I study contemporary evolution in wild populations. For example, how do yearly fluctuations in available food affect natural selection on behavior2. Or, when populations evolve in response to seasonality: is it always the same genes?3
I am especially interested in applying the study of evolutionary processes to conservation management and we are genotyping hundreds of Black rhinos to study how natural selection might interact with management actions. I am also sequencing and assembling the African wild dog and red squirrel genomes.
I'm a postdoc in Dmitri Petrov's lab at Stanford University.
Wild dog blood samples have arrived after a very long import process... Next step extract DNA!
Along with Painted Dog Conservation, we are starting a project to sequence and assemble the African wild dog genome!
My photo of a juvenile red squirrel is on the cover of this month's JEB!
Our paper "Selection on female behaviour fluctuates with offspring environment" has been accepted by the Journal of Evolutionary biology! Now published!
Our paper "Illumina TruSeq synthetic long-reads empower de novo assembly and resolve complex, highly repetitive transposable elements" is published! PLoS ONE.
Our paper using Moleculo Illumina long reads for de novo assembly is on bioRxiv!
Does seasonal selection on D. melanogaster phenotypes result in repeatable evolution of allele frequencies across space and time?
Our plan is to use the 10X Genomics Gem Code platform to generate long-range genomic data, and combine this with whole-genome Illumina reads to generate a high-quality de novo genome assembly.
In collaboration with Raoul du Toit, Director of the Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe, we are using genomic tools to measure the reproductive success of over 800 rhinos in managed herds. Previous attempts with microsatellite loci were inconclusive due to low genetic diversity. We will then assess whether management actions (such as dehorning, or relocation) affect reproductive success.
Using the high-density genotypes we will also characterize genetic diversity, structure, and inbreeding within managed rhino herds. Finally, we will test for evidence of a prehistoric biogeographic barrier separating Kwazulu-Natal origin and Zambezi origin populations.