Using genomic analyses to refine evolutionary mechanisms
One benefit of using a model organism in some of our lab's experiments is the wealth of existing knowledge available, including a fully annotated genome. Leveraging this and other resources, we combine our demographic experimental results and theoretical models with genomic data and analysis to refine our understanding of the rapid evolutionary dynamics at play in species' ranges. Using this approach, we can better understand the role of genetic drift in shaping a stable range boundary or in causing the build up of deleterious genetic variation in an expanding population. Similarly, we can explore the dynamics of adaptation to different selective pressures and how that process shapes a species ability to persist in degraded habitats or how it can prevent the continued expansion of a population along an environmental gradient.