I am interested in understanding why our bodies are not perfect. Given natural selection always increases their quality, why aren’t our bodies much better than they are? Specifically, I am interested in how the evolution of genes involved in sexed bodies and their organization can itself limit the overall quality of male and female bodies.
I am a PhD Candidate studying Evolutionary Genomics, currently working out of the lab of Dr. Stephen I Wright at the University of Toronto. I am interested in the interaction between selection interference, gene expression and sexual dimorphism. By using population genetic techniques, I hope to understand how sexed-bodies and genetic sex come together to influence genome evolution.
Selection interference is a phenomenon arising from natural selection acting on sites that are inherited together, such as linked on a chromosome. Selection interference, as the name suggests, hinders the efficacy of selection and causes a genetic load in the genome that could affect organismal fitness. This is a fascinating effect arising from an inherent feature of our system of inheritance!
My current projects include studies of sex chromosomes in the species Rumex hastatulus. Sex chromosomes offer unique insight into linked selection because the Y chromosome is inherited as one unit and is therefore subject to strong selection interference. Using polymorphism data and family crosses, I am exploring the role of selection interference in the evolution of the ancestral and neo-Y chromosomes of R. hastatulus, and in turn how selection interference on the sex chromosomes may play a role in speciation and in the evolution of sexually dimorphic gene expression.
You can reach me through email at email@example.com
My CV is available here (updated Apr. 24th, 2019)
Some of the scripts I’ve written are available from my GitHub here