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 hybrid fitness under environmental stress?
- 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?