I am an evolutionary geneticist and computational biologist working at the intersection between population, comparative and functional genomics. An overarching goal of my work is to understand the mechanisms that generate maintain biodiversity. To do this, I integrate genome-scale data, field observations, and experimental approaches. Specific questions my current and past research are addressing are:
- How do demographic history and natural selection influence genetic and phenotypic variation in natural populations?
- What is the molecular basis differentiation across space of traits subject to natural and/or sexual selection, and to what extent is it influenced by environmental variation?
- What is the genetic architecture of convergent evolution in natural populations?
- How do human-mediated environmental perturbations influence species’ evolutionary trajectories and how do those perturbations influence our efforts to conserve biodiversity?
Arising as an indirect consequence of this research program, I also spend a fair amount of time kicking the tires of statistical methods used to analyze whole genome sequence data, documenting biases, and searching for solutions with an eye towards developing best practices and improving evolutionary inferences.While ongoing collaborative research efforts span a diversity of organisms and questions, below are active research areas on which I spend the bulk of my time:
- Causes of bias in gene expression estimation obtained from de novo transcriptome assemblies
- Critical assessment of clustering strategies for grouping de novo assembled transcriptome contigs into genes
- Development of best practices for gene expression analyses in non-model organisms
- Genetic architecture of scale loss in the evolution of the throat fan (dewlap) in Anolis lizards
- Genetic architecture of intraspecific divergence and interspecific convergence of dewlap pigmentation in Anolis lizards
- Genomic analysis of a dewlap pigmentation cline in a subspecies contact zone in Anolis distichus
- Landscape genomics of local adaptation in an African rainforest lizard (Trachylepis affinis)
- Patterns of malarial (Plasmodium spp.) infection in African rainforest lizards (Trachylepis spp.) across a rainforest-savanna gradient
- Habitat-driven differences in physiological performance between geographic populations of an African rainforest lizard (Trachylepis affinis)