People

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Zach Gompert, Principal Investigator

Zach is broadly interested in evolutionary biology and population genetics. His current empirical research focus is on hybridization and speciation, the genetic basis of complex or quantitative adaptive traits, and determinants of genetic variation in the wild. His research involves genomic analyses of natural and experimental populations. He also develops statistical models and computer software for evolutionary genomic analyses.

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Lauren Lucas, Research Scientist & Instructor

Lauren is interested in biology education as well as conservation genetics and morphological evolution. Her research involves endangered, freshwater spring endemic organisms and Lycaeides butterflies.

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Samridhi Chaturvedi, PhD Student

Samridhi’s primary research interests are in evolutionary biology and molecular ecology. Her current work focuses on elucidating the genomic basis of host plant adaptation and adaptive variation in diapause (a form of hibernation) in the Melissa blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa). Her results will help advance our understanding of whether and how populations might rapidly adapt to novel resources or stresses (such as climate change).

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Alberto de Rosa, PhD Student

Alberto research interests are in ornithology and evolutionary biology. His research aims to better understand biological processes and to bridge theoretical understanding with practical affects on the real world. Alberto will analyze patterns of genetic, ecological and behavioral variation in Caribbean Barn Owls (Tyto alba) population, with a focus on the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Cura├žo) and Venezuela, to quantify the relative influence of geographic and ecological factors on the processes of speciation and adaptive radiation. His results will provide key insights for potential conservation actions. See Alberto’s website for more information on his project.

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Peter Nelson, Undergraduate Student

Peter is broadly interested in evolutionary biology and genetics. He is currently working on DNA sequencing and experimental projects that investigate the roles of plant genetic variation and microbial community in a recent host plant switch in the Melissa Blue butterfly.

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Robert Olsen, Undergraduate Student

Robert is interested in better understanding how humans affect ecological and evolutionary processes. This summer he is collecting demographic and genetic data to determine the effects of temporally fluctuating selection on patterns of variation in Lycaeides butterflies.

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Zach Valois, Undergraduate Student

Zach is interested in arachnid phylogeography and systematics. He is currently investigating the causes and consequences of parallel evolution in the Northern Scorpion, and the phylogeographic history of Vachon’s desert scorpion. Visit Zach’s website for more information.

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