Researcher biography

Genomics, Adaptation and Behaviour

Our lab aims to test fundamental hypotheses in genetics and evolutionary biology.

Principally, we are interested the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change during adaptive evolution. This line of inquiry requires an understanding of both the type of selection acting on traits as they evolve and also ultimately the functional polymorphisms available for selection to act upon. At the present time we are interested in studying phenotypes that have behavioral consequences such as mating display traits because of the very different kinds of selective processes that they experience compared with other traits. We presently use both native and exotic species of Drosophila in our work but will consider collaborative study of non-model organisms that represent examples of recurring ecological and evolutionary phenomena.

We are equipped to use a broad range of techniques in our investigations including experimental evolution, field-based selection studies, quantitative genetics, molecular population genetics, genomics and advanced quantitative methods in statistics and computational biology. The broad range of techniques available to our group provides students with a unique opportunity to broaden their skill sets as they address fundamental questions.

Current Projects

How can sexual dimorphism evolve when males and females share a genome?

The genomic basis of reproductive character displacement

Dissecting the genetic architecture of a mate recognition system

Why does mutual mate choice evolve?

The evolution of clines in sexual display traits in Drosophila