Associate Professor, Integrative Biology
Main Office: PAT 637
Phone: (512) 232-5751
Alternate Office: PAT 641
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-3278
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station
Austin ,TX 78712
Research SummaryMy research focuses on the interface of ecological and evolutionary processes in natural plant populations. I am generally interested in phenotypic evolution, and have studied a number of systems over the course of my career. A current focus in the lab is the identification and characterization of genes underlying variation in drought adaptation among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes collected from around the world. This work is motivated by a desire to understand how climate and habitat variation have influenced the evolution of plant physiology. In addition, I have long-standing interests in the ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions, including projects focused on pollination biology and herbivory in natural scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) populations. Most recently, we have initiated studies of physiology and genomics in biofuel crops, including switchgrass (Panicum) and false brome (Brachypodium).
A common theme of our work is the interplay of genetic and functional studies. Our approach usually couples quantitative genetic experiments [classic breeding designs & QTL/LD mapping], population genetic approaches, and selection analyses in studies of natural genetic variation. Ultimately, weï¿½d like to understand the forces shaping patterns of genetic variability in natural populations across a variety of selective regimes.