Overview of Our Research
Phylogenomics employs genome scale sequence data to resolve organismal relationships, and investigate genome and gene family evolution within the context of organismal relationships. Our lab uses phylogenomic approaches to explore the ecological, genomic, molecular and developmental processes that contribute to phenotypic diversification and speciation. Research foci include the evolution of ecologically important characters in land plants (e.g. mating system traits, adaptations to extreme environments and pathogen response), and genome evolution following polyploidy events. Much of our research involves phylogenetically based analyses, and we are working with collaborators to develop new analytical and experimental tools to extend the use of phylogenetic methods in comparative and functional genomics. Organismal and gene family phylogenies are foundational for comparative studies aimed at informing experimental investigations and testing the degree to which gene functions and regulatory networks characterized for model systems are applicable to other plant species (and visa-versa).