Evolutionary Biology, Comparative Genomics and Population Genetics

Evolutionary biology provides a unifying framework for understanding the similarities and differences among individuals and species. Population genetics focuses on evolutionary changes over generations, while comparative genomics investigates changes over longer timescales, notably among species. The overarching goal of both approaches is to describe and understand the genetic, developmental, and population processes that drive evolutionary dynamics and biodiversity. Central questions include:  What selection pressures influence genetic variation? How does evolution at genetic, molecular, and developmental levels give rise to novel features? To what extent are the genetic changes and population dynamics involved in adaptation predictable? How do new species arise? These questions are not only of fundamental importance to our understanding of evolution, they are foundational to other research areas, notably human and conservation genetics.

Research Groups

Andolfatto Lab

The evolutionary processes shaping genome evolution and the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptations and species-specific traits

Kelley Lab

Social communication in Xenopus: development, function and evolution of neural circuits for producing and responding to vocal signals

Landweber Lab

RNA-mediated epigenetics and genome reorganization during development

Przeworski Lab

Population and human genetics

Sella Lab

Evolutionary and population genetics of adaptation and disease

Tavaré Lab

Computational cancer genomics, including statistical and stochastic methods for understanding tumor heterogeneity and cancer evolution

Tavazoie Lab

Principles of cellular adaptation

Tosches Lab

Evolution of cell types and circuits in the vertebrate brain

Bleaching coral on the Great Barrier Reef (Fuller et al. Science 2020)

Affiliated Faculty