Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY Oswego
Ph.D., 2010, Iowa State University
B.A., 2004, Cornell University
I am an evolutionary geneticist with a current focus on the evolution of sex determination mechanisms and sex chromosomes, and I use a combination of field, genetic/genomic, and bioinformatic approaches. Right now, my main research organisms are C. elegans and Trachelipus rathkei (a terrestrial isopod), but I have also worked with Drosophila melanogaster, reptiles and amphibians, and even “digital organisms”, to explore related topics including sexual selection and phylogenetics. At SUNY Oswego, I teach a variety of courses including Biology Seminar (Bio 110), Molecular and Cellular Foundations Lab (Bio 120L), Genetics Lab (Bio 316), Human Genetics (Bio 211), Sexual Diversity and Evolution (Bio 327), Evolution (Bio 425), and Capstone Research (Bio 492).
Aubrie is our full-time lab technician. She graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2016 with a dual degree in biology and chemistry. She basically runs the lab.
Sevi’s project is exploring the role of sex chromosomes in sexual dimorphism in T. rathkei. He used sex-reversal experiments to generate isopods that are phenotypic males but which carry female sex chromosomes, and will take a variety of phenotypic measurements to test how much of a contribution sex chromosomes make to traits that differ between males and females.
Rose is a dual major in biology and computer science. She is using bioinformatics to explore the evolution of the genome in T. rathkei.
Angelica has been testing populations of Porcellio species for Wolbachia infections using molecular techniques to determine whether they are suitable study species for further sex chromosome genomics work.
Karen’s project took advantage of experimental populations of C. elegans that have been evolving in the lab for ~150 generations with “artificial” neo-sex chromosomes to test hypotheses about how Y chromosomes evolve. Karen graduated in spring 2016.
YaDong (Don) Wang
Don looked at genetic diversity in Rickettsiella, a bacterium that infects arthropods and is pathogenic in isopods. Don graduated in spring 2016 and is currently a Ph.D. student in biology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Josh used experimental evolution in C. elegans to explore the evolution of resistance to UV radiation. Josh graduated in spring 2015 and is currently attending medical school at SUNY Upstate.
Joe looked for W-chromosome markers in T. rathkei using high-throughput sequencing data and PCR. Joe graduated in winter 2016.
Jane tested local populations of T. rathkei and our lab colony of Porcellio laevis for infection by Wolbachia. She then worked on a bioinformatics-based project to look for evidence of Wolbachia infections in other organisms using publicly available sequencing data. Jane graduated in spring 2017 and is now working as a lab technician at the University of Southern California.
Chulee sequenced a candidate gene that appears to contain a DM domain (a protein motif found in a family of genes that share a conserved role in sex determination) in a variety of isopod species to examine patterns of molecular evolution. She graduated in spring 2015.