425G Henry Mall (Genetics/Biotech Bldg)
Genetic variation offers a window into a population's history of natural selection, population size change, and migration events. Our ability to reveal these processes is being revolutionized by newly available data from large numbers of fully sequenced genomes. The Pool Lab is using large population genomic data sets from Drosophila melanogaster and other organisms to address fundamental evolutionary questions, including the relative importance of natural selection versus demographic history in shaping within-population genetic variation and between-population genetic differentiation. This work often involves the development of new statistical analysis methods to examine population genomic data innovel ways. A second focus of our research is the genetic basis of adaptive evolution, including the number and types of mutations that underlie adaptive changes. Our sequenced D. melanogaster genomes include populations that are adapted to a wide range of environments, including contrasting altitudes. We are investigating the genetic basis of melanic pigmentation in D. melanogaster (which appears to have independently evolved multiple times in various African mountain ranges), along with a range of additional altitude-related traits. By linking phenotypic and population genomic data, we can begin to reveal how Darwinian selection operates at the genetic level.