We address various aspects of adaptive evolution using bacterial and insect populations. We primarily use laboratory experimental evolution, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics and molecular biological approaches in the lab. However, to place our findings in the appropriate ecological context, we are increasingly including analyses of natural populations. For instance, we have extensively characterized 20 wild-collected populations of flour beetles and recently sequenced the genomes of those showing extreme life history or behavioral phenotypes. We are now beginning to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the observed trait variation. We also aim to explore microbial evolution in natural populations, focusing on microbial communities associated with insect guts. Broadly, our work may be grouped under these two themes:

A. Bacterial genome evolution: codon bias, tRNA genes, and genome GC content

B. Insect adaptation to novel resources: genes, behavioural choices, and gut microbes

Please visit our lab website for more information.