Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Arizona

The lab moved to the University of Arizona, Department of Entomology in January 2017.

Our lab investigates how the ecology of a species shapes patterns of variation at multiple levels (genes, pathways, transcriptomes, genomes, physiology, behavior and life history), how populations adapt to environmental shifts, the implication of ecological adaptation in the process of speciation and the role of sexual selection and sexual conflict in the evolution of reproductive incompatibilites. Our research revolves around these fundamental aspects of evolutionary biology. We mostly focus on a group of cactophilic Drosophila that inhabit the deserts of North America. These Drosophila species are an excellent system to study given that their ecology is well understood and the fact that we can perform many genetic, genomic, manipulative and life history experiments.

A bit more specific our lab works on: (i) the study of the genetical basis of adaptation; (ii) speciation genetics/genomics and the evolution of post-mating pre-zygotic (PMPZ) reproductive incompatibilities; (iii) the effects of ecological adaptation in behavioral evolution and its consequence on the evolution of reproductive isolation; (iv) genomics of plasticity and transgenerational effects; (v) population/comparative genomics via the sequencing and assembly of genomes of several cactophilic Drosophila species; (vi) examining the role of gene expression changes in evolution; (vii) the relationship between molecular, expression and life history variation and evolution; (viii) using new genome editing techniques, CRISPR-Cas9, to assess the functional consequence of variants in an ecological context.