What features of genome sequences make species distinct biological entities? Our laboratory harnesses the power of comparative population genomics to study speciation and adaptation in a variety of model organisms. Comparative population genomics (CPG) is the study of genome-wide variation in two populations of closely related taxa or species. CPG allows us to identify which genomic features remain distinct between species and which are free to move between species via migration and gene flow.
We also use CPG approaches to study piwi-RNA and transposable element evolutionary dynamics in Drosophila, small RNA-mediated epigenetic inheritance, the evolution of de novo genes, and modes of natural selection in Caenorhabditis elegans.