Macroevolution

Macroevolutionists study the processes that cause the origination and extinction of species, genes and functionally important traits - and the evolutionary patterns that result from these processes. Macroevolutionary study involves understanding the environmental factors and evolutionary innovations that influence speciation, diversification and extinction; timing and sequences of trait evolution; convergent evolution; and the correlated evolution of multiple traits. To accomplish these studies macroevolutionists utilize historical scientific methods, including tools from phylogenetics and paleontology.

Faculty

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Our laboratory studies the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation using genomic analyses and field-based studies in the genus Aquilegia (Columbines).

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Our lab addresses the question of how complex traits originate during evolution. We primarily study invertebrate visual systems and eyes, addressing questions like, when did a particular phenotype evolve? When did the components of that phenotype evolve? Where did those components come from? What evolutionary processes and mechanisms were involved?

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Molecular and genetic control of development in the nematode C. elegans; regulation of programmed cell death; mechanisms of tumorigenesis.