We study the evolutionary response of populations to environmental change. We are interested in understanding how genetic exchange between populations and species alters the rates and mechanisms of adaptation when populations are facing environmental stress. For this, we use the microbe Baker’s yeast (or budding yeast – Saccharomyces spp.) as a model system, and a combination of experimental evolution and next generation sequencing. Saccharomyces can reproduce asexually as well as sexually, which makes it a great system to study hybridization.
Some current projects are
- Can hybridization facilitate the colonization of novel environments?
- Is there an optimal genetic outcrossing distance that maximizes hybrid fitness?
- What is the genetic architecture of fitness and adaptation under environmental stress?
- How do adaptive dynamics from standing genetic variation differ from adaptation through de novo mutations?
- How does the rate of environmental change (e.g. gradual vs. abrupt) affect adaptation
- What is the evolutionary significance of aneuploidy, and how does it affect hybrid fitness?
- Hybridization and pathogenesis: What is the significance of hybridization between pathogenic strains for public health?
1 March 2020 NEWS: We have a PhD position available! Find the full advertisement on the Stockholm University job portal here (all applications must go through this platform). Possible topics include 1) the dynamics of adaptation to changing environments with and without hybridization, 2) the construction of empiricial fitness landscapes using DNA barcodes to track the evolution of lineages over time, 3) understanding the genetic architecture of (hybrid) fitness using machine learning and statistical modelling.
We are also always looking for interested Master’s students, who want to join the lab. See examples for available MSc projects here, but we are happy to discuss your own interesting project ideas, too!