolution of amoebae.  Mol. Biol. Evol sx162. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msx162.

Geisen, S, EAD Mitchell, DM Wilkinson, S Adl, M Bonkowski, MW Brown*, AM Fiore-Donno, TJ Heger, VEJ Jassey, V Krashevka, DJG Lahr, K Marcisz, M Mulo, R Payne, D Singer, OR Anderson, DJ Charman, F Ekelund, BS Griffiths, R Rønn, A Smirnov, D Bass, L Belbahri, C Berney, Q Blandenier, A Chatzinotas, M Clarholm, M Dunthorn, A Feest, W Foissner, B Fournier, E Gentekaki, M Hajek, J Helder, A Jousset, S Kumar, A La Terza, M Lamentowicz, Y Mazel, SS Santos, CVW Seppey FW Spiegel, J Walonchnik, A Winding, and E Lara. 2017. Soil protistology rebooted: 30 fundamental questions to start with. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 111:94-103.

Tice, AK*, LL Shadwick*, AM Fiore-Donno, S Geisen, S Kang, GA Schuler, FW Spiegel, K Wilkinson*, M Bonkowski, K Dumack, DJG Lahr, E Voelcker, S Clauss, J Zhang, and MW Brown*. 2016. Expansion of the molecular and morphological diversity of Acanthamoebidae (Centramoebida, Amoebozoa) and identification of a novel life cycle type within the group.  Biology Direct 11:69 DOI 10.1186/s13062-016-0171-0.

Shadwick, L*, MW Brown*, AK Tice*, and FW Spiegel.  2016. A new amoeba with protosteloid fruiting, Luapeleamoeba hula, n.g., n.sp. Acta Protozoologica 55:123-134

Tice, AK*, JD Silberman, AC Walthall, KND Le, FW Spiegel, and MW Brown*. 2016. Sorodiplophrys stercorea: another novel lineage of sorocarpic multicellularity. J. Eukaryotic Microbiol. 63:623-628.

Spiegel, FW. 2016. Unikonts, evolution and diversification of (with emphasis on fungal-like forms). In: Kliman, RM (ed.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology. Vol. 4, pp. 325-332.  Oxford: Academic Press. Invited.

Schnittler, M, Novozhilov, YK, Shadwick, JDL*, Spiegel, FW, García-Carvajal, E, and König, P. 2015. What substrate cultures can reveal:  Myxomycetes and myxomycete-like organisms from the Sultanate of Oman. Mycosphere 6:356-384. DOI: 10.5943/mycosphere/6/3/11.

 Kudryavtsev, A, MW Brown*, A Tice*, FW Spiegel, J Pawlowski, and OR Anderson. 2014. A revision of the order Pellitida Smirnov et al., 2011 (Amoebozoa, Discosea) based on ultrastructural and molecular evidence, with description of Endostelium cystalliferum. n. sp. Protist 165:208-229. DOI:10.1016/j.protis.2014.02.003

Zahn, G*, SL Stephenson, and FW Spiegel. 2014. Ecological distribution of protosteloid amoebae in New Zealand.  PeerJ 2:e296; DOI 10.7717/peerj.296.

de Haan, M, C Cocquyt, A Tice*, G Zahn*, and FW Spiegel. 2014. First records of protosteloid amoebae (Eumycetozoa) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Plant Ecology and Evolution 147:85-92. dx.doi.org/10.5091/plecevo.2014.883.

Adl, SM, AGB Simpson, CE Lane, J Lukes, D Bass, SS Bowser, MW Brown*, F Burki, M Dunthorn, V Hampl, A Heiss, M Hoppenrath, E Lara, L Le Gall, DH Lynn, H McManus, EAD Mitchell, SE Mozley-Stanridge, LW Parfrey, J Pawlowski, S Rueckert, L Shadwick*, CL Schoch, A Smirnov, and FW Spiegel. 2012. The Revised Classification of Eukaryotes. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 59:429-493

Schnittler, M, YK Novozhilov, E Carvahal, FW Spiegel. 2012.  Myxomycete diversity in the Tarim basin and eastern Tian-Shan, Xingian Prov., China.  Fungal Diversity. In press. DOI 10.1007/s13225-012-0186-5.

Schnittler, M, YK Novozhilov, M Romeralo, M Brown*, and FW Spiegel. 2012. Myxomycetes and myxomycete-like organisms. In: Frey, W (ed).  Engler’s Syllabus of Plant Families, Part 1/1, Blue-green algae, myxomycetes and myxomycete-like organisms, Phytoparasitic protists, heterotrophic Heterokontobiota and Fungi p.p. Bornträger, Stuttgart. Pp. 40-88.

Spiegel, FW. 2012. Contemplating the first Plantae. Science 335:809-810. DOI:10.1126/science.1218515. Invited.

Brown, MW*, JD Silberman, FW Spiegel. 2012. A contemporary evaluation of the acrasids (Acrasidae, Heterolobosea, Excavata). Eur. J. Protistol. 48:103-123.


Spiegel, FW. 2011. Commentary on the chastity of amoebae: re-evaluating evidence for sex in amoeboid organisms. Proc. R. Soc. B.  278:2096-2097.  DOI:  10.1098/rspb.2001.0608. Invited.

Aguilar, M*, FW Spiegel, C Lado. 2011. Microhabitat and climatic preferences of protosteloid amoebae in a region with a Mediterranean climate. Microb. Ecol. 62:361-373. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-011-9843-6.

Brown, MW*, JD Silberman, and FW Spiegel. 2011. “Slime molds” among the Tubulinea (Amoebozoa): molecular systematic and taxonomy of Copromyxa. Protist 162:277-287. DOI: 10.1016/protist.2010.09.003.

Brown, MW*, JD Silberman, and F.W. Spiegel. 2010. A morphologically simple species of Acrasis (Heterolobosea, Excavata), Acrasis helenhemmesae n. sp. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 57:346-353. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2010.00481.x.

Romeralo, M. FW Spiegel, and S Baldauf. 2010. A fully resolved phylogeny of the social amoebas (Dictyostelia) based on combined ncSSU and ITS rDNA sequences.  Protist 161:539-548. DOI: 10.1016/j.protist.2009.12.006.

Ndiritu, GN*, FW Spiegel, and SL Stephenson. 2009. Rapid biodiversity assessment of myxomycetes in two regions of Kenya.  Sydowia 61:287-319.

Shadwick. L*, FW Spiegel, JDLShadwick*, MW Brown*, and JD Silberman.  2009. Eumycetozoa=Amoebozoa?: SSUrDNA Phylogeny of protosteloid slime molds and its significance for the amoebozoan supergroup.  PLoS One 4:e6754.

Brown, MW*, FW Spiegel, JD Silberman. 2009. Phylogeny of the “forgotten” cellular slime mold, Fonticula alba, reveals a key evolutionary branch within Opisthokonta. Mol. Biol. and Evol. 26:2699-2709. DOI:10.1093/molbev/msp185.

Shadwick JD*, SL Stephenson and Spiegel FW. 2009. Distribution and ecology of protostelids in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mycologia 101:320-328. DOI: 10.3852/08-167.

Ndiritu, GN*, FW Spiegel, and SL Stephenson. 2009. Distribution and ecology of the assemblages of myxomycetes associated with the major vegetation types in Big Bend National Park, USA. Fungal Ecology 4:168-183. DOI:10.1016/j.funeco.2009.03.002.

Ndiritu, GG*, Winsett, KE, Spiegel, FW and Stephenson, S.L. 2009.  A checklist of African Myxomycetes. Mycotaxon 107:353-356. DOI: 10.5248/107.353.

Ndiritu, GG*, Stephenson, SL and Spiegel FW 2009. First records and microhabitat assessment of protostelids in the Aberdare Region, Central Kenya. J. Eukaryot.  Microbiol. 56:148-158.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2008.00382.x.

Brown, MW*, FW Spiegel, and JD Silberman. 2007.  Amoeba at attention – phylogenetic affinity of Sappinia pedata. J. Eukaryotic Microbiol. 54:511-519. DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2007.00292.x

Lindley, LA*, SL Stephenson, and FW Spiegel. 2007.  Protostelids and Myxomycetes isolated from aquatic habitats.  Mycologia. 99:504-509.

Aguilar, M*, C Lado, and FW Spiegel. 2007. Protostelids from deciduous forests: first data from southwestern Europe. Mycol. Res. 111:863-872. DOI: 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.05.010.

Adl, SM, BS Leander, AGB Simpson, JM Archibald, OR Anderson, D Bass, SS Bowser, G Brugerolle, MA Farmer, S. Karpov, M Kolisko, CE Lane, DJ Lodge, DG Mann, R Meisterfeld, L. Mendoza,  O. Moestrup, SE Mozley-Standridge, AV Smirnov, and F Spiegel.  2007. Diversity, nomenclature, and taxonomy of protists. Syst. Biol. 56(4):1-6. DOI: 1080/10635150701494127.

Spiegel, FW, JD Shadwick*, LA Lindley*, MW Brown*, and G. Nderitu*. 2007. A beginner’s guide to identifying the protostelids. Available as a pdf on the Eumycetozoan Project website: .http://slimemold.uark.edu/educationframe.htm

Lindley, LA*, SM Edwards*, and FW Spiegel. 2006. Variations in nucleolar morphology in eumycetozoans. Revista Mexicana de Micologia.  23:75-81.

Spiegel FW, Shadwick JD*, Hemmes DE. 2006.  A new ballistosporous species of Protostelium. Mycologia 98:144-148.

Tesmer, J, B Rulik, FW Spiegel, J Shadwick*, and M Schnittler. 2005. Protostelids from German  beech forests.  Mycological Progress 4:266-271.

Adl, M.S., A.G.B. Simpson, M.A. Farmer, R.A. Andersen, R.O. Andersen, J. Barta, S.    Bowser, G. Brugerolle, R. Fensome, S. Fredericq, T.Y. James, S. Karpov, P. Kugrens,  J.    Krug, C. Lane, L.A. Lewis, J. Lodge, D.H. Lynn, D. Mann, R.M. McCourt, L. Mendoza, O. Moestrup, S.E. Mozeley-Strandridge, T.A. Nerad, C. Shearer, F. Spiegel, and M.F.R.J. Taylor.  2005. The new higher level classification of eukaryotes and taxonomy of protists. J. Euk. Microbiol. 52:399-451. DOI:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2005.00053.x.

Spiegel FW, Haskins EF, Cavender JC, Landolt JC, Lindley-Settlemyre LA*, Edwards SM*, Shadwick JD*. 2005. A beginner’s guide to isolating and culturing eumycetozoans. Available as a pdf on the Eumycetozoan Project website: http://slimemold.uark.edu/pdfs/isohandbook.pdf 

Spiegel, F.W., J.D. Shadwick*, and L. Lindley-Settlemyre*.  2005.  A beginner’s guide to identifying the common protostelids.  Revised, May, 2005.   Available as a pdf on the  Eumycetozoan Project website: http://slimemold.uark.edu/pdfs/Handbook1_3rd.pdf  (Click "here") .  (Better pictures for some species and several new species have been added since the first in 2004.)

Spiegel, F.W., J. D Shadwick*, and L. Lindley-Settlemyre*. 2004. A beginner’s guide to identifying the common protostelids.  Available in PDF format from The Eumycetozoan Project Web Site (replaced by above)

Spiegel, F.W., S.L. Stephenson, H.W. Keller, D.L. Moore*, and J.C. Cavender. 2004. Mycetozoans. In: Biodiversity of Fungi, Inventory and Monitoring Methods. (G.M. Mueller, G.F. Bills and M.S. Foster, eds). Elsevier Academic Press, Burlington, MA.  547-576.

Stephenson, S.L., M. Schnittler, C. Lado, A. Estrada-Torres, D. Wrigley-de Basanta, J. C. Landolt, Y.K. Novozhilov, J. Clark, D.L. Moore*, and F.W. Spiegel. 2004. Studies of neotropical mycetozoans. Syst. Geogr. Pl. 74:87-108.

Swanson, A. R*., J.D. Shadwick*, D.E. Hemmes, and F.W. Spiegel. 2004. Ecological succession of dictyostelid slime molds on the island of Hawai’i. Syst. Geogr. Pl. 74:67-79.

Swanson, A.R*., F.W. Spiegel, and J.C. Cavender. 2002.  Taxonomy, slime molds, and the questions we ask.  Mycologia 94:968-979.

Moore, D.L*. and F.W. Spiegel.  2000.  Microhabitat distribution of protostelids in temperate habitats in northwest Arkansas.  Can. J. Bot. 78:985-994.

Moore, D.L*. and F.W. Spiegel.  2000.  Microhabitat distribution of protostelids in tropical forests of the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico.  Mycologia 92:616-625.

Moore, D.L*. and F.W. Spiegel.  2000.  The effect of season on protostelids communities.  Mycologia 92:599-608.

Spiegel, F.W. and S.L. Stephenson.  2000.  Protostelids of Macquarie Island.  Mycologia 92:849-852.

Spiegel, F.W., S.B. Lee, and S.A. Rusk. 1995. Eumycetozoans and molecular systematics. Can. J. Bot.73:s738-s746.

Moore, D.L.* and F.W. Spiegel. 1995. A new technique for sampling protostelids. Mycologia 87:414-418.

Spiegel, F. W., D.L. Moore*, and J. Feldman. 1995. Tychosporium acutostipes, a new protostelid which modifies the concept of the Protosteliidae. Mycologia 87:265-270.

Rusk, S., F.W. Spiegel, and S.B. Lee. 1995. Design of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers for amplifying nuclear ribosomal DNA from slime molds. Mycologia 87:140-143.

Spiegel, F.W. 1994. Review of: Nannenga-Bremekamp N.E. (1991): A Guide to the Temperate Myxomycetes. Translated by Feest A. and Burggraaf Y. Biopress Limited, Bristol, 409pp. ISBN 0 948737-12-3. Eur. J. Protistol. 30:126-127.

Spiegel, F.W., S.C. Gecks*, and J. Feldman. 1994. Revision of the genus Protostelium (Eumycetozoa) I: the Protostelium mycophaga group and the P. irregularis group. J. Eukaryotic Micro. 41:511-518.

Cisar, C.R., D.O. TeBeest, and F.W. Spiegel. 1994. Sequence similarity of mating type idiomorphs: A method which detects similarity among the Sordariaceae fails to detect similar sequences in other filamentous ascomycetes. Mycologia 86:540-546.

Cisar, C.R., F.W. Spiegel, D.O. TeBeest, and C. Trout. 1994. Evidence for mating between isolates of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides with different host specificities. Current Genetics 25:330-335.

Spiegel, F.W. and J. Feldman. 1993. Fruiting body ultrastructure in the protostelid Schizoplasmodiopsis vulgare. Mycologia 85:894-897.

Xia, J-Q., F.N. Lee, K.S. Kim, and F.W. Spiegel. 1993. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies to conidial antigens of Pyricularia grisea. Exper. Mycol. 17:170-181.

Spiegel, F.W. 1991. A proposed phylogeny of the protostelids. BioSystems 25:113-120.

Spiegel, F.W. and J. Feldman.   1991.  Microtubular cytoskeletons of the trophic cells of five eumycetozoans.   Protoplasma 63:189-198.

Spiegel, F.W. 1990. Phylum plasmodial slime molds, Class Protostelida. In: Handbook of Protoctista. (L. Margulis, J.O. Corliss, M. Melkonian, and D. Chapman, eds.). Jones and Bartlett, Boston. 484-497.

Spiegel, F.W. and J. Feldman. 1989. Fruiting body development in the mycetozoan Echinostelium bisporum. Can. J. Bot. 67:1285-1293.

Cox. E.C., F.W. Spiegel, G. Byrne, J.W. McNally, and L. Eisenbud. 1988. Spatial patterns in the fruiting bodies of the cellular slime mold Polysphondylium pallidum. Differentiation 38:73-81.

Spiegel, F.W. and J. Feldman. 1988. The trophic cells of Clastostelium recurvatum, a third member of the myxomycete-like protostelids. Mycologia 80:525-535.

Spiegel, F.W., J. Feldman, and W.E. Bennett. 1986. Ultrastructure and development of the amoebo-flagellate cells of the protostelid Protosporangium articulatum. Protoplasma 132:115-128.

Spiegel, F.W. andJ. Feldman. 1986. Mitosis in the protostelid Ceratiomyxella tahitiensis (Eumycetozoa). Can. J. Bot. 64:932-942.

Spiegel, F.W. and J. Feldman. 1985. Obligate amoebae of the protostelids: significance for the concept of Eumycetozoa. BioSystems 18:377-386.

Best, S.C.* and F.W. Spiegel. 1984. Protostelids and other simple slime molds of Hueston Woods State Park. In: Hueston Woods State Park and Nature Preserve, Proceedings of Symposium, April 16-18, 1982. (G.E. Willeke, ed.). Miami University, Oxford, OH. 116-121.

Spiegel, F.W. 1984. Protostelium nocturnum, a new, minute, ballistosporous protostelid. Mycologia 76:443-447.

Spiegel, F.W. 1982. Mitosis in the protostelid Planoprotostelium aurantium. Protoplasma 113:178-188.

Spiegel, F.W. 1982. The ultrastructure of the trophic cells of the protostelid Planoprotostelium aurantium. Protoplasma 113:165-177.

Spiegel, F.W. 1981. Phylogenetic significance of the flagellar apparatus of Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 97:183-189.

Spiegel, F.W. 1981. Phylogenetic significance of the flagellar apparatus in protostelids (Eumycetozoa). BioSystems 14:491-499.

Spiegel, F.W. and E.C. Cox. 1980. A one-dimensional pattern in the cellular slime mould Polysphondylium pallidum. Nature (London) 286:806-807.

Spiegel, F.W., L.S. Olive, and R.M. Brown, Jr. 1979. Roles of actin during sporocarp culmination in the simple mycetozoan Planoprotostelium aurantium. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 76:2335-2339.

Spiegel, F.W. and L.S. Olive. 1978. New evidence for the validity of Copromyxa protea. Mycologia 70:843-847.

Postdoc:  Pattern formation in the cellular slime mold Polysphondylium, Department of Biology, Princeton University, 1978-1980

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1980-1982

Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Distinguished Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, 1982-present.  (Department of Botany and Microbiology 1982-1990)

Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, 2008-2012

Ex officio Commissioner, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 2008-2015

Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, 2017-present.

William H. Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching, Mycological Society of America, 2015

President- Elect (2013-2014), President (2014-2015), and Past President (2015-pres), International Society of Protistologists