In my lab, we are interested in using and combining '-omics' data to dissect the genetic basis of complex traits, especially those traits that lead to diversification among closely related individuals. Determining what changes in the genome contribute to divergence not only increases our understanding of evolutionary processes, but in crop systems, this knowledge can help plant breeders in their efforts to improve or create new varieties. We use a combination of whole genome/transcriptome comparisons along with association mapping and population genetics methods to explore different questions, and most recently we are beginning to look at the role of structural mutations in recent and ongoing diversification.
You can learn more about past projects and ongoing research by clicking the links below. You can also check out some highlights from our sweet sorghum work here. If you are interested in joining the lab or would like to find out more, please email me directly. If you are interested in applying to graduate school at UNC Charlotte, you can find more information here.
Finding SNPs and structural variations between different populations and varieties of sorghum.
Identifying the effects of mutations in iron-related genes on gene expression and downstream pathways.
Testing hypotheses of multiple vs. single evolutionary origins of new species and varieties.
Exploring levels of sequence diversity and Transposable Element (TE) content in wild sorghuhms native to Africa.
Predicting climate variables driving adaptation and range expansion in disease carrying mosquito species.
Assembly, annotation, and ortholog identification in the first reference genome for Wyeomyia smithii.