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Science and Mathematics

Biology Faculty Candidate: A Systems Approach to Genome Evolution

February 3, 2020 at 12:00pm1:00pm

Life Sciences Complex, 106 (Lundgren Room)

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The Department of Biology welcomes Janna Fierst, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama, who is a candidate for a faculty position in the area of Bioinformatics.

Abstract: One of the central problems in biology is understanding how sex influences evolution. Sexual reproduction increases genetic variation through meiotic recombination and results in a broad array of consequences at genetic and phenotypic levels. Evolutionary theory predicts that populations and genomes should evolve differently depending on reproductive strategy, but until recently the field lacked the technologies required to generate data and test theoretical predictions. As a result, there are still many gaps in scientific knowledge regarding the influence of sex and self-fertility on genome evolution. In nematode worms’ self-fertile species, including the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, have genomes 20-30% smaller than related outcrossing male-female species and remarkably low levels of molecular polymorphism. My lab group is investigating genome evolution through a combination of evolutionary theory, comparative genomics and computational modeling. We are also developing bioinformatic methods necessary to pursue our scientific questions.

*Refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m.

This event was published on January 30, 2020.


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