Research: Alex works on the evolutionary genetics of a variety
of organisms and prefers those with lots of genetic data and an
interesting ecological context. He enjoys analysis and writing
computer code in the pursuit of a better understanding of speciation
Teaching: Evolutionary Biology, Computational Biology and Ecological Genetics
Ph.D. student, Program in Ecology
Monia is interested in the processes of plant adaptation and speciation. She seeks evolutionary and biogeographic explanations for why a plant is living where it is, how it ended up there and what made it possible for it to adapt to its environment. She is working in the areas of ecological genetics and physiological ecology. Her initial focus involves the dynamics of hybridization in North American spruce and how hybrids can contribute to our understanding of the genetics of ecological differences between species.
Ph.D. student, Program in Ecology
Liz is interested in speciation, adaptation, and hybridization in aquatic systems, primarily in fish. For her Ph.D. she is working on sucker hybridization in the Colorado river basin in the mountain west. She is further developing her Bayesian modeling and computational skills.
Former lab members
Assistant Professor, Utah State University
Zach completed his Ph.D. in the lab in the spring of 2012. He is
broadly interested in hybridization, both as an opportunity to
dissect components of reproductive isolation and for its creative
role in homoploid hybrid speciation. His current empirical research
involves hybridization and experimental evolution
in Lycaeides butterflies. He also develops analytical
approaches for population genomics.
Research scientist, University of Wyoming
Brittany worked in the lab for two years, first as an
undergraduate and then as a research assistant. With Tom she worked
on genetic variation in lodgepole pine and with Alex she completed
two projects on population genetic variation in different species
of Penstemon. She completed her M.S. at the University of
Safran. Recently she returned to the University of Wyoming as a
research scientist working with
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Sheffield
Doro is interested in speciation and hybridization, particularly in the mechanisms that are responsible for the buildup and maintenance of reproductive barriers between incompletely isolated species. She uses computer simulations to study how neutral and non-neutral evolutionary processes can affect the heterogeneity of introgression in hybrid genomes. She is further interested in how the information that resides in hybrid genomes can potentially be used to reveal the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation. Doro joined the lab for a year (2013-2014), after completing her Ph.D. in Christian Lexer's lab at the University of Fribourg. She obtained a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to support her work in the lab. She is now a postdoc with Patrik Nosil.
Research scientist and lecturer, Utah State University
Lauren was a research scientist in the lab for a year. She is interested in speciation, hybridization, and phylogeography. She is investigating the contribution of morphological characters to reproductive isolation in Lycaeides butterflies. As part of this research, she is working to identify genetic and developmental constraints on the evolution of wing patterns. Lauren also studies the phylogeographic history of aquatic taxa endemic to aquifers in central Texas. The primary aim of this research is to understand how the history of population divergence and patterns of gene flow vary among taxa with different life histories. This work informs management decisions for the endangered and threatened populations of these taxa. Furthermore, in collaboration with other scientists and teachers, she has developed lessons for the secondary science classroom based on her research.
Assistant Professor, University of Nevada–Reno
Tom was a postdoctoral research scientist in the lab. His research is at the interface of ecology and evolutionary biology, specifically in the ecological processes that underlie population divergence, speciation, coevolution, and adaptive radiation. His work utilizes field and experimental techniques to quantify natural selection and resulting trait evolution, and molecular markers to address questions involving natural genetic variation and the genetic basis of adaptive evolution. Much of Tom's research has focused on crossbills (Aves: Loxia) and different conifers on which they specialize, and has investigated the contribution of geographically structured coevolution to the diversification of crossbills. His recent work involves phylogeographic and population genomic studies of lodgepole pine, and investigations into the genetic control of adaptive traits, most notably cone serotiny, as well as helping several collaborators obtain and analyze population genomic data.
Ph.D. student, Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences
Qiurong was a Ph.D. student (2007–2012) in the laboratory and pursued projects related to historical recombination in natural hybrid populations. Qiurong moved to Jun Ren's laboratory at the University of Wyoming at the end of 2012.