I am an evolutionary geneticist, studying the relationship between the genomic and functional machinery of life, the nature and origin of variation that is produced by altering the genome, and the process of adaptation at the phenotypic level. My favorite questions include:
- Why are some aspects of the phenotype more variable than others?
- What is the relationship between variation and adaptation?
- Is evolution predictable?
I have now retired, and no longer have a lab. In the past , we used Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, as an experimental organism. Flies are wonderful for evolutionary studies because they have interesting and complex adaptations and behaviors, yet are easily and rapidly reared. The most recent experimental project studied the relationship between wings and legs of Drosophila, and we are still analyzing the data.
What did we actually do with flies?
- We changed the expression of particular genes, and observed
what happens to the phenotype.
- We look for the genomic causes of natural genetic
- We performed artifical selection.
- We did field experiments to look at the real-world
consequences of changing phenotypes.
- We modeled development to predict what should happen when we
change genes and phenotypes.
To potential Students
I am no longer accepting graduate students, and no longer supervise projects for undergraduates.