Scott Hodges received his undergraduate degrees in Botany and Biology at the University of California, Berkeley where he also received his Ph.D. in Botany in Herbert Baker’s laboratory. He then taught Ecology at Barnard College in Manhattan, followed by a postdoctoral position at the University of Georgia in Mike Arnold’s laboratory, where he began his studies onAquilegia. He then began his current position on the faculty in EEMB.
The goal of our research is to elucidate the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation. We have focused our efforts primarily on floral diversity in Aquilegia because of the huge variation in floral form among species with adaptations to bee, hummingbird and hawkmoth pollination. In particular, we have shown that the length, shape and color of nectar spurs affect which, and how, animals act as pollinators, which influence reproductive isolation. We have linked these studies with macroevolutionary patterns showing that the evolution of spurs is correlated with speciation and species diversification.
We are now working to identify the specific genetic variation accounting for floral and ecological variation in Aquilegia. To that end, I have led the development of genomic resources for the genus with colleagues Elena Kramer (Harvard U.), Magnus Nordborg (Gregor Mendel Inst., Vienna) and Justin Borevitz (Australian National University). Particularly exciting has been the development of a high quality reference genome by the Joint Genome Institute.