Evolutionary Biology

Evolutionary biology studies the mechanisms of both micro- and macro-evolution, seeking to better understand the various influences shaping the form and nature of life.

Personnel

Plant genome structure and evolution, especially the nature of rearrangements and the contributions of transposable elements. The relationship between genome structure/evolution and gene function. Genetic diversity and its use in under-utilized crops of the developing world. The rapid evolution of complex disease resistance loci in plants.…

Our primary focus is plant evolutionary genetics and genomics. More specifically, we're studying the genetic basis of evolutionary divergence within the sunflower family (i.e., the Compositae or the Asteraceae). We also maintain an interest in the ecological and evolutionary impact of transgene escape from genetically modified crops into their…

My research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary questions concerning plant reproduction. My students and I study the processes that generate and maintain genetic variation in characters important for reproductive success of plants in natural populations. We combine observations from natural populations, manipulative experiments in the…

The research in my lab is targeted on enhancing our understanding of the organization of grass genomes, in particular wheat, millets and switchgrass, a biofuel crop. This is done through genetic and genomic analyses in the target species themselves, as well as through comparative analyses between crop and sequenced model genomes.

The Donovan lab investigates plant evolutionary ecophysiology, with an emphasis on resource use and stress tolerance traits as they relate to plant performance. We study adaptations to growth limiting factors such as drought, nutrient limitations, and salinity. Our current study system primarily consists of wild and cultivated sunflowers that …

My research employs genomic, phylogenetic and experimental analyses to investigate the genetic and ecology processes that influence diversification. Specific interests include the molecular genetics of diversification including speciation; the molecular basis of adaptation; the evolution of genome structure; genomic processes influencing gene…

My current research interests are in the broad areas of bioinformatics and plant evolutionary/ecological genetics. We are studying the genetics, evolution, and ecology, of the insect-eating pitcher plants (Sarracenia species). Most of my bioinformatics work is in collaboration with Liming Cai of the Computer Science Department to develop…

My lab studies intrinsic genetic properties that make plants different from other organisms and from one another. In particular, selected plants have become crops because of unique attributes that also make them valuable as botanical models. Crop genetics thus offers the opportunity to increase basic scientific knowledge and apply it to…

A fundamental goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how populations become reproductively isolated species. Does speciation occur in allopatry or do populations diverge in the presence of some gene flow? What is the genetic basis of reproductive isolation? What are the evolutionary forces that create and maintain variation in speciation…

The unifying theme of my research is investigation of the evolutionary factors that shape patterns of genetic variation in natural plant populations and the manner in which species-wide diversity is partitioned and maintained at various spatial and temporal scales. More specifically, my lab studies: i) contemporary gene flow using direct…

The current research in my lab is directed to understand the establishment and maintenance of histone modifications in plants, their roles in regulating gene expression and development, and how they have contributed to the evolution of gene and genome functions. We use Arabidopsis and rice as model systems and employ a wide range of approaches…