Office: SCA 127
Lab: SCA 120, SCA 122
Senior Postdoctoral associate, NYU, 2007-2009
Postdoctoral associate and research assistant professor, Stony Brook University, 2004-2006
Ph.D. University of Georgia, 2004
B.A. Biology, Swarthmore College, 1995
Plant ecological genetics and genomics, ecological and evolutionary epigenetics, plant ecophysiology, conservation genetics, global change biology.
My research interests incorporate genomics tools and approaches into robust ecological experiments because this will be a critical component of understanding how organisms respond to the ecological and evolutionary challenges of human alteration of the global environment. The rapidly escalating amount of genomic tools developed for model systems grown in controlled conditions can be used to examine the mechanisms of phenotypic response in a broad array of wild organisms and biologically relevant conditions. Also, several epigenetic mechanisms have dramatic effects on phenotype, even in the absence of changes in genotype, and there is increasing evidence that epigenetic processes are an important component of hybridization events and response to stressful environments. Hybridization and exposure to stressful conditions have been important in the evolutionary history of many plant species and especially in more recent, human mediated plant invasions. Therefore, investigating epigenetic effects in our experimental studies could significantly improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation and the translation from genotype to phenotype. Placing genomics and systems biology within a classic ecological genetics framework allows us to investigate these components of plant response to natural and human altered environments.
Current and future research in my laboratory include studies of 1) ecological genetics and genomics in coastal salt marsh plants to address ecological interactions and response to climate change; 2) how epigenetic effects contribute to phenotypic variation and ecological breadth in native and invasive plants; 3) experimental evolution of epigenetic effects in Arabidopsis 4) phenotypic plasticity in natural and agricultural systems in changing environments.
Plant Ecological Genomics