It has long been recognized that the observable characteristics or traits of an organism (i.e. its phenotype) are determined by the interaction of genes and the environment. Phenotypic plasticity refers to the extent to which a given set of genes produces different phenotypes depending on the environment. Yet, because this environmentally induced variation is not inherited, phenotypic plasticity has historically been considered unimportant in the evolutionary process. Recent research and new technological advancements in the measurement of gene expression, suggest that phenotypic plasticity may actually be an important mechanism facilitating adaptive evolutionary change. The research proposed here will use populations of Trinidadian guppies known to be adapted to different environments as a model system. Using a combination of field transplant and lab breeding experiments, the researcher will examine the short term and long term consequences of plastic changes in both the phenotype and gene expression. This study represents the first attempt to document the role of plasticity in the adaptive evolution. The researcher will integrate the work on phenotypic plasticity in guppies with an education and outreach plan. This plan includes the development of more effective undergraduate teaching methods, increased participation in research by underrepresented groups, and professional development and training for K-12 educators.