Enter into the Ph.D. Program Fall 2011
Research Advisor: Melanie Culver
Research Topic: Conservation Genomics and Epigenomics
Lab phone number: 520 626-9821
Broadly, I am interested in population genetics and epigenetics. Currently, I am developing a suite of microsatellite markers derived from 454 pyrosequencing data for a threatened population of Florida crested caracara. I am interested in utilizing epigenetic marks, specifically DNA methylation, to study gene expression regulation as an adaptation to environmental stimuli. The epigenetic response is the means by which organisms alter their phenotype so as to adapt to environmental change. In the face of climate change, habitat destruction, invasive species, and pollution, species throughout the globe are struggling to persist. Yet, the study of population epigenetic diversity is largely restricted to model organisms. I am interested in expanding population epigenetic research to endangered and threatened species and in using epigenetic marks as indicators of environmental quality.