Department of Biology
Life Sciences Building
53 Campus Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506-6040
Plant Comparative Genomics, Molecular Evolution, Regulation of Gene Expression
My research interests encompass the underlying molecular genetic processes that contribute to the evolution of plant genomes. Specifically, I am interested in studying how organism-level processes such as hybridization and polyploidy, as well as genome-level processes, such as chromatin folding, epigenetic factors, transposon modification and recombination affect variation in genome organization and gene expression, and the role that these phenomena play in generating novel or lineage-specific traits. Ideal systems for these types of comparative genomics studies include many important crop species in which the phylogenetic relationships are already established. Use of these model systems thereby provides an evolutionary perspective on the genetic mechanisms and processes that lead to divergence and speciation.